Soon after Dr. Annette Bosworth heard about the typhoon disaster in the Philippines, she began making plans to go there and offer her medical expertise personally. Active in Celebrate [Wesleyan] Church in Sioux Falls, So. Dakota, she is a veteran of medical ministry trips to Haiti, and God has used those experiences to transform her heart.
Dr. Bosworth and a medical team of volunteers travelled to the Tacloban disaster zone and made a direct, positive impact in the lives of survivors, sharing medical care and the love of Jesus. They even carried part of a $1.5 million donation in pharmaceuticals in their luggage to benefit the people they would serve.
The first team, including Dr. Bosworth, just returned from the Philippines a few days ago. A second one is making plans to take up where the others left off.
As Dr. Bosworth was on the two-day return journey, she had time to think about all she had seen. One shocking memory kept awakening her tear ducts. It was a powerful example of what has happened there to so many families. In her own words:
Monday, the last clinic day, attracted the skeptics. By skeptics, I mean the folks that did not believe the medicine was free—the patients that did not think the doctor-team really had good medications. The Red Cross had been in the community the whole time, but apparently their distribution of medication had been limited to vitamins.
The last hour of the last day of clinic I met a 42-year-old woman with a one month old baby. Her beautiful skin shone with the glow of a new mother. Her baby was born four weeks after Typhoon Yolanda. She presented to the clinic with her newborn baby and a 10-year- old girl in tow. She wanted a “check up” of her baby girl. I washed my hands and held her baby as I began examining baby’s hips and pulses. In order to understand how familiar this mother was with the normal milestones of a newborn, I asked, “How many babies have you had?” She answered, “Five.” My smile and nod reflected my thoughts: “She understands the needs of a baby.” The silence for the next few moments allowed me to continue examining her beautiful baby. The 10-year-old girl watched from a strangely distant position in the exam area.
“Where are your other children?” I asked.
“They were all washed away by Yolanda.” These words cut through the room as so many others had in the past days. Somehow this time it sliced open the floodgates of my tears. I clarified, “Is this your daughter?” as I gestured toward the 10-year-old.
“No.” The next moments seems to drag on forever before she softly continued, “Her family was swept away too.”
In the United States, our social systems might have paired up the needy with those that have resources to help. In Tacloban, all that exists is the ability to pair up those that lost with others who suffered loss.
Thank you for praying and giving to help families who have lost lives, loves, homes, belongings, and all sense of normalcy in the Philippines. The wounds will never completely heal this side of heaven, but Jesus can bring His peace and hope, and Wesleyan ministry there is making a difference.
The compassionate ministry by the Philippines Wesleyan Church to provide emergency feeding, medical, and rebuilding assistance to the devastated areas is being helped by the North American Wesleyan Church. More assistance is needed. Donate here for 100% of the funds to help the victims.