This day started out with orienting the “Almendras” volunteers to the station they were assigned for clinic days and was followed by Christine Wicke giving a super informative presentation on Insulin as was requested by the Rural Health Unit’s medical staff.
Midway through her presentation, I get a call that the head Mabalacat Physician (of the clinic location we would be serving the next day) showed up to my parent’s house. Despite the fact we had been in contact with this Physician and the “Barrio Captain” (aka leader of the community) for quite some time, the Physician decides THE DAY BEFORE THE SCHEDULED MEDICAL MISSION to say that some “permit” was required before she would authorize the dispensing of the medications we brought.
Y’all… we have worked directly with the head Physician, Barrio Captains and Mayors for multiple other areas throughout the Philippines who never once mentioned the need for this permit. If anything, they have written authorization forms to ASSIST our team. I have my theories, and this is one level of politics we encountered, but regardless I decided to cancel the first day of Medical Mission in response to this last-minute nonsense.
I am not going to lie, a part of me was worried what this “closed door” would do to the level of moral and confidence our team would have in me as a leader and our organizations, but that was quickly replaced with a trust that this would be another opportunity to see God at work.
To show our team that no amount of preparation on my part or earthly works would be to credit for what was to come; just purely God’s doing.
The second half of our day was scheduled to orient the Mabalacat Volunteers, but since that location was canceled- our afternoon opened up! I knew I needed time to tell the 50-60+ volunteers not to show up to the canceled Medical Mission the next day, so we decided last minute to go to Goshen Resort so the team could swim and relax while I worked at the coffee shop.
Getting to Goshen=WHAT AN ADVENTURE.
I swear, every turn we were supposed to take to get there was closed due to construction, so we went on a round-about adventure down back roads and side streets. My dad had mentioned there was some “questionable” dirt road he had to go down that eventually opened up to the resort, so when the turn we were supposed to take was closed and our GPS took us an alternative route literally into some sand pit, we just went with it.
All of our cheeks hurt from laughing because picture James driving, Danna telling James to “turn right” when to our right was a house and a dead end- to the left of our vehicle was a field of corn and directly in front of us was sand pits and big dump trucks driving around. You really had to have been there! It was probably one of THE most hilarious moments of the trip.
Nonetheless, we finally found the road we needed and made it to Goshen. I worked tirelessly on my computer and finally was able to join up with the rest of the team who was either playing Marco Polo in the pool or sitting around talking with each other.
It really warmed my heart to sit back and look around at all the smiling faces, all laughing and bonding despite being strangers not that long ago. We shared our highs and lows from the last few days and celebrated the fact that we now could sleep in for what would be the last time for the rest of the trip!