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El Pasoans David and Hilary Overton operate a non-profit maternity clinic in Cebu City, Philippines
Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 12:37am
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — An unforgiving typhoon rips through the Philippines, destroying everything in its path.
But in areas where the storm has since passed, an El Paso couple, living in the Philippines, joins hands with locals to clean up the mess.
"It's a horrible tragedy that happened but I know that the Filipino people will respond like they always have with resilience and fortitude and just start putting things back together," said David Overton.
Ten years ago, Overton and his wife Hilary left behind the American dream for something bigger - they moved to the Philippines to embark on a journey for charity.
"You spend your life kind of working and getting things and getting cars and having car payments and house payments and kids then before you know it, you're retired and maybe then you get to travel. So, we decided, why don't we kind of do it backwards?" he said.
Hilary, who is a licensed midwife and resident physician, opened up a maternity clinic with David in Cebu City in 2003.
On Friday, as Typhoon Haiyan, or "Yolanda" as it's called locally, slammed into their area and knocked out their power, some of Hilary's patients went into labor.
Her husband says she told him the scariest part was feeling the fierce winds threatening to rip apart their clinic.
"She kind of buckled down and said 'Okay, let's deliver this baby,'" said David.
Fortunately, the deliveries were successful. There were some leaks in the clinic's roof though, so David says some of the little ones got wet but it was nothing that couldn't be dried off and cleaned up.
David says it's times like this that remind him why he left behind his life in the United States.
"I receive much more than I give. The lessons I learn from these people and just walking alongside them in life is the most, the most valuable thing."
David and Hilary also volunteer their time at a local jail, dump site, and to help victims of sex trafficking.
The two originally planned to spend just a couple years overseas but somewhere along the way, they decided to stay for good.
Their non-profit clinic in Cebu City is called "Glory Reborn," and employs 34 people from the community. The organization operates solely on donations.
If you'd like more information on how you can donate or get involved with the charity, visit http://gloryreborn.org/