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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mission Trip, Final Tale

My momma, also known as Tonggu Grammy, continues to share with y'all about her recent mission trip to the Philippines. You can read Parts One and Two of the story here.

The poverty level in metro Manila is far greater than what you would see in the inner cities of our country. Consequently, people sometimes made decisions that we would consider beyond our capabilities.

One man who arrived looking 6 months pregnant was apparently suffering from cirrhosis of the liver. Okay, people have that in the United States… you might even personally encounter someone with that same condition. But would it be because the person had been forced to eat dog when no other food was available and the dog meat was bad? Here was a young father whose life expectancy had been cut in half and we could do nothing except love him and care for his family while we were there.

That about broke my heart.

This next story is funny IF you aren’t the Filipino Pastor involved. The language spoken by most in Manila is Tagalog. None of us speak more than a few words in Tagalog. Most of the time we had interpreters at each station of the screening process. Some interpreters did better than others and some days we lacked enough interpreters. When this happened we often grabbed one of the Filipino Pastors or our driver Manny to interpret.

On one such occasion, we grabbed a pastor to help us understand what a female patient tried to convey to us. As soon as I saw the pastor turning various shades of red, I immediately ran to get to my camera to record the moment. Unfortunately, I failed to act in time.

He was simply too quick for me.

The pastor quickly backed up, looking frantically for a Tagalog/English speaking female. His eyes darted all about and he was actually shaking. In desperation he grabbed another, younger pastor who apparently did not feel so easily discombobulated. It seems that the woman described, in detail, her menstrual history and probable UTI with him. Poor man, it was more than he could handle. Somehow I seriously doubt that he was the one to make the evangelism house call to her home in the days following our visit.

Our days were busy and both rewarding and frustrating. We will NEVER be able to meet even their basic needs but at least we did something. And because we have returned so many times, they know we care about them. And we care because God cares.

Need I say more?


Andrea said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I have enjoyed reading about your trip and feel blessed through your words.

Buckeroomama said...

Thank you for caring and for doing what you can. The world needs more people like you. :)

Janet said...

Nope. You need not say more. THanks for telling us about your trip. It is so heartening to know that there are people who truly care...and do something about it.

chicknboy said...

I am loving reading these snippets of the missions trip...wish they were longer!

Most Americans have NO idea how much of the rest of the world lives...we take so much for granted here.

I don't want this to be the "final tale" -isn't there more Tonggu Grammy can share?!

Aunt LoLo said...

Brilliant, TG. I didn't realize how often your group heads out to serve - what a wonderful ministry you are providing!! (Is that the right term??? Our church doesn't have this type of Mission, so I'm not familiar with the lingo...whatever it is, it's great!!!!)

Michelle said...

Thanks so much for sharing your trip, TG. I love how you summed it up, "we care because God cares." I am sure you blessed more people with your presence than you even realize.

Michelle said...

BTW, T, I finally posted that long-awaited picture. Have some laughs. :)

Marla said...

Thanks for sharing your trip, TG! Thank God for people like you and those in your group.

Stonefox said...

Thanks to Tonggu Grammy for sharing some of her experience. She is very talented being able to go from teacher to medical overseer! I love hearing about the people encountered during these trips (and the translation/embarrasing moments/culture shock!) Great series of posts.

Laura L. said...

Thank you for sharing your story TM. I enjoyed reading it.
I hope to be able to go on a trip like this some day, so it's very interesting for me to read about yours!

Laura L. said...

Oops. I actually meant TG. :)

Sharie said...

I've really enjoyed reading of your adventure! The story about the glasses really got me because #1 I've always donated old glasses to local organizations and wondered how my prescription could be used for someone else. #2 My 4 1/2 year old has gone through 3 pair of glasses in a year and I can't imagine not being able to buy her new ones. Thank God for wonderful people like you who give your time and talent to help others!

Myrnie said...

What a fantastic adventure, and a wonderful experience for everyone involved. Well, almost everyone. (That poor pastor...grin) Thank you so much for sharing!

Tonggu Momma Husband said...

ok ... pastor or no pastor ... i would have done the same thing and eagerly looked for another to interpret. we are thrilled to have you home grammy.

Briana's Mom said...

That poor, poor pastor! LOL! Thanks for sharing your travels with us!

Tammy said...

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful stories.

We serve an awesome God!

Blessings, Tonggu Grammy!