JECPP 10th Tribal Medical Mission
– A decade of giving hope to the weary
By La Donna S. Yap
Rev. Peter Wee, the chairman of Jireh-Evangel Church Planting in the Philippines (JECPP) and Senior Pastor of EFC-Davao led at least 60 enthusiastic volunteers from the church, JECPP tribal pastors and leaders, a group from Davao City Health Office, dentists and medical doctors to Marahan, Marilog District, Davao City to take part in the 10thAnnual Medical Mission of JECPP on April 24, 2013.
The team was welcomed with excitement and grateful faces of our tribal brethren who eagerly lined up for registration at 8:00 am in the gymnasium of West Marahan Elementary School.
In an interview, one of the recipients of the Medical Mission, Mrs. Beatriz Elvira, 51, said that she and her family waited for the JECPP Annual Medical Mission for the whole family’s medical check-up. She added that without this mission, they would not be able to know their health condition.
Mr. Jolito Ambong, 27, happily carried his son John Patrick to line up for the free medical consultation. According to Mr. Ambong, his son is always coughing,but they do not have the resources to bring him to the doctor. He exclaimed how blessed they are that the hospital (Medical Mission) came to them.
Mrs. Ailyn Espera, 26, could not wait for the Medical Mission’s date. She was suffering from a constant tooth ache which disturbed her daily routine, but after benefiting from the free tooth extraction, she gleefully blurted, “the suffering is over!.
These boys were eagerly waiting for their turn to be circumcised. “Tuli” or circumcision, is a deeply cultural and hygiene-related procedure; it is a “rite of passage” for young Filipino males.
For the past 10 years, JECPP Medical Mission endeavored to act as a beacon of light and hope for our tribal brethren in Marilog District by shouldering medical expenses and providing services that typically require payment such as medical checkups, tooth extraction and Operation Tuli. These services were combined with the provision of free medicines, vitamins, deworming and immunization.
The annual event was supported by diligent efforts of Davao City Health Office and a number of local professional doctors.
All volunteers were offered the opportunity to witness, learn and get hands on experience in assisting local doctors. Even those who were volunteering outside of the medical rooms were able to support the smooth running of the day by admitting patients, recording their medical history and serving in the Pharmacy. Another group was also assigned to make and serve “lugaw”(rice porridge) to the recipients.
In particular, the 10th JECPP Medical Mission was able to extend support to 446 individuals with the provision of the following services:
345 availed of the free medical checkup
52 availed of the free dental service (tooth extraction)
35 availed of the free Operation Tuli Procedures
14 availed of the free Pneumococal Immunization
The Medical Mission is one of JECPP’s annual contributions to the work of God and to bring our tribal brethren to the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Meet the JECPP Medical Mission volunteers who labored unceasingly for 10 years:
The first time I attended the JECPP Medical Mission, I saw firsthand how passionately the Singaporean Missionaries served my very own tribal brethren. As a Filipino doctor, I was challenged by how they left their families and used their own resources to serve the Filipinos wholeheartedly. That was my turning point, and ever since my wife and I, together with my children, supported and volunteered for JECPP Medical Mission.
In fact, our year will not be complete without it. My fellow medical practitioners whom I recruited to join also feel the same. I am humbled every time I saw the grateful faces of our beloved tribal brethren. To help them ease their pain and burden encouraged me to keep on coming back. For me, joining the JECPP Medical Mission is more than my social responsibility; it is my way of giving back to God what He has been blessing us with.
The compassion from God motivates me to serve in the JECPP Medical Mission. To see the people being helped in their physical condition is a reflection that Jesus does not just care for our spiritual but also our physical condition.
Seeing the pastors- both from tribal and city, doctors, nurses and members of Evangel Family Church from Singapore and Davao who tirelessly work together to bless the unreached tribal people without any monetary incentives is very heart warming.
Sometimes, medical teams come straight from their night duties to join this mission. They have not returned yet to their families or gotten any rest, but they are still willing and delighted to offer their services yearly for the JECPP Medical Mission.
To see Pastor Wee and Pastor Christine, together with other Singaporean volunteers helping and always looking for means how to better serve and bless the Filipino tribal people, even with language barrier, is really an encouragement. Truly, love knows no language.
Lastly, knowing that Pastor Robert Lim and all JECPP pastors are praying and giving their financial and moral support motivates me to go on the task yearly in blessing the tribal folks without any hesitations.
Prov. 11:25 The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.