Friday, September 19, 2014

The Idahoan in Tacloban


I want you to meet someone that I absolutely adore. This woman right here, her name is Beth Moore and she is one of the most hardworking, passionate people I have ever met.

I will tell you more about her and her story in just a second, but before I can do that I need to introduce one other person.

The guy in the foreground talking to Beth, that is Arturo. He is the Executive Director of an organization called HELP International, but he is more than that. He is an incredible person and a mentor that has taught me so much about life and other people in both word and example. 


Last April Arturo and I flew out to Tacloban, Philippines to prepare the country for HELP International's Crisis Team that would be arriving about a month later. Arturo had never been to the Philippines before, and although I had been to the Philippines before, Tacloban was never one of the places I'd ventured to. We knew what we needed to accomplish and that we could do it, but what we didn't know was a single soul or what to expect when we did arrive. And then we met Beth. She was heaven sent, and this is her story.

Last December Beth had spent some time on a cruise in Asia. When that was done her plan was to go to Cambodia, but she had one rather large problem. She was having trouble getting her visa. After a few failed attempts to get it sorted out, she decided that maybe that wasn't where she was supposed to go.

Just a month before Cambodia fell through Super Typhoon Yolanda had devastated the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. The devastation was unlike anything else, and people and organizations from all over the world went out to help. Beth decided that Tacloban was where she wanted to be. She wanted to help.

Why do I tell you this? Because what Beth did for the people of Tacloban in the six months she was there helped to restore hope in so many people. She built houses for people who no longer had them, gave loans to businessmen and women who had lost their only source of income. She helped people move, hauled supplies, and treated so many people as her closest friends. When Arturo and I landed in Tacloban she picked up two complete strangers from the airport and gave them a place to stay. She introduced us to people that became some of my closest friends there. She showed us around, set us up with partners, and let us borrow her little red truck to get things set up the way we needed to. She had the two of us in a constant state of laughter. She was a giant part in making my experience in Tacloban what it was. Talking to her always made me smile when things were rough, and what I love the most is that if she could find a way to do something for someone she would, always. Never ever did she did Beth ask for anything in return.

After Beth left she still continued to help the people in Tacloban. She let our team borrow her truck so that projects would be easier to get to and from with all of our supplies. When we left she gave it to another family to use so that they could help the people around them. She continued to give loans to people so that they could get back on their feet and has kept in close contact with the people who adore her as a friend that had helped them in a time of desperate need. Back home she runs a machine rental business, is a mother of four boys, and constantly has her home filled with people who want to spend time with her.  She is an absolute joy to be around, and I look forward to anytime I get to spend time with her. 

One lesson I learned from Beth:
If one person really wants to, they can make a huge difference in the world around them. 

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