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Dr. Sam's Mobile Medical Mission

Over the last few days, I witnessed Dr. Sam Cariaga run a one-man mobile hospital in five different sites. He sets up the pharmacy, arranges the instruments, organizes the makeshift "operating room," and in less than 30 minutes, he is working on his first patient. Without the help of even a nurse, he can run a mobile mission clinic with precision and efficiency, treating 20-30 patients a day, all by himself. Last week, he perfomed 11 surgeries and treated 20 more in just one day.

For almost two weeks now, I have been traveling with Dr. Sam, more like an observer than a useful partner (I do not like to see needles or blood). I watched him carry his own lugguage and boxes of medicine, and sleep on the floor or in uncomfortable boat bunks. He puts in long hours, and has many missions lined up for the rest of the year. After this Leyte mission, he will go home for a day, then resume more one-day clinics around the Luzon area, helping churches evangelize through his gift of healing.

After a morning birthday program at the school this Monday honoring our Dad, Roman Cariaga, someone approached Sam about a problem he has had for years. Soon after that, Sam was operating again. Two American visitors experienced being under Dr. Sam's knife and needle, partly as a joke and partly out of need. Frank had been meaning to go to a doctor in the US for his bursitis, and Scott had been nursing a cyst in his right foot. By the time the day was over, Scott had ten stitches, and Frank had his bursitis drained. A dozen more patients were treated that afternoon.

Sam's mobile medical mission usually works in partnership with the local churches of Christ. He provides his services, and the local church takes ownership of the organizational matters and medicine. If a local church cannot afford the medical supplies, we help raise the money for them. A full day's medical mission usually runs about $200 a day. He conserves his supplies so well that sometimes he still has enough for the next day.

Realizing Sam's tremendous blessing to the Lord's work in the Philippines (he has already served in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Pakistan with MARCH for CHRIST), I have volunteered to become his promoter. He could use some help, including doctors and nurses who are willing to come and work with him for a week or two. He needs surgical supplies and equipment as well as medicine for the upcoming missions. More importantly, he needs our prayers and encouragement. Please feel free to contact him at samcariaga@yahoo.com You may also view his website at http://www.philippinechurchesofchrist.org/SAM/main.htm

His proud big brother,

Salvador Cariaga


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