Locals try to connect with loved ones affected by Typhoon Haiyan

A Raleigh pastor, who has close ties to the Philippines, believes in a future stronger than the past.
November 11, 2013 3:56:52 PM PST
The devastation from Typhoon Haiyan has left people around the world and in the Triangle reeling.

ABC11 caught up with one pastor from Raleigh who has lived and preached in one of the cities hardest hit for almost four decades.

Howard Wynn started out at Neuse Baptist Church 40 years ago, and made it his life mission to bring his faith to the Philippines, and specifically to Tacloban City.

Wynn comes back to Raleigh periodically, he happens to have been here during the storm, and now has literally nothing to return to.

Pretty much all the information Wynn is getting about his home and church in Tacloban City is off Facebook. He showed ABC11 a short video someone made of what Tacloban looked like before the typhoon and then what it looks like after the destruction.

Wynn told ABC11, his car is flattened, his home is barely standing, and his church is gone, as is the religious school he established. His family is still alive, but he cannot say the same for many of his friends or his congregation.

"It's just heart breaking. This is where I've lived my life, and bodies are everywhere...It's just beginning because, all these buildings take materials to fix and if $10 billion went there tomorrow, where will you buy the materials? The prices will be elevated and then where do you find the professional people to do your building because they're at home looking for their loved ones," said Wynn.

Still, money matters in times like this, which is why Wynn's church, Neuse Baptist, has started a relief fund.

Wynn is one of three missionary families from the Raleigh-based church preaching in Tacloban, all with their own congregation, and all, now, with nothing left.

"Our circle will be thousands. I know that there are hundreds of thousands but we'll try to reach as many as we can," said Pastor David Schaffer of Neuse Baptist Church.

"We have an academy of 200 students and it's gone. Really, it's heartbreaking," added Wynn.

However, Wynn has a faith that seems unshakeable, and he believes in a future stronger than the past, where those who believe will be better off. He looks forward to spreading that faith in the Philippines as he has done for nearly 40 years.

"This is my opportunity to help them and they are worthy of help," said Wynn.

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