Brief report on Medical/Dental Mission and DVBS in Calapan 2012
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Matthew 28: 18 – 20
We thank the Lord for the opportunity to serve Him in the recent mission outreach to Calapan. There were about 30 people who went to the Ibaba Elementary School in Calapan comprising the Medical and Dental teams, their assistants and volunteers from Singapore and Philippine. We carried out the task of providing both medical screening and dental treatment for all the primary school students, teachers and some relatives of the students.
The New Lifers who went for this trip included Mr. Emmanuel Gumapon, Mrs. Arlyn Gumapon, Mr. Justin Gumapon, Sis. Beng Suat, Dr. Ivan Lim, Sis. Amy Lim, Mr. Sean Lim, Mr. John Lim, Ms. Linda Lim, Ms. Roselyn Chua, Ms. Dorothy Tan and Elder Sim. Dorothy’s sister Bee Chin and her husband Tiong Meng also joined us on this trip.
The Filipinos comprised volunteers with MAP; among them Dr. ‘Jun’ Eliseo Garcia Jr. (surgeon in private practice), Dr. ‘Josie’ Josefina Marca (paediatrician in public hospital), Dr. Darien Dong-As (internist in St Luke’s Hospital), Dr.Hedda Trio (retired O&G doctor); and the following dentists Dr. Lisa Basco, Dr. Gemma Andrada, Dr. Shane Martinez (pediatric) and Ms. Anna Javier(dental assistant). Three staff nurses completed the team: Mr. Paul Banas, Mr. Juanito Amarillo Jr.’Yan’, and Mr. Joshua ‘Joab’ Abram Afuang.
Pastor Gener, and his wife Lina; Ms. Annie Uy (who was with us last year too) as well as students Mr. Jaymar, Ms. Mitch and Ms. Arlene also helped in this mission primarily for preparation and teaching the DVBS. Pastor Gener and Lina with the help of some church members provided water and lunch for the team.
Medical and Dental Missions
This took place over 3 days at the Ibaba Elementary School and half a day at the Calapan Grace Community Church. A total of 571 people (students and adults) were screened medically and 146 people had dental extractions. It was a delight to observe other team members perform support services such as clerking cases, pre-screening and recording height and weight. Bee Chin and Tiong Meng helped with crowd control and allocation of queue numbers. The picture was one of an organized church in community outreach and it was a joy to see everyone doing his/her part in this good work for the Lord. The common medical conditions were respiratory tract infections, musculoskeletal complaints, hypertension and urinary tract infection. Those people with conditions that required specialised consultations, e.g. goiter, hypertension were referred to the community hospital for assistance. Compliance to medical referral was a problem as many of them are poor and unable to afford the medical fees.
Before the dental work began, the surgical instruments were laid out and sterilising solutions prepared. Then the team gathered to pray for God’s guidance and blessing for the day. The children were seated against the wall to do tooth extraction. We could see apprehension and fear on the faces of some children but most were very brave and did not even let out a whimper when they were injected with local anaesthesia. Very few of them cried or rejected treatment. After the extraction was done, some of the younger children were given animal-shaped balloons for their “endurance and bravery.” While the extraction was in progress the onlookers in the waiting queue were curious or apprehensive.
Dr. Ivan Lim & Dr Shane Martinez also taught the children about oral hygiene. Each child received a toothbrush through the courtesy of Dr. Ivan Lim.
Daily Vocational Bible Study
This took place in the Ibaba Elementary School from 4 to 5pm over 3 days. These classes (K1, K2, P1 to P6) were assigned 2 teachers each to conduct bible lessons on “Story of Jonah.” The emphasis was on the disobedience of Jonah to the will of God and resultant fear and running away from God because of his sin. The lessons were conducted in both Tagalog and English with the help of some local volunteer teachers. Lessons included a song “My God is so Big”, worksheets and origami (folding a paper whale) to highlight the theme. The children’s response was spontaneous and heart-warming. In a few classes, some children had difficulty concentrating on the lesson due to the long school hours and fatigue. The school principal and her staff were supportive of our mission work.
We met with 27 students and some parents at La Conchita Resort for an evangelistic church retreat. We thank God for the opportunity for Elder Sim to share the Gospel of God (Rom 1:1) covering 3 topics over 2 days.
Brother Emmanuel met with high school and university students separately in the same private resort we went to last year. It was a big gathering of 90 students from different schools and the thrust of the event was about friendship. Emmanuel spoke of the friendship between David and Jonathan and the friendship between Jesus and His disciples. Small discussion groups were formed to challenge the students to be ‘friends’ with God.
1. Lessons/Reflections from some of the team members
We are thankful that the Dental/Medical Mission teams from Philippines and Singapore availed themselves to meet the need of the school. Their dedication and service has touched many lives with the love of God. Someone commented that they warmed the ground and allowed the teachers to meet the children before meeting them in the classrooms.
We are thankful for the opportunity to share God’s word with the school students many of whom are very enthusiastic, lively and happy children. We pray for more opportunity to serve them in the future.
Some team members were first time participants. The feeling of warmth and affection received from the students eventually removed the apprehension felt in the run up to the trip. They had gained some insight into what such work entails and the enormous task that some chose to undertake purely for the love of God and His people.
We were appreciative of the good team work between the Singaporeans and the Filipinos. We had very good support from the local pastor and his church members throughout this mission trip. The purpose of the mission trip was successfully accomplished to the glory of God.
2. Was it a worthwhile trip and would they recommend this to others?
Team members commented that it was definitely a worthwhile trip in terms of serving the people in Calapan, teaching biblical truths to the students in Ibaba Elementary School and the special bonding with fellow Christians on the trip.
There was no language barrier as we all spoke English. The networking and cooperation with MAP, Pastor Gener and his team and the school staff provided a solid foundation for this mission work to be accomplished. This also provided a framework for future missions.
Team members would recommend such a trip to other church friends. They have learnt to empathise and to reach out to others sacrificially. To all, this mission trip has been very meaningful. It was relaxing and enjoyable as well.
3. Comments or suggestions to make the next mission trip better.
We should invite more children or teenagers to join us. We should involve more families on such trips which provide a good exposure to mission work.
Give youngsters the opportunity to interact with the students of the School. The Ibaba students are very fond of John, Sean and Shelomith.
Bible lessons should incorporate more action songs. Choose one as the theme song. The Bible lessons taught through songs are better appreciated by the children.
- Pray the Lord to keep this door of mission open, and that He will give us boldness to proclaim the gospel of God to the people of Calapan.
- May the Lord open their eyes to the truth of the gospel, to embrace only Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and to reject false worship.
- Pray for Pastor Gener and his wife Lina. Praise God that Lina passed the board exam and she can now teach in schools. The Lord’s leading and guidance as Lina may be embarking on a teaching career, and at the same time, she has to make time for family and support Pastor Gener in the church ministry.
We thank the Lord for making possible this Medical and Dental Missions and DVBS in Calapan. We praise Him for His guidance, protection and blessings during this trip. We like to record our thanks to the Session and members of New Life BP Church for their financial and prayer support in this ministry. Special mention must be made of Ms. Annie Uy who graciously provided the SUV freely for our use (as she had done in the previous mission trip). Her generosity and kindness is acknowledged. And to everyone involved in this mission (doctors, dentists, nurses, Newlifers, and friends) we say a big “thank you” for your dedication, enthusiasm and labour of love in the Lord. It has been a joy to have you with us in the team. Lastly, to Him who has enabled us to accomplish more than what we have expected, to God be glory, honour and praise. Amen.
Elder Sim Chee Seng
Humbly submitted on behalf of team
Thank God that other mission trips to minister to our Filipino brethren have continued. Two teams are going this year:
- A team from AF is visiting them in Aug
- Another team from the YF and YAF will go in Dec.
If the Lord has moved you, please consider joining these teams. Let us pray the Lord to bless these teams to make an impact for eternity.