REPORT from a Filipino Doctor
Sri Lanka and Indonesia trips were sad and wonderful experiences
for me. Although I treated many patients while there, this
experience healed my struggling Christian spirit.
witnessed the terrible sufferings of humanity and was encouraged
by the zeal and dedication of my co-workers in Christ. I
also realized that we are more blessed than those people
who suffered so much --- those who lost their material things,
their loved ones, and were traumatized by the memories of
such unforgettable events.
The events which I will never be able to forget are:
-- Witnessing those children who draw pictures of horrible
stories and who went crazy running away in different directions
when somebody falsely announced that another tsunami is
-- Observing children who became fatherless or motherless,
and seeing parents who lost their children, or had the whole
a family totally wiped out from the face of the earth.
as we treated those patients we still saw the smiles on
their faces, expressing a flicker of hope, as we extended
our hands of compassion and showed to them that there is
One up there Who cares for them.
Sri Lanka approximately 80,000 people died. We saw the train
where 1,500 people died inside, and the railroad workers
were working hard, still repairing the railroad.
day they excavated more dead bodies, and we each needed
to wear a mask while treating patients in the field.
was assigned to patients with surgical problems. Some of
them had wounds and skin diseases which needed dressing
and medication. I also had to handle other cases like suturing
of wounds, reduction of dislocated shoulders, and cauterization.
we went to different camps to cater to the needs of the
people; some of us were assigned to entertain the kids,
giving candies and toys which made a difference to them.
--Psychological therapy done by the psychologist and psychiatrist
by letting them draw pictures.
--Our Dentist, Doctors, Preachers, and some assigned regarding
logistics, did their jobs well.
we started our mission, we were warned not to evangelize
or talk about Christ. We were a little bit nervous when
we wore our t-shirts marked with "because Jesus cares"...
but God is so good that the people even allowed us to pray
also distributed WBS fliers to the people, and I was even
apprehended and warned by Sri Lankan medical students afterwards,
but I was determined not to be stopped.
was moved, even the non-Christian doctors who joined the
mission during our devotionals where we gave testimonies
and sang songs of praises to the Lord.
Sri Lankan mission was a successful one, where in our small,
little way we comforted and cherished the people affected.
knew that the place was extensively damaged, but when we
reached Indonesia, by comparison, Sri Lanka had had far
greater destruction and loss of human lives.
January, after the tragedy, an estimated 250,000 had died,
but up to this day corpses are still being dug up and a
local estimated that almost a million actually died during
that tragedy. The destruction reached up to 4 km. inland.
You can see where houses from coastal areas were wiped out,
cars crumpled into an unimaginable artwork, fishing boats
and a huge barge tossed into the middle of the town. Everywhere
and anywhere you can see countless houses that were reduced
to rubble, and a big shopping store collapsed after the
earthquake which lasted for 30 minutes and an aftershock
of 5 minutes.
that came the killer tsunami.
with the Singaporean group of mostly members of the Churches
of Christ, we were housed in one of the hospital rooms beside
the emergency section. The ladies used the hospital beds
provided, others stayed on the floor. In that hospital (Zainal
Abidin) alone, which is located 3-4 km. from the coastal
area, many patients, doctors, and nurses died during the
tsunami. The mud was up to chest level deep.
flock was led by Edwin Choy, a preacher from Moulmein church,
who conducted devotionals before and after our work. Everyday
we met for devotionals; we met with different people, some
were local, some were foreign volunteers.
treated patients in the E.R., wards, OPD, and we helped
the locals in terms of logistics.
mission in Indonesia was short but a memorable one because
the people appreciated our work, especially how much we
cared and how we dealt with them in a loving, Christian
special thanks to my brother Salvador, the Singaporeans,
and all the Christian brethren who supported me from the
beginning up to the end of these medical missions.
God we offer our praise.