Mission Life Entry #1: Saturday, 25th January. Tabacco, Albay
8:30am. Sometimes, I don’t know what I’m doing. Right now I’m stuck in Tabacco, Albay waiting for the ferry that will take me to Catanduanes. I didn’t make it to the 7am one, so I have no choice but to wait for the next trip. I didn’t make it to the 7am one because I didn’t factor in EDSA traffic and the 12hr bus ride stretched to a torturous 15hrs.
Cascade effect and here I am at the center. I should’ve left with the team, but I had work to do, so I decided to just follow. I should’ve left with the team, and now I’m stuck here after a 15-hr bus ride. I should’ve just flown a plane to Catanduanes. But I asked my sister to check the flights (once) and didn’t bother following it up. Now I’m stuck.
Of course I’m only stuck until the next trip, and that’s at 12nn and it’s only 830am. But until then I have no use for, here in the pier. Every minute I waste here, the team is working and I feel useless. It’s clear, of course, I should’ve left with the team. I know that.
It’s Not Easy
To be honest, going to missions often drain me because of the travelling involved. I spend hours in buses and boats, learning to sleep on benches or to not sleep at all. Sometimes when I get back, I go straight to the clinic to work. The truth is, it’s all tiring. But the other doctors I work with have been doing this for so long now, they don’t seem to get tired at all.
Two weeks ago, on our way back, one dentist rushed from Mindoro with me and went straight to her SPED class, to teach. The other doctor went straight to her clinic and worked. I was rushing through SLEX, to make sure I made it home before coding, to change cars to be able to go to work.
Once I was asked, “What are you doing? Why do you have to do this?” I didn’t answer because I didn’t know why… but then I heard it clear in my head, “If it’s easy, then more people will do it.” Of course, I do it because… then who else will?
One time a friend sent me a private message regarding a post and said “I like what you’re doing… you’re giving back”. And I looked at his words and for a while I didn’t know how to answer it. Giving back? “Just doing the Lord’s work”, I finally replied. You see, I have nothing to give back. I know this… “to give back” is like #blessed. But this is not why I do this. In fact sometimes I leave my clinic, check the income and look to the Lord saying, “Kaw na bahala ha?” (Take care of this, okay?)
The people I meet in the field, you’ll be amazed by the Lord’s workers. One doctor works half of the month to cover bills and to provide for her daughter’s schooling in College–and then she spends the rest of the month in missions. One dentist doesn’t even like surgery and yet she braves tooth extractions because she’s called to serve. A couple I met, left their corporate jobs, so they could devote their time to missions and now with their business are able to travel to different areas to supply medicines where it’s needed. The people I meet, they are not moneyed. They are not overflowing with riches so they have luxuries to give back. Not at all.
Many of us leave for the mission with money just enough to pay for our transportation fees. We don’t know why we’re doing this but we do it because even if we don’t understand, it feels right.
9:21am. The lady at the ticketing said that we could board by 11:30. I haven’t slept. I haven’t bathed. I barely ate (I have junk food). I’m desperate for sleep and a bath. I also want water or coffee (Ill check if there’s a store outside). But mostly I wish I left with the team, and not sit here, useless.
12:34pm. Boat left ahead of schedule. I’ll sneak a nap in while at sea because I cannot write any more with the violent waves throwing the boat like a rollercoaster.
4:50pm. I barely made it to the mission but we are on our way back to camp. I am thoroughly drained and I didn’t even work. But all the travelling just got me wasted. I am desperate for rest and I am merely running on energy drink, chocolates and God’s promise…
Yes, like magic, we saw this in the sky and it felt as though, God is telling me to hang on.
“He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.”
9:30pm. I am enjoying my first proper meal after more than 24hrs (I had several junk food stuffed into my body). Upon arrival at Camp the team setup to serve the military men. These troops are stuck in the mountains (for months) to ensure our safety, and all the while, neglecting their own health and well-being. They deserve our attention too.
I don’t feel useless anymore, it was great serving the military men, for a change. Speaking of serving military men, I know of macho men (because my dad was in the military and I was used to soldiers going in and out of the house). Believe it or not, there are no macho men when I take out a syringe–macho men squirm, just the same. Hehe.
01:12. It was a long day. I just finished having coffee and political chit-chat in the mess hall. It’s time to sleep.