Ministry Update 5/4/15

I wish I could say that every day was a great one and that serving on the mission field was always a delight. I guess I could make it appear that way, but that would be far from truthful.

The truth is, I feel like we have been in a hard-fought battle this past week. We have battled sickness, delays, problems, schedules, lack of supplies and much more. This has been a rough week physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I got sick on Thursday night and am just now getting back to normal, (whatever that is). Hunter and Sarah both spent a day down due to sickness and we had to hospitalize one of the doctors from the mission team. April has had good days and bad days. She is trying her best to take care of herself and I am proud of her for not “over-doing” it.

What I can say is that even though it has been tough, serving the Lord in the place he has put you brings about a peace at the end of the day that you just cannot get anywhere else.

The time is near

We now only have four weeks until our June 1 departure for the U.S. As you can imagine, we are excited for that day. But we are also sad that our time here in the Philippines for this year is coming to an end.

I have been spending a lot of time getting things ready for our departure. Mostly, I have been doing my best to teach and train our new staff on how to run things once I am gone. The good news is that we have some great people and a great ministry plan that will, by Gods’ grace continue to grow and flourish.

April has already began to book meeting for us this summer and fall and I am excited about reporting to the churches about what all the Lord has done. I can promise you this, it has all been the Lord! If you are interested in scheduling us, shoot April an email at april.unsheltered@yahoo.com.

Medical mission was a great success

I cannot say enough about Pastor Todd Crusenberry and the GPA medical missions team that was with us the past ten days. If there are more dedicated and hard working volunteers than them, I am not aware of it!

They gave 110% each and every day they were here. When it was all said and done, they saw 1022 people in the medical clinic and 574 people made professions of faith in Jesus Christ.

Pastor Todd is a well balanced leader who gives attention to the physical and the spiritual needs of the people. I saw him praying with several people throughout the trip offering them the hope that comes only from Jesus.

Here’s a summary of the second half of the trip.

Day 5

The fifth day was a tough one for sure. We traveled to Barangay Alangilan, which is about a 45 minute drive without any traffic problems. The set up for the clinic was real good and we had a lot of patients waiting on us when we arrived.

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My son Hunter got to preach the first sermon and he did a fantastic job. I couldn’t have been any more proud of him. There was also a lady who came to see the doctors because she has what she believes is bone cancer in her right arm. Pastor Todd prayed with her and we are going to be following up and helping her get the answers she needs.

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It was a very hot day and about half way through, Ted, a nurse practitioner who was with the medical team from the U.S., became sick. He had diarrhea and thought it was under control, but by mid-day, the heat and sickness became way too much to bear.

He became extremely dizzy and it was evident that he had become dehydrated. We quickly loaded him in the van and made our way to the emergency room back in Bacolod City where he was given fluids and admitted for the night. After several tests, the doctors determined his sickness was Amebiasis. Basically, something that he ate or drank was probably contaminated.

Although this sickness kept him in the hospital for two nights and caused him to miss the rest of the clinic days, Ted did a fantastic job treating patients for the first part of the week. His heart was broken because he couldn’t do more for the people he came to serve. He has a true servants heart.

Day 6

Day six was the day that we traveled to a small mountain village La Castellana. This is the place where our friend Pastor Ricky has started a new mission work. It is a very needy place and the believers who meet there each Sunday for worship, don’t even have a building or home to meet in. They have pews made from trees in a backyard.

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I wasn’t able to be there for this one because Hunter and I stayed at the hospital with Ted. But the team did a great job and brought back the following report.

The Army joined us on this day and, believe it or not, they circumcised 53 boys. Some of the toughest medical cases were also in this area. The doctor did a house call where there was an elderly woman who has been suffering from TB. It was one of the saddest things they ever saw because she was literally just skin and bones.

Pastor Todd had to share the news with her grandson that death was just around the corner for his grandmother. The grandson, who is in his early twenties, also has TB and we are going to do everything we can to see that he gets a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Day 7

On day seven we finally made it to the dump site in Bacolod. This was a real special day for me because our new building was complete and we were holding the medical clinic there. It was the first time for us to use the brand new facility.

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Everything went smoothly this day even though it was extremely hot and muggy. It was also a special day for me because Dr. Perez, the pediatrician who was been such a huge blessing to us for the past three months, came to help.

Dr. Perez is the doctor who treated the very first baby that we took to the hospital back in February. She also treated Democrito, Eminem, Princess, and all the other kids that we have needed help with. She is my hero and I know for a fact that she has helped us save the lives of several children.

Here are a couple of pictures of her in action.

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Much to our surprise, the day at the dump ended up a little early and was, all in all, a pretty normal day. It was a blessing to have a visit from the executive assistant of the Mayor during lunch time. She was able to see everything that we were doing as was quite impressed. She gave us the blessings of the Mayor and pledged their support over the coming years.

Day 8

The last day of the GPA medical clinic was at Barangay 16. We have been ministering to families here for over three months now and we are starting a new feeding center here as well so the medical clinic really came at a great time.

We were a little worried leading up to this day because Ted was sick and our other doctor had to leave a day early. It was looking like we might not have a doctor for the clinic and that would have really thrown a wrench in the plan.

Thankfully, Dr. Perez came through again. Even though she worked the night before, she dedicated her time to us and also brought her friend, Dr. Garcia. These two doctors did an outstanding job of seeing patients. It’s much easier for them since there is no language barrier. They were able to see the patients very quickly and efficiently.

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Not long after we got started, a mother came to the doctor bringing her three children. This mother was broken and she wept as she spoke with the doctor about her kids. Each of the kids was sick. Two of them were severely sick and needed hospitalization.

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Pastor Todd was able to pray with them and we assured this mother that we would help. Before long they were on their way to the hospital and hopefully, these kids will be okay. One of them has TB and all three of them have phlegm in their lungs. Please pray for their full recovery.

Thank you

Thank you for your support of our ministry. We have truly been blessed by everyone who has been praying for us and those of you who have made financial contributions.

We have seen countless lives saved and even families put back together because of your support and generosity. I have never sensed that you were “with me” as much as I have these last couple of months, and for that, I am grateful.

 

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