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LDS Church leaders discuss surviving and recovering from Typhoon Haiyan (+video)

Published: Saturday, Nov. 23 2013 10:46 a.m. MST

Tacloban Stake President Ricardo Aban is featured in several videos recently released by the LDS Church. (YouTube screenshot) Tacloban Stake President Ricardo Aban is featured in several videos recently released by the LDS Church. (YouTube screenshot)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released a series of videos since Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines and decimated the city of Tacloban.

One of these videos, posted to the Mormon Newsroom YouTube channel on Nov. 21, showcases how LDS meetinghouses provided refuge during the storm and now serve as makeshift medical centers as recovery efforts move forward.

A description below this video notes that "more than 14,000 Mormons and their neighbors sought refuge in 200 church meetinghouses," and in the aftermath "the church has opened its sturdy chapels and surrounding grounds to provide protection and care," according to the video.

At one particular chapel in Ormoc, the church has partnered with Charity Vision to provide medical care. Charity Vision is a nonprofit organization that specializes in treating blindness, but in partnering with the church in Ormoc, they have expanded their efforts to treat aliments of all kinds.

"The idea is let's get pharmaceuticals in place, start getting it to the people because right now the hospitals are empty. Nobody has anything that they can use, and so the church is allowing us to really replenish the local infrastructure," said Craig Weston of Charity Vision in the video.

One of the church leaders featured in this clip, Tacloban Stake President Ricardo Aban, is also included in an additional video about the Philippines released today, Nov. 22.

In this video about ministering to the needs in Tacloban, Aban shared an experience he and other church members had as they gathered in a local meetinghouse during the storm.

"I asked the members to regroup. We went to a room, and we kneeled down together, and we plead (sic) to our Father in Heaven to spare us. After my prayer, everyone on that occasion, during the prayer that I said, felt a good calm and assurance we would all be safe. Because of that experience, I learned that he do (sic) really exist and he do (sic) really answer our prayers."

In addition to providing physical necessities to the LDS members he oversees, Aban is sharing a message of hope.

"We are hopeful. There are always good things to come, and I learned that it will come to pass, if we'll just stay strong and have faith in (God)."

Those who wish to donate to the LDS Church's humanitarian aid effort may contribute at give.lds.org/response.

Emily Eyring is an editor and product manager for DeseretNews.com.

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company