Our medical mission started simply enough: to provide medical care but it has grown far beyond our expectations and prayers.
Matt Riley, our logisitician for the Philippines has wrapped up his teaching in the Philippines, has returned home and is already working at Holy Rosary School. In addition to his teaching at the university on the island of Panay, he, in conjunction with Nikki, our case manager, and a multitude of others, have continued to provide follow up care for a couple of difficult patients that we saw during our work. There has been an ever widening web of love, support and caring, something that none of us could have foreseen.
We continue to support Ginliza, a 15 year-old with a heart problem that does not allow her to go to school. She is orphaned and lives with her elderly, frail grandmother and grandfather in a dirt floor shack. I learned yesterday that the grandmother has turned over guardianship to Nikki.
This may seem harsh but the reality of getting Ginliza tested in a city four hours away required a guardian present and the multiple four-hour trips would be too difficult for the grandmother.
PRIOR TO OUR ARRIVAL ON PANAY,
Matt made what was too be a simple courtesy call on the Dominican Sisters in Iloilo. The introduction resulted in a letter of invitation to assist our team's entrance into the country. And an historical paper to be written by Matt to assist the convent foundress on the path to sainthood at the request of the sisters and Rome. And the introduction of Ginliza to the sisters and the convent. And an invitation to Ginliza to live with them in their orphanage where she will be cared for and receive an education. And the discovery that one of the sisters was a trauma nurse in the United States, someone that can recognize any medical complications that might arise.
We ask for fervent prayer for Ginliza, for healing and health; for prayers of thanksgiving to the Dominican Sisters in Iloilo and for any intentions that they might have and finally, in thanksgiving to everyone that has come into this young woman's life and has supported her journey.
Nikki Update: The dance continues. In her multiple trips to Iloilo with two children for testing on our behalf, she became acquainted with Larry of Operation NewFace, a cleft palate organization. He has now hired Nikki to go out into the countryside and islands of Antique province to look for children with cleft palates. Nikki has also been accepted into a midwife program and will start in June. Tuition is being paid for by family and HRIMM team members.