Dear Brethren in Christ,
We have just concluded last week (2nd week of June) our 20-day road trip, covering ministry areas in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon. We visited former Bible study contacts who are now leaders of various disciple-making congregations/ministries, baptized new believers, witnessed to former classmates and shared the Gospel to a big family reunion in Luzon....
Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte – Residents of Brgy. Casiklan here and of some adjoining communities got a wait and see attitude in terms of believing in promises hurled their way by so-called helpful organizations. They had been taken for a ride before, that’s why their stance of hands akimbo and “let’s see if this is true” thinking have become the common reaction to something that can be considered as too good to be true. For whatever reason or motivation behind, they heard that they will be tendered with free medical services – free consultations and medicines – which was arranged on short notice prior to the rolling out.
Nevertheless, some indigenous people – known as Higaonons – from adjoining communities came earlier here, like Datu Loloy Montebodyong, Sr., who was attired in a cultural manner. With blackened teeth strengthened by chewing betel nut, he smiled and disclosed that he came all the way from a tribal village known as Barangay Lawan-Lawan together with his very own wife, children, and grandchildren. The family of Datu Montebodyong happens to be a member of ACMI Lawan-lawan, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte, one of the ministry’s outreaches in the mountains of Agusan provinces.
And he was not disheartened in his expectations because in a little while a convoy of six vehicles appeared also on the scene right at the Brgy. Casiklan covered court. After parking, he saw passengers issued out and disembarked boxes of medicines, paraphernalia and equipment like weighing scales, chairs, and tables, and so many young people dispersed right away to arrange the stuff for a sequential, orderly conduct of the free medical mission. Swiftly, he observed, the scene became dotted with arranged tables and chairs, and with medical doctors seated down on their tables to wait on patients.
Gradually, some other patients came in trickles first, passing through pit stops like weighing and blood pressure checking, then to the witnessing crew who shared the gospel, and on to the waiting doctors until they are given prescription receipts wherein the medicines are given unto them at the pharmacy unit. At about 10:00 am the number of patients swelled in ranks, but gradually dwindled in number by lunchtime, until the medical team was ordered to pack up at about 2:00 pm.
Indeed, for the children and adults who came for the free medical mission, the activity was a welcome breather compared to other missions because they were physically and spiritually catered to. Likewise, they disclosed that for the first time, a medical mission was done in their midst that never ran out of dispensing free medicines. Normally, they added, “even our health center here does not have free medicines to give for lack of funds. That’s why we have to source out most of our medicines from Butuan City, which is about two hours ride from this place.”
Before withdrawing from the scene, the medical mission team from the Arise Christian Ministries, Inc. (ACMI) composed of about 40 young people and leaders coming from the cities of Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, and Iligan, plus the ministry area of Nasipit-Carmen, Agusan del Norte, sang a praise and worship medley, thanking God for the safe convoy, smooth conduct of the medical mission, and good weather.
Dr. Sergio Canoy, newly minted President of the ACMI, profusely thanked the five local barangay health workers who also facilitated the medical mission through weighing and blood pressure checking of patients.
Also, Engr. David Tauli, President of the Arise Foundation, appreciated and acknowledged the pro bono services of all doctors in terms of time and expertise, which contributed to the success of the activity. In closing, he prayed for more blessings for the community people and protection for those who will go back to their respective places. He believed that the collaboration was a sweet aroma unto God and a blessing for the community people located at a far-flung locality.
Surely, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.” – Psalm 84:5-6.
For statistical and record purposes, the seven medical doctors that came to serve for the least and the lost were
(1) Dr. Glenn Manarpaac, Medical Officer IV and Acting Asst. City Health Officer of Iligan City Health Office;
(2) Dr. Al Harvey Naïve Galorio, Municipal Health Officer, Doctor to the Barrio, Batch 36, assigned at Rural Health Unit-Salvador, Lanao del Norte;
(3) Dr. Uldarico Fernandez Obregon, Jr., Municipal Health Officer, Doctor to the Barrio, Batch 35, assigned at Rural Health Unit-Maigo, Lanao del Norte;
(4) Dr. Kristine Galope, General Medicine, from Cagayan de Oro City;
(5-6) the mother and daughter tandem of Drs. Zeny Tauli, Family Medicine, and Bea Tauli, OB-Gyne, also of Cagayan de Oro City; and
(7) Dr. Migresa B. Dauz, Pediatrics, from Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. The total number of patients per record is 279, which was broken down into 218 adults and 61 children.
The doctors found out or encountered during the consultation the following medical cases, to wit: acid peptic disease, acute upper respiratory tract infection, acute bronchitis, dermatitis, dyspepsia, hypertension in different stages, pneumonia, presumptive tuberculosis, T/C pyelonephritis, urinary tract infection, 1st degree burn, and other common sicknesses and diseases.
The medical mission was sponsored by local and international Christian organizations, and collaborated by the young people and leaders of ACMI, including the barangay government unit Casiklan, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte.
(By Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr.)