Patrick Seger was the Samaritan’s Purse team leader in the Philippines for the first month after Typhoon Haiyan. As he left, he wrote his thoughts in the letter below to his fellow team members.
As I sit here this evening, I have given some thought to this past month that I have been here in the Philippines on this disaster assistance relief team. First, I would like to say it has been a blessing to serve with all of you. Some of you I never got to meet in person because you arrived late at night and were whisked off to the front lines where you immediately started providing hope to so many hurting Filipino people, which is a powerful thing.
It’s been said that a person can live 40 days without food, four days without water, four minutes without air, but only four seconds without hope. Why? Hope provides the power that energizes us with life. Hope is a powerful thing. It keeps us going when times are tough. It creates excitement in us for the future. It gives us reasons to live. It gives us strength and courage.
I think there is no coincidence that people who suffer with depression often lack energy. Lack of hope and lack of energy usually go hand in hand. People who have a hard time believing in themselves have a difficult time finding the energy to cope with life and its challenges. In contrast, hope-filled people are energetic. They welcome life and all that it brings, even it challenges.
My mentor and friend John C. Maxwell wrote his first book, “Think of These Things,” in 1979. It grew out of his desire to help people think upon the things that would build up their lives. One chapter was on the subject of hope. In it, he wrote the following words:
What does hope do for mankind?
· Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest
· Hope motivates when discouragement comes
· Hope energizes when the body is tired
· Hope sweetens when the bitterness bites
· Hope sings when all melodies are gone
· Hope believes when the evidence is limited
· Hope listens for the answers when no one is talking
· Hope climbs over obstacles when no one is helping
· Hope endures hardship when no one is caring
· Hope smiles confidently when no one is laughing
· Hope reaches for answers when no one is asking
· Hope presses toward victory when no one is encouraging
· Hope dares to give when no one is sharing
· Hope brings the victory when no one is winning
In short, hope gives. It gives to us even when we have little or nothing left. It is one of the most precious things we have in life. Hope is inspiring. It gives us the motivation for living and learning.
Thank you once again for the opportunity to serve with you and provide hope to the Filipino people both physically and spiritually. My prayer is that their lives will be forever changed and filled with an eternal hope in Jesus Christ. Let all that we do bring glory to God!
As many of you are giving it your all, know that you have and are giving living hope to people who not have it.
It’s been a pleasure. God bless you all, and stay strong.