Once we turned in the requested authorization form from the Department of Social Wellness and Development to the airport customs agent, they proceeded to tell us that we actually needed some specific permit from the FDA. Since I woke at about 4 am naturally (because I was still not acclimated to the time change) and had until 9 am before we left the hotel, I used those 5 hours to prepare the application for the FDA permit. When we turned the FDA application in, they proceeded to say “Oh no, it wasn’t that permit, but it’s this different one instead………….”
It is okay because in the days to come, you will see how God was at work despite all that nonsense.
So now let me set the stage for the rest of Day 3’s morning so you can get a sense of the anxiety that kept wanting to make its presence, but I refused.
We got picked up from the hotel late and remember, this is the day we were SUPPOSED to have a Medical Mission in Mabalacat, but since that was canceled, we had a blank canvas.
I proceeded to inform our team that we would set up a small Medical Mission in the front yard of my parent’s house because my mom knows of 6 people that would come by. We can serve those 6 people and use this time to see what blind spots we have missed in preparation (i.e. labels that still needed to be made, work out kinks to the work flow, etc.)
Just within the first 5 minutes of sharing that plan, I had a handful of people telling me we shouldn’t because THEY were afraid that we would get in trouble. But those of you who know me well, I am not afraid of “no”, so I moved past the resistance and stuck with my original plan.
Just in the few moments of arriving to my parent’s house and orienting our team to the plan for the day, I stepped outside to the front yard to grab something and saw a long line of patients already waiting for us!!!
Not only through bringing patients to us, but for a team that can think on their toes and we set off quickly setting up everything needed to run a Medical Mission in 1/20th of the space we normally would have had!
And you know what the common consensus was? THIS day was everyone’s favorite day of serving out of all the other Medical Mission days. A day that started out with nothing; with a closed door, yet opened to seeing better ways Be the Change can serve patients on future trips.
Why? Because the other Medical Mission days to come would feel like everyone was just a number moving through a sea of people with little time or energy to see them as the people they are.
This first day gave us time to greet each patient with a smile, introduce ourselves by name and time to know theirs. It was a day that moved people to tears as an elderly man fought back tears of happiness in sheer gratitude for our team and the help they were providing to him and his community.
Just like the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish in Luke 9:16, God multiplied the initial 6 people we anticipated into 160+ patients.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9