Mission Life Entry #2. Monday, 17th April 2017, Departure Area Legazpi Airport.
10:55am. My flight back to Manila is delayed. I am heading back from a mission with Team Jesus and I hope to rush home so I could rest, recuperate and finish packing for Tacloban. When I said “yes” to the holy week mission, I wasn’t thinking straight. But I thought, the clinic will be closed anyway, so I might as well–and I’m glad I made that decision.
During MISSION Day 1 God performed miracles. In Medical, our doctor noted signs of pneumonia on several patients, but we only had 5 nebules. To conserve, she decided to divide the nebules between two patients–and was shocked when the breathing of almost all patients cleared, when she checked again. She had to call the nurse to confirm what she is hearing… but do you really need confirmation when God is at work?
And then a number of the medicines seem to be refilling itself because stocks lasted, despite the number of supplies being minuscule. The story of Jesus feeding the 5 thousand always amazed me, when I was young. MISSION Day 1 seemed just like that, and I am in awe of the Lord’s power and faithfulness.
I am coming home, truly fulfilled, and ready to work with the ARMS for 10 days.
12nn. We are finally boarding. In less than an hour I will be back in Manila and I will rush through the busy streets to carryout last minute preparations.
Speaking of rushing, during the final MISSION day here in Bicol, we were deployed in a RED area (NPA-rich). We left camp early, to hopefully make it to the site before sunlight, for fear of an ambush. That 2 1/2 hr ride was the most dangerous ride I ever took, for missions. To avoid becoming a target, the army truck driver had to speed through twists and turns. I endured bruises on my shoulder for clashing with the vehicle, but I’d rather that, than be compromised. My stomach flipped and I felt severely nauseous. If we hadn’t reached the site when we did, I would have collapsed. I was in total disarray and I cried when we reached the site. I felt so embarrassed for being weak and I was worried that I had been battered by the ride–and I’d be too beaten to perform. But God’s healing hands came to me right away. At the end of the day, I was told I worked on 47 patients. Physically… I don’t know how I was able to cover 47 patients on my own, but with God as my strength, I know that was not surprising at all. Anyway, God sent me there for that purpose.
On our way back to camp, we took the same ominous road but compared to the morning ride, I was more at ease. I felt secure. You remember Jesus sleeping during the storm? I slept all the way back to camp… through the eerie darkness of the twisting mountain roads, thinking not of any chance of an ambush. Anyway in, Psalm 46:10 he said, “Be still and know that I am God”, and so I slept. I remember waking up in the middle of the ride, seeing pitch darkness and the only light source coming from the Army truck that trailed behind us. I was reminded of where we were and then I felt shivers in my bone but I quickly submerged myself back to sleep.
2pm. I am home. Beckham (my dog) is so happy to see me. I will spend the rest of my day with him because I don’t know how he will take my departure tomorrow.
Last Wednesday when I left for Bicol, my sisters woke up and discovered that Beckham had ransacked my room. The pillows were on the floor and he took the bags that were laid on the chair, and scattered everything on the floor. He hasn’t done that before. I am worried these frequent trips I take for missions is really hard on him.
But of course he will be fine. He will miss me but he will be fine. I admit I’m worried… but I’m confident he will be just fine.
10:45pm. I’ve done my final baggage check for the Tacloban mission.
My entry level into the mission world was with the ARMS, last year (in Bicol). That was when I realized that I wanted this life… that I wanted to be a mission dentist. That I wanted to travel with pastors, doctors and other volunteers, to fulfill the greatest commission–to make disciples of men. That this is my life’s purpose.
A year after, I am part of two teams, the ARMS and Team Jesus. You should know, I am happiest when I am at work in the field, This April, I am away from my clinic from April 12-27. It feels crippling, but I have overcome the burden. Last year when I made the commitment to leave the clinic for two weeks, I prayed about it and then I said “YES”. I do not have any regrets. It was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.
11:45pm. I have to force myself to sleep if I am to have any decent rest before the trip. The ten days will be tiring… but like always, I know I will come home truly fulfilled.