N E W S L E T T E R
C H RONICLES LORD, LEAD ME ON
by Dr. Simma Yang
“..you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 29:11-14 NIV) It was Wednesday morning when I looked out and noticed the pouring rain outside my window. It had been raining for several days because of the presence of a low pressure area that PAGASA feared would become a tropical storm. Worry crept into my thoughts as I remembered that our medical mission was to be on that Sunday. True to their prediction, the low pressure area became tropical storm “Falcon”. By Friday, the rains had intensified. Floodwaters rose everywhere, including Manila and many other places. On Saturday morning, I planned to go to my office but learned from my staff that Valenzuela BB, which was part of my route to work, was already flooded so I opted to work from home. I had just settled on my chair to work on my laptop when I noticed my cell phone beeping. Nathaniel, our medical mission coordinator, was texting me to ask if we were going to postpone our medical mission because of the tropical storm and the floods. In all our 12 years of conducting medical missions, we have never yet postponed or cancelled one due to inclement weather. We have had our share of rains but in spite of them, people still come for our free medical services. Through all these years as leader of ACROSS MINISTRIES, I have been through a lot of experiences and encounters with God. He has shown me so much as I keep on trusting Him such that my faith has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. I have experienced so much of His power, His grace, His mercy and His protection in numerous different circumstances such that my heart is fully yielded and devoted to Him and Him alone. After reading Nathaniel’s text message, I knew I needed to pray and seek God’s will about postponing the medical mission. I know that as long as I follow God’s will, we will all be in His mighty hands. So I told Nathaniel to give me time to pray and that I will give him my decision before lunch.
I prayed asking God for His will. I asked God if I should postpone the medical mission or push through with it. I told Him I need an answer right away because the medical mission was already the next day and we had to quickly make arrangements, whether we postponed or pushed through with it. I had to seek God first rather than decide on my own because He is my LORD and Master – I will do as He bids me; I will go where He leads me. THEN, as I prayed and waited on Him, I distinctly heard God tell me - “This is the time that the people need it.” It was so clear and distinct that God did not want me to postpone the mission because it had been raining for several days and people were sick. I told God “alright, but please stop the rain so the floods will subside because our doctors will come from the Manila area which is already impassable.” As an afterthought, I asked God to be sure to hold the rain tomorrow, during the medical mission itself, so that we would be able to tell more people the Good News. I also postscripted that He would let it be a cloudy day, not a hot and humid sunny day. (During medical missions, the intense heat usually drains the energy of the volunteers quickly, tiring them out even before the day is half over.) After I heard God, I stood before Him wide-eyed in wonder of Him. Although this was not the first time that I heard God talk to me, every experience of this kind holds me in awe of Him. I am so exhilarated whenever God would answer me directly. This level of intimacy is so sweet that nothing can compare to it. Every encounter with God makes my faith grow and expand. Every experience of special intimacy with God has helped me keep trusting Him, for He has shown me His unquestionable sovereignty and limitless faithfulness. This intimacy was developed through years of seeking Him, bowing before His throne every day and learning to listen to Him. I called up Nathaniel and told him that we would push through. Like a good soldier, he did not question the wisdom of what I said. Against human continued on page 3
The Life of Brian by Nathaniel Ong A hallmark of any medical mission in the Philippines is the presence of children – lots and lots of children. Most come with frazzled mothers who are towing four, five, even a dozen young ones to take advantage of the free check-up. Then there are those who just loiter around the mission site, drawn in by the crowd and the festive atmosphere. One such child is Brian, 8, frail thin, bug-eyed, unkempt hair, blonde from either exposure to the elements or a bad dye job. He was a sort of ringleader to a pack of young kids who became constant companions for the Across Ministries volunteers during the four-day April mission trip to Tingloy Island in Batangas. Brian stood out as the most talkative of the bunch. He chatted up the volunteers amidst the chaos that so often greet the first mission day. Pretty soon he was running errands for us: picking up the trash scattered all over the site, helping out with the patients lining up, fixing up our improvised barricades. He became an indispensible runner, and we gladly shared our snacks with him. Unlike the single-day Metro Manila missions, provincial mission trips allow Across volunteers more time to bind closer with the community, to get a better feel of what life is like in the provinces. Life is often simpler, slower; the atmosphere is conducive for conversation and exploration. As we trudged to our lodgings after that first long day, we would see Brian hanging about the streets of town. For the next two days, Brian continued to hang around the mission site; he became such a fixture that we half-kiddingly tried to recruit him as a volunteer and bring him with us to Manila. But after all the laughter and the jokes, our final day in Tingloy gave us a glimpse of just how hard life is for many. A kagawad graciously hosted a going-away lunch party for the Across volunteers at her home. On the way was a small estero, clogged “HOW DO YOU KNOW with the trash YOU'LL SEE ME AGAIN? I of modern l i v i n g . We MAY BE DEAD BY THEN.” noticed some BRIAN small boys playing amidst
the filth and the c a t c hy j i n g l e o f presidential candidate (elections were just a month away) Manny Villar immediately came to mind: “Naligo ka na ba sa dagat ng basura?” (“Have you ever swam in a sea of trash?”). But we were gutpunched when we realized that Brian was among the bathers. Later, he was there to bid us goodbye. Words seemed hopelessly inadequate, but we wished him well and hoped to see him in the future. His response, translated from the vernacular, was “How do you know you'll see me again? I may be dead by then.” We chided him on his negativity and told him to keep his chin up; as long as there is life, there should be hope. With that, we said our last goodbye. I don't know where Brian is today, but that look of hopelessness, those words of resignation still haunt me. “Meaningless! Meaningless!” Never have I felt the words of Solomon more than ever then. Many have advanced their cure for the world's social ills, but let me end with the words of songwriter Steve Green: “We are called to take His light To a world where wrong seems right. What could be too great a cost For sharing Life with one who's lost? Through His love our hearts can feel All the grief they bear. They must hear the Words of Life Only we can share. People need the Lord, People need the Lord At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door. People need the Lord, People need the Lord When will we realize that we must give our lives, For people need the Lord.”
WILFREDO “ J HE ” YAP JR. BORN June 28, 1987 PROFESSION Nurse
Jhe describes himself as “makulit”. He first joined Across this April when Dr. Tutit invited him and his sister to the Bicol Mission and since then, he and his sister have become regular nurse volunteers for Across monthly missions. For Jhe, every mission is very memorable because he was able to serve people who are in need. His most memorable moment was when he assisted several circumcision procedures during the Bicol Mission. Quote “I still join and support Across Mission because I love to serve people, especially those people who are not capable to have their regular medical check-up. I also find the people of Across missions very supportive and I enjoy having fellowship with them every month.”
Friends of Across
MARIA THERESA “ T E R E ” DONGUINES BORN December 13, 1984 PROFESSION ER Staff Nurse
Tere is a very friendly, jolly and adventurous person and loves serving God’s people especially through Across medical missions. She first joined Across in July 2006, right after passing her nursing board exam when she was invited by her mentor Ate Love (who migrated to Singapore). Her most memorable experience was during the Mindoro medical mission because she was able to serve the Mangyans who can’t speak Filipino and yet were very warm and welcoming to Across. Among all the nurse volunteers, Tere has been with Across the longest because she believes in the vision and mission of Across to serve God and His people. Quote “I’ve gained a lot of friends in Across and was able to explore other areas of the country and serve God’s people at the same time.” Lead Me On (continued) wisdom, we pushed through with the mission, knowing that God’s ways are always higher than our ways and that He has proven that He is always omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipotent (allpowerful), sovereign and in control of everything. True enough, after lunch, soon after I called Nathaniel, the sky started to clear and lighten up. As the sun peeked from the clouds a little later, I confirmed that what I really heard was God telling me to push through.
Cloudy skies on the day of the medical mission
The next day, the weather was perfect for medical mission. It did not rain. It was cloudy with a little sun. The weather was just perfect for medical mission. We were able to serve 1,155 patients. As the medical mission ends, I bowed before God, totally amazed with His power and grace. He is an awesome God. As Across Ministries leader, I am often limited by human wisdom and abilities. But along the way as I learn to trust Him and depend on Him fully, He has proven He is GOD and His power, His grace, His mercy, and His protection are more than enough. And I say, “Lord, lead me on.”
Editor’s note: Read the fruits of this particular mission in the first article of the section “Letters From the Heart”. The mission was held in Pinugay, Antipolo on June 26, 2011 and hosted by Pastor Randy Intano of GFHC.
2 01 1 M EDIC AL M I S S I O N S
2011 MEDICAL MISSION LOG DATE
JAN 23, 2011
Sta. Maria, Laguna
FEB 20, 2011
MAR 27, 2011
APR 13-15, 2011
MAY 18-19, 2011
JUN 26, 2011
JUL 17, 2011
AUG 21, 2011
Bagong Silangan, Q.C.
SEP 18, 2011
Old Capitol, Q.C.
OCT 16, 2011
NOV 6, 2011
DEC 4, 2011
Sta. Rosa, Laguna
TOTAL NO OF PATIENTS
TOTAL 637 1,222 772
Matthew 28:19 - “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
2012 MEDICAL MISSION SCHEDULE DATE
Jan 12, 2012
Feb 12, 2012
Mar 4, 2012
Apr 25-29, 2012 Sorsogon/Lagonoy May 19-22, 2012 Roxas Jun 24, 2012
Jul 22, 2012
Aug 19, 2012
TBA (Ptr Martin)
Sep 16, 2012
Oct 21, 2012
Nov 18, 2012
Dec 9, 2012
ToGod GodBe BeThe The Glory! Glory! To
Letters from the Heart October 3, 2011! i sa inyong Isang pong mapagpalang araw na pagbat ! (GFHC) po ay taoslahat. Ang Grace From Heaven Church nap na medical pusong nagpapasalamat sa inyo sa gina gay, Antipolo. mission sa lugar na Sitio Peterson, Pinu sa barangay Ang gawaing ito ay malaking naitulong ! sa gamot pati ang na ito at maraming naabot na to bukod sa pamamagitan espiritual ay nabigyan din ng katugunan ng Diyos. po ng pag share o pagbahagi ng salita karo on Pagkatapos po ng medical mission ay nag ! i lang po sa kami ng 8 gro ups sa bible study, at hind tinuturuan pag matatan da, mayroon po kami 52 kids na th na tinitrain. araw ng sabado at meron kaming 15 you ng tulong para Sa ngayon kami ay muling nangangailang ito ay lalong sa pag suporta sa aming gawain upang magpatuloy. Marami pong salamat and God Bless ! ! !
Relocation Area beside the Mission Site
Patients lining up for the registration
Ptr. Ran dy Intano GFHC Senior Pastor
Sharing the Gospel before all the check-ups
ACROSS MINISTRIES POST-MISSION UPDATE
Date of Mission
July 17, 2011
Lucas R. Pascual Memorial Elementary School Baesa, Quezon City
Ptr. Wilson C. Martin
Host Pastor / Church :
Greater Heights Christian Worship Center Baesa, Quezon City
Number of Patients Registered: 1356 Number who accepted Christ: 134 Number who are already Christian: 111 Number who expressed to know more about Christ: 93
ONE MONTH AFTER MISSION New adult church attendees added: 20 parents attending Children Spot New Sunday School students added: Children Spot averaging 100 children every Sunday New Bible Study groups created: c/o Children’s Spot Parents (non-formal bible study) New Bible Study members: 10 - 14 New Activities / Programs created as a result of mission (please detail): CHILDREN’s SPOT - Every Sunday afternoon, teaching children ages 5-12 years old. Through this ministry, we are having this opportunity to share whatever talents, creativity and learning we had all throughout our lives. We are building an exciting children’s ministry that will fulfill God’s great commission….to make disciples. At their young age, we are teaching them the gospel that reminds them of their need for Jesus Christ. We are becoming part of their lives by influencing them through molding their character, and teaching good manners and habits. Every child is a gift from God. Their innocence, laughter, and endless questions give color and life to the people surrounding them. Learning is their foundation in facing everyday life even if it just usually composes of playing all day long. As they grow up, they need assistance in their every step and in new things they will encounter. Teaching children is not just touching their minds, but it is more of touching their hearts and assuring them of better future in God’s side.
! We believe that as we teach those children, we are also raising up future leaders and successful people who will be carrying out God’s plan and will be standing in righteousness, living their life for God as well.
It is exciting to discover their talents and potential, and also to help them enhance their gifts. As we continuously impart our lives to those children, we are experiencing the joy and fulfillment through their simple smiles, embrace and “thank you”. This is our passion, and we will never stop and will never ever grow tired of touching their lives. Report Prepared by: Rosal P. Casinillo GHCWC Secretary Date : October 8, 2011
Greetings! On behalf of the Grace Communion International (GCI), I would just like to thank all of you for the blessings you have bestowed on the Old Capitol Site (OCS) Community (September 18 Medical Mission). Thank you for your labor of love, for you are so busy even before the mission event happened. Thank you for your love to the LORD that compels you to serve these people who are less fortunate. Kindly extend our sincere gratitude to the 50 doctors and their assistants. A lot of people have commented that it was their first time to experience this kind of medical mission wherein its a whole day, with 1,545 patients being served and with medicines plus vitamins to many. They were overwhelmed. I hope this will not be the last time to partner with you...May GOD continually shower you with HIS blessings and love.. God Bless, Saddie and Angie Tabin Grace Communion International
Have a heart for missions? Become a volunteer! Whether youâ€™re a nurse, doctor, dentist, pharmacist, optometrist or even if you have no medical background whatsoever, you can be part of the Across Team. All you need is a love for God and a heart to serve the poor. Get in touch with us at 09178190172. Your life will never be the same.
Aside from conducting medical missions every month in cities and towns all over the Philippines, Across Ministries provides monthly support to 6 pastors, as well as scholarship allowance to 29 primary and secondary students in Bohol and Marinduque. Should you wish to support any of these ministries, please contact Dr. Simma Yang at +639178190172 or you can deposit directly to Across Ministries account:
Across Ministries Inc. Current Account # 4330-0191-37 BPI Acropolis Branch Kindly inform us of your deposit so that we can send you an acknowledgement receipt. Thank you for being an Across Partner.
For the latest news, pictures and updates of Across Ministries, please visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/acrossmin. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.