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2nd Mission in Sri Lanka

I didn't expect that I will be back to Sri Lanka for the 2nd time because of it's distance and I already attended so many missions this year compared to the previous years.

This 2nd mission was a unique one because we were composed of 3 waves, and I belonged to the 2nd group which is composed of 5 people with only 2 doctors. The 1st group were responsible of establishing that there is a free medical clinic in Galle located in a church building. For the 1st 2 weeks the 1st group with the leadership of brother Cusi distributed flyers house to house and treating patients averaging around 50 patients per day.

My group with Gigi Caranza our mission coordinator, reached the hotel from a long journey early in the morning of April 15 and we catched the 1st group still sleeping. We were surprised when we also woke up our dear friend, a Sri Lankan Buddhist doctor who joined the mission for the 2nd time. This doctor is a strong Buddhist believer and have lots of negative impression from other "Christian groups" but when he joined the M.A.R.C.H. group, many questions came to his mind because this group showed him the spirit of true Christianity and unadulterated compassion to patients.

During our stay with the 1st group, we went to the "Home for the Aged" which is just a few steps from the clinic that is run by catholic nuns and treat them for a dinner and a small entertainment with Chito Cusi as our mascot, the only baldheaded mascot(just a joke bro). Some of these old people after that went to the clinic every day just to seek attention and assured them that they are okay. Sometimes old people needs our touch, treat them that they are still human beings with sensitive emotions.

When the 1st group left, we were a little bit tensed because Galle is where most of the population are Muslims. The hotel where we stayed is run by a Muslim and he deals unfairly at us.

With God's help the clinic runs smoothly with increasing number of patients averaging around 100 per day. I started to incorporate for the 1st time, actual massage to bring instant relief to patients who complained of muscle and skeletal pains that is not relieved by medications and it was a little bit exhausting after each massage. Dr Sison have done a lot on her field of specialty doing psychiatric and medical management. We also cooked our own meals in the clinic site done by Attorney Catalino and Gigi to maintain our Filipino taste and minimize expenses. Minnie was very good in dealing with the kids at the clinic where she taught them how to sing Christian songs, coloring, drawing, and story telling. She also did home visit and physical therapy on her patients. With the help of brother Saraht, his relatives, friends and hired interpreters, we were able to com municate with patients with not much difficulty. Brother Saraht needs our encouragement and compassion just like any patient, to make him realize that God is in control and wants him to work for God's glory after 20 years of hibernation. God was so patient when He dealt with Jonah, so we also need to be that way and pray that God will move his heart .

Contrary to our previous belief that we might offend the local people if we shared about God, many Sri Lankans are receptive. They just smiled and listened when we mentioned God and were so amazed of what we were doing. Before we ate our breakfast at the clinic, we had our daily devotionals singing songs of praises with no inhibition and reading the word of God. Some patients were already there waiting and listening. I believed God is moving their hearts since many responded to our invitation to attend our Sunday worship services. We became bold and with no fear, telling them that God loves them and cares for them. Preaching to them that Christianity is good and is full of love, sharing and doing no evil things to others. We also distributed WBS flyers. We even invited white foreigners to our Sunday worship who came to the clinic to seek medical attention when they heard that some of their colleagues got cured when they went to what they called "Clinic Galle".

Our last day in the clinic ended with 150 patients, the biggest so far. It was exhausting but with a sense of fulfillment. We were so happy because we are going back to our family but also sad leaving behind the brethren who supported us for the 2 weeks stay in Sri Lanka and carrying the burden of following up those patients who would like to study the word of God. We said our prayers, our last goodbye with hugs and kisses, encouraging them to do God's work and be obedient to Him.

At present the 3rd wave is doing God's work in Matara with the help of a local preacher. Let us just pray that they will be safe and God will bless their work.

I just want to extend my especial thanks to brother Edwin Choy and his family for letting us stay with brother Catalino in their house for a night with a sumptuous cook done by his wife before flying back to the Philippines the following day. To Lynda Wee who tirelessly meet and accommodate us whenever we passed by Singapore. And to all the people/brethren that I have not mentioned, who supported us endlessly. These great people are so wonderful, and I'm so touched by their dedication.

In His name we all serve,

Sammy

 


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