Challenging conditions

November 27, 2013

by Karina Petersen, Media Relations Coordinator

Reflecting on the risks—and rewards—of bringing help in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

I just saw the words "challenging conditions" come across an email. My colleague was referring to what we are facing working here in Tacloban City in the Philippines. People are telling us that about 95 per cent of this city of a quarter million was destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan.  I believe it, because I’m looking right at it—or rather, what is left of it. 

Although my co-worker back in North America recognized the difficulties in this devastated corner of the world, "challenging conditions" would be an understatement.

The infrastructure is destroyed. 

There is no power and little hope of restoring power in the near future.

The water supply was contaminated. 

Mosquitos are out in full force, and dengue fever might become a threat as a result of getting bit.

Those who came here to help typhoon victims have to be self-sustaining. We brought our own water and food. Rationing food is a new experience for me.

Did I mention showers are a no go? Some of my colleagues were fortunate to take bucket baths this morning.

This is no doubt a challenging and difficult place to work. 

But I love that we don't let challenging conditions stop us.  I appreciate that Samaritan's Purse is willing to go to areas of the world just like this where bringing help is logistically challenging, and the work is exhausting. But we figure out how to handle the job and work through the challenges.  And prayers at home and on the field cover us.

No matter how muggy, miserable, or difficult it is for "us," the people here need our help, so we put aside our personal discomforts, and in Jesus’ Name we serve them. 

I am blessed to be here and take part in this disaster response.  Please continue to pray for the work here in the Philippines.