East Texas family survives typhoon


Tyler (KYTX) -- A woman says her prayers have been answered--after hearing from her brother, who lives in the Philippines, Tuesday. He and his family moved from Tyler less than a year ago to the area hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan.

When we first spoke to Mary Beth Rhinehart, she still hadn't heard from her brother, John Stovall.

"They are in God's hands. I have to believe that," Rhinehart, who lives Greenville, said.


She and John grew up in Kilgore.

"He's everything in a brother you'd want. He's loving, caring, he's concerned, he trusts in the Lord," Rhinehart said.

She told us what it was like hearing about the disaster--hitting where John, his wife Ena, and their two kids live- in Tacloban.

"You have such concern, and the first thing you want to do is reach out and hear their voices, and it's been an impossibility," Rhinehart said.

The Stovalls moved from Tyler to retire in the Philippines in March. Because communications have been wiped out-- Mary Beth couldn't reach him until around noon.

"They've lost everything. Except their lives," Rhinehart said.

She says they're surviving by building fires and boiling water.

"They need almost everything at this point in the hardest-hit areas," Tammy Prater, Executive Director of East Texas Red Cross chapters, said.

Chapters need donations for housing and food.

"We expect to be sending more equipment and personnel in the days to come," Prater said.

Mary Beth knows her prayers were heard, and her faith will get the family through this.



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