The story of what happened when a group of medical personnel responded to typhoon survivors
Thessa Lou Nejudne is a registered nurse who worked with Samaritan’s Purse after Typhoon Hagupit hit the Philippines in December 2014.
“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13, NKJV).
On the ninth day of December, our team traveled nine hours to the eastern part of Samar. It was the area worst hit by Typhoon Hagupit. The roads were bumpy and eroded. One bridge linking to the town of Taft from Borongan City, the provincial capital, was cut off by heavy flooding, so the team had to spend a night in Taft. From there, we carried big boxes of medicine and medical supplies along a single, wobbly steel bar with some construction workers on the side to assist us.
After arriving at the base office and a quick rest, we prepared for our medical response in Santa Fe. It was one of the farthest barangays, but it was still accessible because it was along the highway. Our team partnered with doctors from the Divine Word Hospital in Tacloban City.
We were a welcome surprise to the residents. The chairwoman welcomed us and provided us with chairs and tables. She also spread the word to her constituents. We were able to see 96 adult and pediatric patients that day.
We were all so excited with the idea of doing emergency medical response, or at least I was. I saw how passionately dedicated our team was in performing the roles given to us. I couldn’t stop praising God for the great cloudy weather He gave us that day. Despite the long lines, our patients did not suffer under the heat of the sun.
You could see in their faces that they were grateful for our medical team. Though we mostly just treated mild cases of respiratory problems, we were equally grateful.
A team must always be dynamic. When some expectations are unmet and roles unexpectedly change, everyone must work cohesively. Challenges always arise no matter how perfect our plans may seem. But God looks upon the hearts of those who do good things for the least of his brethren.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” (Isaiah 52:7, NKJV).
It was a privilege to respond to typhoon victims and give them the Good News through meeting their immediate medical needs. I believe that God was honored. He was glorified, and that’s the most important and highest goal an individual or a group of medical practitioners could achieve. I’m blessed to be a nurse and to be part of a team of dedicated medical professionals serving people in Jesus’ Name.