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Local Missionary in Philippines

Reported by : Charlene Cheng
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Updated: 11/12/2013 5:49 pm
19-year-old Jackson Williams has been a Mormon missionary in the Philippines since June.

Since then, his family in Redding has only been able to communicate with him through email.

When a typhoon hit the island nation last week, Jackson's mom April was frantic for news of her son.

"That was the hardest thing, just watching and refreshing, refreshing the button on the computer and seeing where the typhoon was going, and watching the weather reports," said April.

While Jackson was lucky enough to be on the northern island of Luzon, 300 miles away from where the typhoon hit, his family has had to deal with their share of scares.

In an email to his family, Jackson wrote: "We had a typhoon rip through Tuguegarao. We were put on lockdown, and a good thing we were. It sounded like a jet engine outside. We lost power a couple times and it was hard to sleep. These typhoons really destroy the crops out here too, which is devastating for the farmers."

Even with the potential dangers, April says she is glad that Jackson is where he is.

"I know my son and I know his love of the people, and I know his desire to serve other people. As a mom, of course you want him here, but I know he is where he needs to be," said April.

Jackson and his fellow missionaries will be called on to help with the victims.

Mormon churches in the Philippines are being used as shelters and disaster relief sites.

The American Red Cross is working with the Philippine Red Cross to help reunite loved ones affected by the typhoon.    

People searching for loved ones who are not U.S. citizens should call the local Red Cross at (530) 224-8000.

People searching for U.S. citizens should contact the U.S. State Department at (888) 407-4747.
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