SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - A fundraising effort to ship basic supplies to the Philippines is underway in Summerville. The International and Filipino Ministry of the Faith Assembly Church began taking donations shortly after the super typhoon slammed into the country on Friday.
"We love our country. We love the people there. We believe that they are survivors."
"The part that gets us most is we don't even know if the people we know are alive or they've survived or where they are."
Feelings of hope and despair as devastating scenes and stories come out of the Philippines where officials say as many as 10,000 people may have died in the storm.
Pastor Silver Mabalot led a medical and construction mission trip to the Philippines in 2011. He says they worked in two towns not too far from Tacloban constructing churches and Sunday schools.
"I see buildings, big buildings that are crushed by the typhoon and we only built a small structure there. So, it's frustrating because the help that we gave them might have been in ruins already."
His wife tells us before Friday they were in touch regularly with both congregations.
"Since last week when this super typhoon struck we couldn't get a hold of anyone in that area, so we're just hoping they're still alive," says Cristina Mabalot, also a pastor.
While some aid is making its way in, Silver and Cristina predict recovery for those who survived the storm will take years.
"Filipinos are fighters. They're survivors and we always after a fall, we always standup."