One of the best aspects of an MMO trip is the relationships formed. Many don’t realize that they will be working alongside volunteers from a local church that will become long-time friends. MMO’s church-centric philosophy means that everything we do in the clinic setting is designed to point our patients to Jesus and connect them with a local body of believers who are ready and willing to meet their spiritual needs. The impact is lasting. Read what a few of our local church volunteers had to say after our recent vision clinic hosted by City Baptist Church in Lagro, Philippines.
I never thought that this medical mission has a big impact in my life. I thought that I was just go there to help but I didn’t know that God has something for me to do, I can say that it was the best and amazing part of my life that I’ll never forget. Everyone was working so hard. Truly, when God comes among His people in power there is never a shortage of volunteers or resources for His work. Staying on the first 3 days on the eye chart and fitting area as I see many people smiling whenever they get their glasses and the patience of the missions team and volunteers for them to help I whispered to Him saying, Lord thank you, you work in such an amazing way. I remember the time when our Pastor Calvin preach about the series of joy to start doing something, I prayed to the Lord to please help me and give me courage and opportunity to share His word. My struggle is I’m so shy whenever I talk to someone and I don’t know how will I approach them and on the last day of medical mission when pastor ask me if I can do the counselling I said to myself, THIS IS IT LORD! This is it! It was amazing that he answered my prayer to have an opportunity share His word at first I got nervous and afraid I’m hurrying and I go twice to pray to guide me by His holy spirit. It was AMAZING and FULFILLING my heart is bursting on happiness. I just wanna jump seeing many people hearing the word of God and trusted Him as their personal Savior. I just can’t believe that I made it I can’t do it without his guidance. I thought I cannot share but God showed me that I can. This MMO truly makes a big difference in my life, thankful to God that I have the chance to meet many people and the MMO team. Hearing their different stories make me challenge more to take a big step of faith, and thankful also that I got the chance to have more bonding with my fellow filipino brothers and sisters in Christ. Everyone is happy serving Him. Glory to GOD!
All praise goes to God in whom we put our trust, and faith which results in victory. The Almighty blessed the team with good health and weather. The Lord was always there.
Honestly, I am not so very vocal when it comes about it. Though, I just want to share what my new learning experiences are. It was my three fulfilling days spent with God and his people. It was encouraging to see everyone coming together to serve God zealously. Regardless of our ages, background and other differences, we were united in Christ and bonded by God’s love for us. In our respected fields of vision clinic, we encourage and motivate one another. In both strengths and weaknesses, we kept our faith and believed that God would empower us as we went around doing His work.
It was lovely meeting fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, both Americans and Filipinos. However major and minor, it was comforting to hear their stories and to know about their experiences with God. While they may all be different, they share one thing in common; they love God sincerely. And that prompted me to think of the importance of loving God, and loving others as well.
Also another highlight of that day was an incredible distribution of over 900 pairs of glasses to locals at the church. Patients waited in line for hours to have their number called, and we were excited to be able to provide glasses for so many. And they were excited, too! They’ve waited because they have compassion. And that compassion leads to love, love to God and to others.
A closure: From this Medical Mission Outreach, marvelous of testimonies of God’s leading and His faithfulness were shared. Truly God never leave us alone but with His loving-kindness, He will surely provide our needs and oversee in every day bit of our life. No words can adequately describe this experience. The three days spent with God and His people were simply amazing. Such a privilege it is to serve God, what great joy it brings. The challenge now remains, to begin loving God, loving others, today, and every day.
A step of Faith: I have always liked the idea of going for a mission trip in God’s name, but I have never been bold or courageous enough to go for one (hahaha! Maybe … someday?) And from this MMO, I came to the conclusion that this time I would take that step of faith.
As the last day of the recent medical mission comes to an end, I gaze across the room and see the many people who have volunteered for the vision clinic. People of different ages, nationalities, and walks of life. Some are missionaries, some are working class, some are students.
Everyone was working hard from day one until the last day. It was especially busy on Thursday, when word about the vision clinic had spread out. We had people coming from nearby places like Lagro and Amparo, and also farther ones like Diliman and Batasan Hills. By the grace of God, the joint effort of the Medical Missions Outreach team and City Baptist Church of Lagro volunteers, and also the patience of the people who came to support our vision clinic, we were able to attend to the needs of nearly 900 people.
Being in City Baptist Church for almost a year now, I’ve come to get to know most of the volunteers. Aside from our Sunday worship service and Wednesday prayer meeting, we get to enjoy each other’s company during our fellowship outside the church service, or even in correspondences through social media. Not only did I learn about each person’s interests, dreams, and personality, I’ve also learned about their struggles in life— studies, career, finance, health, relationships, ministry, family.
During one of my contemplative moments when I’m not busy assisting at the eye chart station, I like to observe the many people in the room. (I hope that doesn’t come across like I’m a creeper!) My thoughts would be focused on what I know of that person:
He came a long way, isn’t he tired?
She’s supposed to be busy with requirements this week. How can she take the time off to be here?
I’m aware he’s strapped for cash. How can he sacrifice a day’s worth of income?
I know she is hurting deeply inside. How can she have that much energy and give that bright smile?
I’ve been exposed to medical missions when I was still a student nurse. Though I enjoyed the company of my classmates and knew that we were doing a good thing, I found myself dragging through everything, wishing that I were someplace else. In retrospect, the reason why I did not feel fulfilled doing those things was that my heart wasn’t in the right place. I was involved in those endeavors mainly because I had to do them for college. I saw the time spent on duty as the number of hours adding up to meet our quota. I saw patients as case numbers I needed to fulfill so I could graduate. As someone who has worked in the medical field, it is not an uncommon pitfall for us to view patients as checkboxes, rather than for who they truly are: human beings.
So as I ponder on the different individuals participating in the vision clinic, and how come they are able to serve with much willingness and enthusiasm even without pressure or compensation, I can only be reminded of what Pastor Calvin shared from the Word of God last week:
“And of some have compassion, making a difference” (Jude 22).
Compassion is what energizes you even when your body hurts. Compassion is what keeps you going even if your stomach is grumbling. Compassion is what extends your patience even when you rather blow your fuse. Compassion drives you to share the Gospel even if your throat is feeling sore. Compassion is what changes your heart from “What is in it for me?” to “What is in me for others?”
This is the same compassion God has for us when He gave us Jesus. It is the same compassion that Christ has for us when He bore our sins and died on the cross. And it is also the same compassion that God so freely gives us so we could be with Him for eternity. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
So as we closed the last day of our medical mission with a prayer, I could not help but cry when Pastor Calvin asked that the volunteers may be blessed more for the work we have done. I could think of other blessings I hope I can have, but I was overwhelmed when I realized that the greatest blessing I could ever receive is already given to me: a relationship with Jesus Christ. He is all I ever need. The reward was already in the opportunity that I could serve for His glory, because He has given so much more than I could ever deserve.
Just like the flyers we distributed for the medical mission, it must be our great pleasure then to spread the Good News to everyone, as much as we can. It’s free, all because it stems from God’s grace and compassion.