The Philippine-Micronesia field was blessed with another multi-generational, multi-cultural, Medical Work and Witness Team that visited the Philippines from September 7th to September 18th. The team, which was sponsored by This Side Outreach and the Susanville Church of the Nazarene, has been providing medical clinics in the Philippines annually for the past five years .
This year the team conducted mobile clinics in four different locations throughout the Philippines. The areas impacted included, St. Bernard in the province of Southern Leyte, Tanza in Cavite Province, which was one of the areas hit hardest by recent flooding, the community of Rowenas on the outskirts of Metro Manila, and the city of Calamba in the province of Laguna. In all, well over 2,100 patients were seen over the course of five days.
In each location, the clinics were truly cooperative efforts between the local church leadership, government health care workers, community leaders, and the medical team. The strategy employed by This Side Outreach is one of partnership development and strengthening of relations within a community. Medical Team Members worked right alongside local healthcare workers in a truly “team” approach.
On several occasions the heavy rains, typical of this time of year, threatened to hinder the clinics. Thanks to the help of local barangay (government) officials, tents were provided and although on one day, the clinical team spent the better part of nine hours with wet feet and clothes, many lives were still touched.
A major focus of the clinics was not just to address the very real physical needs, but to provide counseling for the most important “spiritual needs” as well. After visiting with the team physicians, each patient was partnered with a local pastor or layperson for counseling and given an opportunity to meet the one true physician Jesus Christ.
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Quite interestingly, the three team doctors were all from Ukraine and were all siblings. The specialties of these doctors were General Surgery, Internal Medicine, and Dermatology. These three areas of expertise made for a very well rounded team given the variety of patients seen. In addition to the doctors, there was a flight nurse, paramedic, EMT, and three young men between the ages of 18-22, who provided logistical support for the rest of the team.
While many of the physical needs addressed by the team were routine primary care concerns, there were several patients who needed urgent acute care. One young patient arrived convulsing with an extremely high temperature. When the triage team saw the critical nature of the boy, the doctors were immediately summoned, the boy was cooled and medicines were started. This was just one example of a physical life truly saved by the actions of the team. Infections were treated, counseling was given, and most importantly, the love of Christ was shown through many, personal touches, hugs, and hands on love, shown by everyone who was part of the clinical team.
“I am grateful to the Lord for the partnership of the Philippine Field with the Susanville Medical Team. Throughout the past five years I have seen how the Lord has been using this team to be His hands and feet to those who are in need both physically and spiritually,” said Stephen Gualberto, Philippine-Micronesia Field Strategy Coordinator. “I am also glad to see how the local churches have worked hard to facilitate these clinics. This is truly the ministry of the local churches and we are just working alongside with them. We are seeing the harvest of people for the glory of God.”
The Philippine-Micronesia Field leadership team would like to extend their sincere appreciation to all of those who participated in helping to make these clinics such a success. Thank you to the members of the team who took valuable time off to come and minister. Thank you to the local churches who staffed the clinics with workers, counselors, translators, and prayer warriors, and thank you to the local government officials and leaders who supported and participated in the clinics through provision of doctors, nurses, tents and chairs.
For more information about This Side Outreach, you may visit their website at: www.thissideout.com