As we enjoy a delicious hotel breakfast, we reflected on what each person would consider as the highlight of the mission trip at Trece Martires.
Carrie was working with her translator Chardaina at the pharmacy table and managed all 477 patients beautifully. More importantly, Kim and Carrie have been sponsoring Chardaina since the medical mission last year and it was heart-warming to see how she has grown and turned into a mature, reliable and responsible youth at the age of 16. She wrote a very touching letter thanking and sharing with Carrie what she was doing in the last year. It is really inspiring for Carrie to receive such great appreciation and that Chardaina’s faith in Christ has been growing. It is a privilege for Kim and Carrie to be able to help Chardaina to fulfil her dream of having a good education and overcoming poverty.
Cheryl was assisting Kim with a 12-year-old girl who has two teeth that grew in very awkward places and made her look like a vampire. She has been teased at school and she desperately wish for them to be removed. Kim helped to achieve her wish and the patient and her mother were extremely grateful.
Van has tried to preserve a number of teeth by doing filling. However, patients have to understand that there is an element of risk involved as the tooth can become infected and then it will have to be extracted. Van explained this to each patient for whom he does filling. As predicted, one such patient developed infection and was fortunate to be able to return for extraction. However, it would be a different story if his tooth becomes infected after we leave….
Leander treated a young man with good oral hygiene but still managed to have a number of decay teeth that would eventually destroy these teeth. Leander decided to fill all the decay and there were 6 of them, which she took an hour to do but the effect was well worth the effort. Patient and his mother were absolutely appreciative of Leander’s effort.
Leo saw a number of patients with hearing loss. He found the underlying cause was having blocked ears from too much wax. He was able to remove the wax and the relief was instantaneous as the patients could hear again.
Kim has a patient from the chronic disease group and she has an infected molar tooth that was very difficult to remove. It took him sometime to remove it but the result was instant release from severe pain.
For me, it was a 3-year-old girl who presented with daily ‘fainting’ episodes. She was involved in a tricycle versus taxi accident at 6 months of age during which time she was thrown out of the tricycle. She has a depressed skull fracture and it was likely that she has developed seizures. A CT brain confirmed that she has structural abnormality and we were able to start her on medication in an attempt to control these attacks. The family would not be able to afford the investigation nor the medication and it was great to be able to help out this young girl and her family.
Though each team member has different memories regarding the mission, we have fulfilled our task as an united team and complimented one another with our gifts.
We spent the day visiting San Agustin Church and Fort Santiago, learnt about Augustine and the history of the Philippines. It was really great to see how Augustine preached the gospel to the European and North African continents and helped to form over 500 community of priests and provided biblical teachings.
In our devotion, we learnt about the importance of controlling our tongue from the book of James and how it can cause significant damage to our relationship with family and friends and work colleagues.
At the end of the evening, we enjoy a meal with the best ever Halo Halo.
Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. (James 3:10)