News and Stories
Philippine Mission Trip: 2007
Mary Jane Trinkus R.N.
We’re home now from our 3rd mission to the Philippines. Vic and I with the medical team went to Borongan, Eastern Samar – a distant, quite remote place. Our travel time was 41 ¾ hours and worth every minute.
It was a wonderful mission. We worked hard and long, 12 hour days were the norm. The team worked well together, centering their focus on giving good, efficient care in a kind, loving manner. It was hot and humid where we worked. Mosquitoes, flies and geckos inhabited the hospital along with our patients. We performed over a hundred surgeries, consulted on many other cases and saw 526 patients in our outpt. clinic.
We saved lives. As I’ve mentioned in the past, there are no social service or government aid programs where we mission. If people don’t have the money to buy their medicines, their anesthesia drugs, their IV supplies, medical care is not given. This particular mission we found five people in the hospital who needed surgery and would have died without our help. One was a 14 yr. old girl with a ruptured appendix, another a mother of 5, two were victims of a knifing and then again another ruptured appendix. We also discovered two young children seriously sick with illnesses that needed immediate attention if they were to survive. We don’t know why we were sent at this specific time or why these individuals happened to be at the hospital at the same time we were. All we knew was that it was in God’s plan and we felt blessed to be a part of it.
We also helped a couple people die; die with a little comfort and with loving care. When an indigent person dies, the province will provide a vehicle to transport the body to the person’s home but there is no money for embalming, for a casket, for a proper burial. We again were blessed to be given an opportunity to help.
We were able to spend some time with our dear friends, the four Oikos Sisters. Their lives are busy tending to their 35 children who live in their two rescue homes and opening their door to whomever comes to them in need. On Saturday (our day off), the Sisters took us to a poor neighboring barrio. We were honored to be invited in peoples’ homes, to see how they live and to render medical care. The day ended by giving parcels of food to the residents of the barrio, playing music and dancing with their children.
Our own children from St. Pius X School played an active part in our mission this year. Many of the students donated $1.00 per person on ‘casual, no uniform’ day resulting in a generous gift of $340.00. This money went directly to purchasing a month’s supply of rice for the children of the Oikos’s rescue homes (700# rice=$175.00) and the purchase of four badly needed tires for the only vehicle they have. We thank each and every one of them who participated in this most appreciated gift.
So, as I write of some of the highlights of the mission, I think back again of how wonderful this mission was. The wonderfulness of it was not in the numbers, not on how many surgeries we did, or how many patients we saw or the health care we gave.
I think it had to do with our hearts – how this team opened their hearts and gave of themselves, gave their love. Mother Theresa said, “In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.” How fortunate we were to be given the opportunity to do these small things and how blessed we were to be given the hearts to do them with love.