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Louisville parents thankful daughter safe after typhoon

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Jessica Lowe is serving an 18-month mission in the northern part of the Philippines to teach religion and English, as well as perform humanitarian work. Jessica Lowe is serving an 18-month mission in the northern part of the Philippines to teach religion and English, as well as perform humanitarian work.
Betsy Lowe Betsy Lowe
Mark Lowe Mark Lowe

PROSPECT, KY (WAVE) – A Metro Louisville couple learned Friday their daughter was safe in the Philippines after a powerful storm hit the country.

Betsy and Mark Lowe of Prospect haven't heard from their 20-year-old daughter, Jessica, since Super Typhoon Haiyan hit early Friday. Rescuers reported bodies in the streets after the storm, which was more powerful than Hurricane Katrina, news reports indicated.

Jessica has been in the country on a church mission trip, and church leaders sent the Lowes an email Friday to say everyone on the mission was safe.

"Hearing from her would be like heaven on Earth," Betsy Lowe said in an interview at her home. "That would be icing on the cake, but knowing that they're safe is good enough."

Jessica Lowe is serving an 18-month mission in the northern part of the Philippines to teach religion and English, as well as perform humanitarian work.

Reports of casualties and injuries were slow to arrive Friday as rescuers were unable to get to some parts of the country.

"It's a common occurrence for the Filipinos to endure these typhoons," said Mark Lowe, adding that his daughter has already experienced a few storms in her first six months overseas. "It does concern us that we're over here (at home)."

With news that people on the mission -- including Jessica's boyfriend -- were all safe, the Lowes said their next concern was how bad the devastation would be for Filipinos.

"Their houses are not made like houses in America – and even houses in America would be blown over, like in Katrina," Betsy Lowe said. "There will be nothing left (in some Philippines areas). It'll be mass destruction and devastation. That's humbling."

Power is out and Jessica is usually only about to email her parents once a week from an Internet café because of the church's rules for the mission, Betsy Lowe said.

Jessica and other missionaries will now likely assist in rebuilding small towns where they are staying and working, she said.

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