Brentwood Group Helps Typhoon Victims in Philippines - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Brentwood Group Helps Typhoon Victims in Philippines

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by Emily Luxen           

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - Volunteers from an international disaster response group based in Brentwood have just returned from a life-changing mission in the Philippines.

Hope Force International coordinated the trip which took a small group of volunteer medical professionals to parts of the typhoon-ravaged country. The group's primary mission was providing medical assistance to people in need and supporting local medical teams. They helped 2,300 patients over the course of the three week trip.

Hope Force International President and CEO Jack Minton said it was an emotional and rewarding trip.

"You never get used to seeing this kind of damage," said Minton. "Not just the property damage, but you see the impact on people."

Minton and the group were stationed in Tacloban, which was directly in the path of Super Typhoon Haiyan. 

"You could see trees blown down and homes destroyed," said Minton. "People's lives won't be the same after this."

The November 8 storm packed wind speeds as high as 170 mph, killed thousands and left millions without homes. While the destruction was overwhelming, Minton said volunteers focused on helping one person at a time.

"I had several encounters with one person I will never forget," said Minton. "That changed my life, and I hope I had an opportunity to change theirs as well."

Minton said while the work was demanding, their attempts to spread hope and empower residents were well received.

"People would express their gratitude over and over again," said Minton. "They kept saying you'll never know what it means that you are just here."

Hope Force International hopes to add more volunteers to its ranks in 2014.  There will be a training session Jan. 23-25 at Grace Chapel in Leiper's Fork.  To learn more, go to


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