Monday, 11 May 2009 11:05 Last Updated on Friday, 15 May 2009 11:25
Organized under the able leadership of Mary Genalyn S. Hojilla, FADASI-I Health Director, and with the support of the district, a medical, dental, and surgical outreach took place in Oton Adventist Center, San Antonio, Oton, Iloilo yesterday, May 10, at 8:30 A.M. More or less 300 received medical, dental, surgical (circumcision) services, as medical doctors, surgeons, dentists, nurses,barangay health workers, and other health professionals joint efforts in this event."So far as I know this is the biggest--and the grandest--medical, dental, and surgical services ever done here in san Antonio, Oton spearheaded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church", Merzon Navarro, FADASI-I President, said. "We have conducted the same before, but it's not as big as this one here today", he further explains.
A colorful parade, where everyone participating wears a uniform yellow or white t-shirt, precedes the medical, dental, surgical program. Traffic Police conducted the parade, followed by attractively uniformed ARMG (Adventist Rescue Motorized Group), a rescue group having the respect of the government for its active disaster response programs, Health and Gospel Ministry team, a self-support lay group whose combined knowledge of health and Bible become important to a program like this, Literature Evangelists, Medical and Health Professionals, and the brethren.
As the parade ends at Oton Adventist Center, and as everyone takes some rest, an Acrobatic Team performed astounding feats and skills. The group used to perform to any place requesting them for entertainment, of course at a price. Acrobatic performances became to the group as their means of livelihood.
After the acrobatic show and partaking of the snacks, the opening program for the medical, dental, surgical started. The Municipal Mayor through his representative extended to everyone his greetings, putting a high note on the Adventists as good people because of the health services they provide to the constituents of Oton, explaining that "Oton is awarded as outstanding in social services in Region VI, and the one component of which is health services."
Pastor Violeto Bocala, former SSD President, gave the health message. He said that, referring to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, "the life of Christ was spent much on healing than on preaching." And he explained further why the Seventh-day Adventists have this kind of program: because "the main mission of the life of the christian is to minister to the needs of others, especially the sick."
Headed by Dr. Antonio Devilla, 5 came from Bacolod Adventist Medical Center to assist in this program: 3 surgeons and 2 nurses. Bacolod Adventist Medical Center (BAMC), previously called as Bacolod Sanitarium and Hospital, is one of the many medical centers owned and operated by the Seventh-day Church in the Philippines. Its main mission remains at being the healing hand of Jesus to the sick, and this time here in oton, through the efforts of Mrs. Hojilla and the support of the district, Bacolod Adventist Medical Center came to do exactly just that.
Other medical doctors, dentists, nurses, and barangay health workers from Oton and other places here in Iloilo joined the group from BAMC. Though some are non-Adventists, yet they share the same conviction with the Adventists: helping the sick and the poor is both a moral duty and responsibility.