RMHM 2009 page 1


from 25 Jult to 01 August 2009 in Barangay Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal

Preparation and Orientation: 25 and 26 July

The new missionaries are ready.

Fr. Daniel Couture and the faithful Yolly Gamutan, RN
 Rain, mosquitoes, choking heat, could not stop the determination of these sixty volunteers of the whole world. They came from Ireland (1), England (1), France (22), South Korea (5), Singapore (1), USA (3) and the Philippines (35). They all came to extend a loving hand to those acquainted with dereliction and poverty.

This year’s location – Sampaloc, Rizal, at about 2 hours East of Manila – welcomed the generous Oblates and Bethanians, who came to add to the Catholic nature of our mission. In spite of all this good will, we expect the mission to be difficult.

Many tons of gravel have to be spread, bucket after bucket, by Fr Marcille SSPX and his team, to cover the muddy ground.
We are far for the ‘comfort’ of last year, thanks to the governor of Sarangani province. Here, no gymnasium, no policemen in charge of order. Alone, the little chapel of St Philomena seems to be awaiting the participants of this third Medical Mission.

Tarps have been set up to protect the patients and the medical team from the monsoon rains. At one moment, all hands had to be summoned to get the bus out of the muddy road shoulder.

Nearly two tons of medicine have been collected and are awaiting in their boxes to be organized on simple planks. Thousands of rosaries and scapulars will be given out, since the majority of people are Catholic.

2 tons of medicine which arrived in the middle of the night
 The first mass of the mission was celebrated by Fr. Daniel Couture for the volunteers and the local faithful to draw charity at its divine source. A few yards away, in a tiny chapel, hidden in the midst of poor people’s homes, two other masses are said.

The heart of the Medical Mission: the Daily Sacrifice of the Mass
Tons of water fall and rip a grey sky, everyone’s fatigue from long intercontinental trips is slowly overcome, and the missionaries are ready to meet tomorrow’s challenge…

The volunteers being ‘oriented’ before “D-Day”
In the last two Medical Missions, 5,000 patients were treated. What can we expect this time? Actually numbers don’t really matter when charity is in everyone’s heart…

Near the chapel, children play the old time favorite: marbles.

DAY 1: 27 July 2009

Abundant waters…

Morning sky appeared to be promising for the expecting crowd.
Three hundred eighty five (385) medical acts, 73 scapulars, 250 rosaries… A few figures which cannot reflect the fatigue of the volunteers and the medical team at the end of this first day.

The morning blue sky quickly gave in to floods of waters of great violence. The deafening noise of this outpoor on the plastic tarps imperfectly attempting to protect the medical teams, laughters and cries of the children gathered under the same shelters, translators screaming to be heard by the patients, got the best of the most hardened.

The powerful rain encloising all the patients under noisy tents.
A truly difficult day for all, but in spite of it, the satisfaction of duty well done until the gate was closed. There were difficult cases: an badly burnt young man, phlegmons that had to be opened right away, answers which made one blood freeze, such as the one by the father of a small child with a large ulcer in his mouth, and who answered, as excusing himself, “the priority is to find food…”.

Overwhelmed with work, Dr Kim, our faithful pediatrician, treated without murmuring, with a beautiful smile, an incredible number of patients.

Sr Maria Concepcion, Oblate of the SSPX, gave a most valuable help at the pharmacy. As a matter of fact, many of the sick can only speak tagalong, and to all one must explain the medical prescriptions in a language not so well know outside the Philippines.

The pharmacy finally took shape after long hours of organization.
In this noisy background, Fr. Marcille, SSPX, began his sick-calls, and with the help of Fr Castel, also SSPX, imposed dozens of scapulars to the young and the old.

Fr. Castel giving marriage instruction.

Meanwhile, whenever the heavens broke loose, Fr Couture, assisted by some brave volunteers, checked the drains and dug more if necessary, in order to evacuate rapidly forming ponds, and to dry the ground under everyone’s feet.

With the help of a few helpers, even the director of the mission gets to work…

In spite of it all, with the Divine writer, we can conclude: “ Abundant waters could not quench charity, neither could the floods drown it” (Cant. 8:7).

DAY 2: 28 July

“The boat was covered with waves… And He was asleep…” (Mt 8:24)

A Bethanian teaching the mystery of the Rosary to three young souls.
Day of contrasts, both human and in the weather. Downpours had become frequent and barely disturbed the concentration of doctors, but when the wind teams in with the rain… One could have heard a devilish laughter throughout the gusts of wind.

In one moment, the morning sun hid itself behind thick clouds, the strings holding the tarps gave in, and the whole would have be torn away without the prompt reflex of volunteers and Filipino soldiers who rushed to the rescue to prevent the disaster.

Tarps have been reset but the Mission’s banner is still down after the gush of wind and rain.
Defeated by the force of the elements, dentist had to find shelter near the columns of the small chapel, but doctors and pharmacists braved the weather without stopping.

Amidst small problems and little surgical interventions, large ulcers badly treated were seen. And lovely smiling children gave place to Michelle… Michelle, a four year old little girl, with her big black eyes, so sad, suffers from a meningoencephalocelis, a misformation of the brain and of the nose, which had been a feature of the previous mission. Scared by so many looks, she was taking shelter on her mother’s breast, and finally a frail smile enlightened her baby’s face when a volunteers offered her a little teddy bear, perhaps, her very first toy…

Little Michelle with her look full of sadness.
Great joy today for our team with the arrival of Dra. Viray, pediatrician, national president of ACIM-ASIA. Her presence will be a relief for Dra. Kim, always pushing herself to the limit.

With demands coming from all sides, Fr. Marcille, was constantly crisscrossing little Sampaloc village, blessing houses and poor shacks, gathering owners and tenants under the charitable roof of Mother Church.

The Legion of Mary opened the doors to the priest.
Tomorrow, further help will be coming. Fr. Albert Ghela SSPX will bring the blessing of his Filipino origin to this population deprived in latters of fait hand sacraments.

The Mission has found its rhythm of growth. In contrast with the noisy storms of yesterday, the organization was perfect today. A regular flow of patients, severely controlled by Fr Castel, marked the day. Numbers are revealing: 434 medical acts were signed today!

Dr. Jean Pierre Dickes, President of ACIM, didn’t spare his time and his efforts.
A father and a son in the same mission, Hugues and Christophe Martin.

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