A 4-year-old boy in the Philippines whose hernia made it too painful to play with other children didn’t realize how lucky he was.
Angelo* was born in an impoverished village on the southern island of Mindanao to parents who sacrificed to ancestral spirits and objects in nature. Few people there could afford to go to a doctor or dentist even if there were one.
Native missionaries, however, found out about Angelo’s needs as part of a medical mission’s outreach to the area poor. It provides free health care to hundreds of people.
A volunteer surgeon for the medical mission was also the director of a private hospital in a nearby municipality, and he suggested that surgeons there operate on the preschooler. The native ministry agreed to pay for the surgery, and Angelo’s parents gratefully agreed.
“The scheduled operation was performed, and the parents were so happy because their son could now play and run without pain in his loins,” the ministry director said. “Because of the successful operation, the child’s parents were encouraged to regularly and actively attend Bible studies and church activities.”
He said the parents are now elders at the native ministry’s local outreach in their area, undisclosed for security reasons. The couple also encouraged relatives and neighbors to participate in the native ministry’s activities, and they also are growing nearer to God.
Five of the volunteer doctors for the medical mission come from the native ministry’s church; three others come from other churches, he said.
“We can trust our own doctors in the ministry, since they are trained to be servants, live a simple, sacrificial lifestyle, can adapt to difficult situations in the areas and are willing to serve without monetary remuneration,” the leader said. “They are committed to the Gospel.”
Nurses and other medical staff members come from the same fellowship, and the extraordinary number of doctors and other health care professionals in the church encourages other young people in the body to take up medicine. The leader hopes they will be able to fill in for aging doctors and add to the pool of available caregivers.
“We need to increase the number of doctors to be able to conduct more free clinics on a regular basis,” the leader said. “More young people are planning to pursue medicine in the near future.”
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SOURCE: Christian Aid Mission