Adventist church partners with LGU to help a community in Palawan
The Southern Asia-Pacific Division workers and their families took time off from their busy schedules to take part in a mission outreach in an island more than 500 kilometers away from home. In the town of Taytay, 123 kilometers northeast of Puerto Princesa, Palawan they brushed chairs and painted schoolrooms, picked up trash from a beach front, put up a concrete wall for a local church, stood as resource speakers in simultaneous seminars, and manned various stations in a large medical outreach. Wearing their light blue T-shirts with bold “I AM HERE TO HELP” print at the back of 165 strong force consisting of senior citizens and children stormed the town to do their assigned duties aimed at making downtown Taytay a better place than it already was. This was the first ever mission trip of SSD workers, and the first ever mission outreach of SSD partnering with a local government unit, an Adventist hospital, and an Adventist Mission.
The chosen days of May 30 to June 2 are in the onset of the rainy season in the Philippines, but even the torrential downpours that came occasionally did little to hamper the activities. The Adventist Hospital Palawan brought their doctors, laboratory equipment, and technicians, and medicines for the medical portion of the outreach; while the municipal government of Taytay provided coordination, transportation, and security; and the local Palawan Adventist Mission helped in unnumbered ways to make the mission outreach a success.
On record, the medical team served over 1700 patients in two days providing medical, dental, and minor surgical services. During the medical mission, volunteers also offered blood pressure readings, blood glucose examinations, vital sign check, and free over-the-counter medicines. On top of these medical services, patients and guests were invited to a health expo to further equip them with health information.
The simultaneous seminars were done to raise awareness on social responsibility. Among the seminars organized were the 4P’s (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program), Violence Against Women, Senior Citizens, Day Care Workers, Youth Empowerment, Children in Conflict with the Law, and Child Abuse.
Focused on achieving a holistic service towards the community, the SSD team also joined with the government’s Brigada Eskwela kickoff. Brigada Eskwela is the government’s program to mobilize the community to help prepare public schools for the start of the school year. The SSD volunteers took part in repainting classrooms and repairing chairs.
The town of Taytay is situated near the pristine beaches of Palawan, so volunteers marched along the shores of Taytay to make sure that these areas are not polluted.
They also included the development of the local Adventist church through finishing a church fence.
The mission trip will never be complete without the nightly meetings organized by the church to share the good news of hope. Hermogenes Villanueva, Sabbath School, and Personal Ministries director of Southern Asia-Pacific Division spoke of the greatest hope this would ever know.
He stressed on the vibrance of hope that God richly gives to us freely. He reminded the people of Taytay that no matter how hopeless life is, there will always be hope in Jesus.
After three consecutive nights of fellowship and prayer with the community of Taytay 59 individuals decided Saturday morning to accept Christ as their Savior through baptism.
Church leaders and volunteers to this mission trip are appealing to the world-wide church to pray for these precious new souls so they can multiply and reach out to more people in their community to share the truth they have recently found.
Saw Samuel, president of the Adventist church in the Southern Asia-Pacific, said he was overwhelmed to see that through a collaborative work of all facets of the church many will see Christ working through us and in us, making change possible in the hearts of those who witnessed.
“We are so glad to be here in Taytay, Palawan, serving our brothers and sisters,” said Samuel. “We are touched by the friendship and hospitality that was extended to us by this community. All of us are richly blessed by the services and the contribution that God extends to all of you,” he added.
The mission trip culminated with a social gathering celebrated with the community. The social event featured the diverse and culturally rich countries within the division territory.
Edward Rodriguez and Welsie Dela Cruz
Seventh-day Adventist beliefs are meant to permeate your whole life. Growing out of scriptures that paint a compelling portrait of God, you are invited to explore, experience and know the One who desires to make us whole.