Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks

Well, today started with an early morning walk and about like every other day. The kids went to school and Leron went to work. I was lamenting the fact that Thanksgiving morning should fill my nostrils with yummy turkey smells and the expectations of lots of family time. But alas, I am in a quiet house alone (well,  my lil red dachshund, Freckles, is here) and it just smells like every other day. The weather is a little strange as we have had lots of rain the past 24 hours. Not sure why I am surprised? I have gone through these feelings ever since we moved out of our home in Mechanicsburg 5 years ago. Thanksgiving has always and will probably always be my favorite holiday. Perfect combination; lots of yummy food, great company and focusing on thankfulness.  Well, even though I miss my family and the food is a little different; I have the makings of a perfect Thanksgiving Day right here in hot steamy Davao City.  Miss my stateside family, but God is providing great  “family” here.


So like I said, life goes on per usual. It is Thursday and that means it is a free clinic day. This is the 4th one! We have a long waiting list for surgery already AND we are licensed to start operations soon. So thankful. I headed to the hospital in the rain. Lots of rain here can mean travel woes. When I arrived shortly after 9AM (the time we open) there were no patients. I was greeted by a host of cheery nurses. I am thankful for them. I love Tebow CURE Hospital, it is my “happy place”. Too many things to mention, but it is an awesome place and I am thankful to be a part of what goes on there. I love the staff, meeting new people from all over Mindanao and most of all blowing bubbles for kids. So, in weeks past we have had a nice turn out for clinics. Today, there was a group that was supposed to come in from Bukidnon. I mentioned the rain, right? Well, they were all no shows. At about 10:30, our first and only patient arrived. Sweet Rinard had traveled approximately 3 hours to see the doctor. His mother said that he had woken up at 3AM because he was so excited. The Jeepney driver did not know where our hospital was so he dropped them off at the gas station and they had to walk. This may not be too bad, but you see 10 year old, Rinard, can not walk. They had to carry him quite a distance.


After talking to Rinard’s Mom, Fiona, we got the story. He had a normal early childhood. Until about the age of 5 or 6, he attended preschool and was developing normally. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, but his body just started to deteriorate. Losing muscle control and strength. By age 7, he was no longer going to school. He is 10 now and stays home all day. How painful! I watched as Alex, our PT, did some simple exercises with him. He needs help sitting up and getting into that position from laying down is hard work even with help! Doing the simplest tasks really made  it hard for him to breathe. What a struggle, but through it all he would flash a smile. He put in the hard work and kept trying. What a gracious little boy. 

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The longer I spent with Rinard, Fiona  and Pablito (Dad), the more my heart swelled with love for them. I started just praying for this sweet boy’s complete healing! I just wanted him to jump up and start running around the room. I will continue to pray for him! I  really had a sense of how Jesus must have felt when “He was moved with compassion” throughout the Gospels. I could not love them enough….cups of porridge, showers of prayers, a race car, love, and attention. How much more does God love and care for them?

Our newest mural is now finished and it really brings it all into focus for me…….

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So, what can we do?  Not sure there is anything a doctor can do?  Some we can help with surgery and some we can’t. But we do know the ONE who is the Great Physician!!  I just lifted Rinard up to Jesus. There are some practical ways we can love with the resources we have been given. Alex, our Physical Therapist is amazing. I am thankful for him. He just makes me feel happy, always smiling and ever ready to help. He showed Pablito and Fiona some exercises that they could do with Rinard.  Madel and I prayed for him to be healed and prayed that they would know Jesus. We gave them a wheelchair, so now Rinard can be mobile. Like I said, there was not anything else I could do. Just blow some bubbles and enjoy the sweet smile of this amazing 10 year old boy.  Jesus loves him more than I could ever love him. Rinard’s life  is in His hands. I am just thankful that I had the privilege of meeting this precious family.


I am also so thankful for our amazing staff. Here they are just hanging out with the family. 2 Rad techs, IT guy, PT all just playing. Yes, it was a slow day, but this really warmed my heart. Did I mention how thankful I am for our staff at Tebow CURE? ;) gush gush gush


A little before 1PM, Madel and I dropped Pablito, Fiona and Rinard by the bus stop. I kissed Rinard’s head and said  goodbye. I got ONE more big smile. I think we are friends for life! He shares my joy for bubbles.


Driving away I looked over my shoulder to see them waiting for their bus. What a perfect way to celebrate Thanksgiving. I am reminded of the account in Acts 3:6 where Peter says   “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” I will continue to pray that way ! I feel so blessed to be in a place to love and be loved. My heart is full!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Yes, IT Finally Happened!

Yesterday, we had the joy of having our first clinic here in Davao City! Yes, the Tebow CURE Hospital had it’s soft opening. What a great day! Felt like the wait was forever!    People came form all over Mindanao! Our first patient arrived at 3am! The hospital was abuzz with excitement. The doctors examined 62 patients. So many neat stories and connections of how people heard about the hospital and then journeyed to be there. It was so much fun to welcome everyone. I had plenty of bubbles to share, but there was so much more……a magic act including balloon tying, free congee, a spanking new playroom to explore and lots of smiles. What a great beginning. I hope you enjoy this sampling of pictures.