Operation Samaria Mission
Mangyan Villages Of Sipit-Saburan and Ambang
We reach out to help others because God first reached out to help us. This is what John said, “We love because God first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Leah and I have a passion to go and do medical outreaches outside of the clinics, reaching some of the most oppressed and broken people in our island. We had many different outreaches planned for this year, but for most of those trips in the past several months, I have missed the companionship of my beautiful wife as she has been stuck in bed because of our pregnancy being complicated by premature uterine contractions and frequent vomiting. Those days away from her were sad and lonely but were also times of joy because God showed me more how much He loves me.
I learned that it's not about our accomplishments and good works, but what God has and is doing in us that should make us rejoice. Our joy overflows so much that it makes us share our lives with others who are in need of Jesus.
On my last mission trip, just one week ago, with a team from Medical Ambassadors Philippines, Inter-varsity Christian Fellowship, our group trekked for over two hours to reach the mountain village of Sipit-Saburan here in the island of Mindoro.
In the village, the Christian college students taught the indigenous Mangyans primary health care and sources of livelihood. As a part of the medical team I helped treat patients with whatever medicines I had. Others shared the Good News of Jesus and prayed for the patients.
As I was busy treating at least eight members of one Mangyan family, a tribal woman on a makeshift stretcher was carried into our clinic. She had been bedridden for days and already had severe bed sores. She was unable to walk. Seeing that I was busy, Jed, a nurse and optometrist, was led by the Holy Spirit to pray for healing for the patient. He told her to stand up, take her bed, and walk in the name of Jesus. Immediately, I saw the woman stand, excitement and joy radiating from her.... she was so excited at her healing that she started walking quickly towards the door to go to her friends. We had to re-direct her towards the pharmacy, reminding her to get medications and vitamin supplements. I have seen once more how alive Jesus is today! Our God heals!
When we come back from medical missions, people often ask how our trip went. So, we cannot help but share how many patients were blessed and be overjoyed and amazed at how many miracles occurred.
The words of Jesus Christ reminds us that numbers and miracles done with our efforts are not the sole reasons for our joy, but should only add to it. In Luke 10 the disciples returned happy from their mission work. They excitedly came before Jesus to report how even demons obeyed them when they use the power and authority of the name of Jesus, how many people were healed.
Jesus replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven... do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” He was saying Satan has been defeated! The war has already been won. The victory is already ours. What we are fighting now are small battles in areas where the Gospel has not yet been fully preached.
We are learning to walk in faith more every day and watch what God is doing....He blows our minds. We rejoice because of how great He is!
In the Mangyan village of Sipit-Saburan there is a Pastor named Mamay (Elder) Birong. As a young child he and his family heard the Good News of Jesus from missionaries. His family desired to read the Bible so much they asked to be taught how to read. However, the young Birong was able to learn only the Tagalog alphabet. With his limited knowledge of the Tagalog alphabet he strove daily to read and understand the Tagalog version of the Bible. In time, Birong taught himself to read, and he read the whole Bible. Birong is still unable to write, but with the best of his knowledge he now shares the Gospel with his tribe. Every Sunday they gather in a small hut made of bamboo and grass.
It is with local Pastors like Mamay Birong that we leave those patients who came to know and want to know more about Jesus. Before we left, I learned from Pastor Birong that the only Bible in the village is his own. I told him to visit me at the clinic where I can share with him some Tagalog Bibles. (With our missions fund we bought Tagalog Bibles for people who have received Jesus or want to get to know God more.) The Mangyan people desire to know God but have no way to read His words...
I am humbled and blessed that I have the Great Book to read daily – morning and night.
Pictures taken by members of the medical team