Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. (Phil 2:1-2)
It felt like yesterday that we arrived at the Basketball court and transformed it into a medical and dental clinic. It was difficult to believe that we saw 215 medical and 173 dental patients, extracted 388 and filled 33 teeth. From the medical side, there were the usual viral infection, skin problems, allergies, hypertension and diabetes but we also saw interesting cases of thyrotoxicosis, nasal foreign body and tuberculosis. It was a joy to see that the children are now receiving free vaccines from the local health clinic and the compliance was almost 100%. Most children have been dewormed because they sent out health workers to each household to deworm the children. In general the children are healthier and not as malnourished. What a contrast compared with last year, when I saw lots of underweight children, hardly any of them were immunised and had lots of severe ear infections. It is amazing that a simple free, locally available vaccination program could make such a drastic improvement to the health of the local population.
The mission was overwhelmingly well received by the local people. This was not only because we saw a few hundred patients, but that the entire Bukang Liwayway team was able to work together, young (9 years old) and old (55 years old) were united to serve shoulder to shoulder, making this mission possible. There were order, not chaos with all the young volunteers working as translators and praying for patients’ physical and spiritual transformation. A nine year old boy gave testimony of how he became a Christian in front of a large crowd of adults. The young people testified with a dance. They can also sing beautifully to the rhythm of a box drum. They love Jollibee, the Philippino version of KFC and would not miss it for anything, even after teeth extraction. This was our last treat for the Trece Bukang Liwayway team! Their infectious smiles and enthusiasm have a lasting impression on us. They have so little, yet they are joyful.
As we looked back, we were amazed how God has put this team together. Our gifts and talents were complementary. We cross consult, help each other out. Kim is our extraction king, Van our innovative designer, Leander our filling queen, Cheryl the sterilising commander, Carrie the pharmacy expert, Leo the rhino specialist and Betty the time-keeper. We could not have made it a better team ourselves. God has planned well ahead to form this team and bring us together to serve the people of Trece Martirez. We have an amazing God!
Our next destination will be Marilao, another relocation site, also the headquarter of Bukang Liwayway. But first we get refilled with some local delicacy, halo halo (Tagalog: mixed together) and a day of rest in Manila at the OMF guesthouse. Jehovah, Jirah, our provider, his grace is sufficient for us.
Dear Medical Team, I praise the Lord again and again for such a wonderful team he has put together. I will continue to pray for your next mission possible. Through your love, people can see the loving God behind you all.
I promise when you all return, I will give each one of your a neck and shoulder massage!
In Christ we serve together in deeds and prayer. Amen.
I also try to keep my tears when reading your stories. You all have done a great job, dearest brothers and sisters. I can see how God’s grace in you and with people you serve. ??????????????