Retired Richmond army sergeant, wife return home after typhoon - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Retired Richmond Army Sgt., wife return home after surviving typhoon

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A Richmond couple reunited with their family after their ministry took them to the Philippines and they survived a massive typhoon. 

The retired Army sergeant and his wife had no choice but to hunker down in the family home they recently turned into a church and school. The couple was on the island of Leyte and became first responders.

"The Philippine government asked everyone to evacuate," said their son Jason Marcelino. "But when you are on an island where are you going to evacuate to?"

It all hit too close to home for Jason, whose mother and father were on the island doing church ministry.

"All we could do is really pray," said Jason. "We were really helpless."

His mother and father finally came home to Richmond after living in deplorable conditions for weeks. Family members were on hand to greet them.

"Glad to be alive. Glad to be back home," said Dr. Victoria Marcelino. "Most of the churches and buildings are all wiped out."

Their luggage was stacked in a room where the roof was exposed. They had no electricity for weeks.

"It was humid, and hot, and lots of mosquitos, too," said Retired Staff Sergeant Al Marcelino with a smile.

The couple did not complain. They spent their time making care packages of rice and clothing until they could get a flight home.

"I feel like I'm back in heaven," said Marcelino, upon seeing his family again.

The couple plans to go back to the island next July. They say their ministry must continue, and they say the people will need for some time to come.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved

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