Our Teams in the Philippines

Miracles

A life transformed before your eyes!

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MMI Medical Director, Dr. Alan Melicor

100% of all monies designated for the Philippines will go to the direct services being provided in the Philippines by Medical Ministry International

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2-27-14 Update

Check out the slideshow from the 4 different hospitals and locations the MMI Philippines Team worked with during February, 2014.

MMI Philippines Slideshow February 2014

2-12-14 Update

Photos from our teams that are still hard at work in the devastation zone:

Flo-4 Flo-5Flo-45 Flo-215Flo-219 Proud particpant for the 1st ever C section in Barotac Viejo, Iloilo1073996_10153808398045273_782543412_o 1655538_10153808406780273_1051038681_o 1890327_10153808397150273_1440949761_o 1899539_10153808396395273_625383895_o

2-1-14 Update

Dear Brethren,
After a week of surgical work in two sites here in Leyte, Philippines, the team is moving on to the next two sites: Iloilo and Palawan. This is so only after being stranded here in Hilongos, Leyte (one of the Leyte sites) since Friday due to typhoon Basyang that hammered the province with gusty winds at 65kph and heavy rains.
The hospital grounds was flooded, internet connectiions cut off, power outages, etc. Our extended stay have been providential for this enabled the team to minister to a petient with ruptured appendicitis, to a 14 yr old boy who was accidentally hit by a pellet gun in the abdomen, two cases of fractures of the forearm – cases that would require the patient to a city 4 hours away ( and this referral city is still recoverong from Yolanda) or by overnight boat to another city in another island.
God is good and truly He is control. The team is in high in spirit and the hospital staff has been looking after the team’s needs graciously.
Do pray for the team as we take the boat to Cebu (first boat out of Leyte after the typhoon). Tomorrow, one team will fly to Iloilo, and another to Palawan.
Thank you and God bless,
Allan
MMI Philippines
Medical Director

1-11-14 Update:

Typhoon Yolanda has really devastated a big part of Central Philippines. Almost all of the hospitals in the region were destroyed, mostly their roofs blown away causing flooding of the building because of rain thus destroying vital instruments. They are rebuilding now and the work is far from over. Where we are suppose to work in Palo, North Leyte, at the Leyte Provincial Hospital, the ongoing repair and reconstruction will not be done in time for the teams arrival. So then we have to look for another site. Praise God the Chief of Hospital of Palompom District Hospital in Palompon, Leyte (southwest part of the province of Leyte) did accept our request for them to host the Palo team. The Regional Health Officer and a co-volunteer colleague in the medical relief mission for the Typhoon Yolanda victims were very helpful to look for another site. God is good to lead us to Palompon and for the help He provided towards this.

Kindly keep us in your prayers as we finalize all arrangements for all the four sites – supplies, local travels (both air and ground), accommodations, food, case load and patient screenings and scheduling, recruiting local staff and volunteers, pastoral support, etc. Pray also for our local partners and those that will preserve the spiritual work long after the teams are gone. Pray as the team travels to Manila, for safety and health throughout the project and as they return home, for a highly spirited and efficient teamwork, for God-glorfiying witness among and through the team, for safe and excellent work and their attendant results in the carrying out of all surgical and anesthetic procedures, excellent post-op care. Above all Glory and Honor alone be unto our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Thank you and God bless,

Allan Melicor

MMI Philippines

1-3-14 Update:

We have a team of over 60 Volunteers from multiple countries headed to the Philippines in the next few weeks to support our Staff based there.  We will be operating in three key areas of the devastation zone.   The team is in need of money to purchase additional supplies.  Please keep the MMI Philippines Team on your prayer list and help if you can!

12-24-13 Update:

 

As a family, together with other volunteers from our church, CCF Cagayan de Oro City and from the Leyte Baptist Hospital, we just came from Leyte, one of the hardest hit provinces by super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), We joined with the team from CCF Manila and did stress debriefing of the police officers of Region 8 as well as the precinct policemen of Tacloban City, and towns of Palo and Tanaun, Leyte – three places worst hit in Leyte by the super typhoon. To hear stories of these tough men, who were themselves traumatised as victims and survivors and then again as first responders and cadaver retrievers, were truly heartbreaking, They had to stay at their posts to fulfill their duties and at the same time they had to think of their families who were also in need of their presence and help. One of them expressed that up until now his seven-year son is still asking why he wasn’t there with them at the height of the typhoon, when their house was blown away, when they had to fight and struggle to stay alive. Just to be able to express and share their harrowing experiences, many had done so for the first time during the debriefing session, had eased the pain and enabled them to release pent up emotions all this time.  Do pray for these police officers and their men and their families.
We were also able to visit the village of Cabuynan, in Tanauan, Leyte. This was one of the villages we were able to conduct medical relief few days after the typhoon ravaged the province. We did clinic there again as well as stress debriefing of the village folks and the school teachers. All of them expressed great relief after the debriefing. We also saw the lady whose split nose and lip we operated on, now with well-healed wound and acceptably good scar. Thanks and praise you, Lord!
Cabuynan is shaping up as our focused target area towards the next phases of rebuild, rehab and restore. Shelters and livelihood are crucial needs at this point. Many of them are living in tents. The village lost nearly 100 of their fishing boats and their fishing nets. The fishermen we debriefed expressed desire how they wished they can have boats and nets again so they can fish and earn their living. Unlike agriculture, fishing trade can be immediately executed. Do pray with us that these fishermen be able to fish again soon.
Prior to our return, we had spoken to the town Mayor of Tanauan, who expressed desire for their town and village schools be rehabilitated so their children can go back to school next year after the Christmas holidays. We thought this was a great idea, and so expressed to him, by the grace of God, to help rehab Cabuynan’s schools. The elementary school has 17 classrooms destroyed, and all the 12 classrooms of the village high school were destroyed. This is a massive task requiring time and resources, Again, do pray with us as we trust God to provide towards the repair and the rehabilitation of these classrooms.
For the time being, we brought from Cagayan de Oro City a prefabricated a 100-sqm tent structure of pipes and used tarpaulin (as roofing) and set this up on the school ground to serve as temporary classrooms. The team also set-up two UN-given tents for the same purpose. Lord willing, we may be able to go back next month to bring more tent structures for the elementary and village high school.
On our last day in the village, the team was able to render Christmas cheer thru our program, “Pamaskong Handong sa Cabuynan” (A Christmas Presentation for Cabuynan). The program consisted of puppet show, singing of christmas carols, games, trivia, gift-giving as well as the sharing of the Christmas message. The Mayor and Vice-Mayor came in attendance and commented about the excellencies of the program and the joy it has brought to the people. The villagers thought they would not the able to celebrate Christmas. The Lord granted our desires. Love and joy filled the hearts of the school children and the villagers. The message and meaning of Christmas did dispel the gloom from their faces. It had brought hope and peace to them. Glory to God! There were lots of laugher and tears. It was difficult to leave the village.
May this Christmas fill our hearts with hope and love most especially the people of Cabuynan and the other places devastated by the super typhoon.
God bless you all!

 

Dr. Alan  Melicor

MMI  Philippines

12-19-13 Update:

We are in Leyte at the moment doing follow-up as well as conduct stress debriefing. We just finished debriefing the local police force who themselves were traumatized as victims and survivors and then again as the first responders and cadaver retrievers. Their stories and experiences were harrowing and heartbreaking. Tomorrow, we will conduct clinic and stress debriefing among the village folks of Cabuynan, Tanauan, Leyte. Tanauan is one of the hardest-hit towns of Leyte. The village of Cabuynan is shaping up as our focused target area towards rebuild, rehab and restore.

The town mayor of Tanauan, Leyte expressed desire for schools to be rehabilitated. We think this is a great idea. We expressed to him our desire to help rehabilitate the village school. Meanwhile, we have set up a temporary tent structure to serve as their classrooms. The next day we will conduct stress debriefing among the school teachers and the students.

Hope and pray the Lord will prosper all these plans to the Glory of His Name. Beseeching also your prayers and support and of the forthcoming MMI project to Leyte next month.

Dr. Alan Melicor

MMI Philippines Medical Director

12-12-13 Update:

Dear Brethren,
Next week we are going back to the typhoon-ravaged province of Leyte. I received a call from Mayor Tecson of Tanauan, Leyte, & in response to his request, we are going back there this dec18-22. The Mayor requested help to rebuild/rehab his town’s schools so the children can go back to their classes this January. We are thinking of adopting the barangay (village) school of Cabuynan, Tanauan. Our team visited this village before, & we would like to see & check on the patients we treated & operated on the last time we were there.
We also plan to do the following in Cabuynan: needs assessment, stress debriefing (which we did among victims of Typhoon Sendong here in our city of Cagayan de Oro), medical/surgical clinic, & christmas cheer thru gift-giving to the school kids. We hope & pray God will enable all of us to help them even on a long term basis as we move from RELIEF TO REBUILD AND REHABILITATION TO RESTORATION of their lives and livelihood… all these by the GRACE OF GOD FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!
Thank you all for standing in the gap on behalf of the Filipino people especially those who are victims of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
Dr. Alan Melicor
MMI Philippines

 

11/22/13 Update:

Our teams are currently working to develop our strategy for the next 6 months to a year in how to begin to help rebuild the medical infrastructure on the island of Leyte.  Those interested in volunteering should contact our office and let us know of your skill and interest in being a part of this effort.  This is a marathon and not a sprint and we have a long journey ahead of us.

Please keep the people of The Phiippines in your prayers and Donate if you can!

11/20/13 Update:

We were thrilled to find one of our long term volunteers family safe and unharmed having survived the storm in Tacloban City.  Our initial team has withdrawn to recharge and prepare for the amount of work that is forthcoming in dealing with the development and rebuilding of medical services for the island of Leyte.  Here are some of the pictures that our team just provided.

MMI Philippines Team

The MMI Philippines Team led by Dr. Allan Melicor

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They came by the thousands seeking care and hope!

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MMI Philippines Triage Team

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The view from the MMI Philippines Triage Site

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The power of the storm nearly killed this poor lady!

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Fortunately, we were able to take care of her and she will be ok.

11/18/13 Update:

MMI Philippines Medical Director, Dr. Allan Melicor provided this update after spending  a week in the devastation zone:

We just got back from 5-day medical and relief mission in the typhoon-ravage province of Leyte. There were 14 of us – 4 from our church in CDO City, 4 from BBH, and 6 from LBH. The team was composed of 4 doctors, 4 nurses, 1 dentist, 1 pharmacist, 1 security officer/general helper, 1 pharmacy assistant/general helper, 1 logistic officer, 1 pastor/general helper. The LBH team brought the hospital’s service which really helped our mobility.

The strongest typhoon ever recorded in the history of mankind packed a force of 314kph wind storm surge (tidal wave) that rose up to 20ft sweeping many coastal villages – the one great cause of death. Second were from falling coconut trees. To date, 3643 have been reported to have died; near two thousand missing.

The devastation was total and immense. One town we visited was the town of Tanauan. This town had the highest deaths reported at 2,000. 100% of villages destroyed, 100% of homes destroyed, 100% of crops destroyed. The vice mayor, who is a doctor brought us to a far-flung coastal village for us to do medical relief mission. Our team was the first of such help that came to the village. We spent the whole day there. We saw lots of patients with wounds, gave tetanus shots, did wound care, surgery on complex and huge wounds, repaired a lady’s face that became like an open book from her nose to the upper lip she was treated for respiratory, skin and gastrointestinal problems, etc.

In another place, we pulled out a glass splinter from the skull of an elderly lady who was brought in dazed. This was at a hospital where we were called to help a medical doctor who had been on duty continuously for the past 4 days. At the same hospital we pulled out a 4-inch glass splinter from a young woman’s thigh, another removal from a 16-yr old boy who had difficulty walking because of a piece of glass embedded on his heel…and many more situations of infected wounds, scalp lacerations, etc. The scenario was the same in many places we were able to serve.

Our team was self-contained, mobile and self-sufficient. Thanks to the officials of the province of Leyte that provided us a secure place where we were able to retreat each night to sleep and provide us with fuel when the supply was available. The need is so vast that it overwhelmed the local government. All government buildings were destroyed, communications are down, most roads impassable, and the stench of death filled the air.  There were situations where the rescuers were also having to be rescued. The Mayor of Tacloban City and his family almost perished in the storm surge. They had to hang on for almost two hours to the house rafters when the sea rose up to 20 feet. Of the City’s work force of 2,500 only 70 were able to report for work the day after the typhoon.

Slowly, the whole province and the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc are recovering. Help from within the country and outside are pouring in. Roads are now passable. The electric cooperative has started to replace fallen electric poles, communications are being restored, retrieval  and relief continue though the situation is far from over. The next big task will be to rebuild the people’s homes and lives and restoring the province to its feet.   They will also need to get the economy and agriculture industry back up and running.

Do KEEP LEYTE IN YOUR PRAYERS!!!

Dr. Allan Melicor

MMI Philippines, Medical Director

11/17/13 Update:

Some of the numbers related to Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) are coming in and they are staggering.  Here are a few of the key points:

  1. The storm was 370 miles wide when it hit the Philippines.
  2. The storm surge that hit Tacloban City was 17 feet high.
  3. 13 Million People have been affected by the storm. 4.9 Million are children, 1.5 Million are under the age of 5 and are at a high risk of not surviving due to malnutrition and disease.
  4. 494, 611 Homes are damaged, 248,176 totally destroyed thus far.
  5. The US Navy is now providing 400,000 gallons of clean water from the USS George Washington.

 

The most recent story coming out of the small village of Candahug which is a 30 min drive from Tacloban City, is heartbreaking.  Prior to the Typhoon making landfall, all the women and children were sent to safer areas and the men stayed behind to protect the village.  Unfortunately, these men were never seen alive again.  Imagine, an entire village that has lost the men and boys of their community from this storm.  It’s heartbreaking to hear of such a tragedy.

MMI continues to prepare for the long arduous process of re-establishing medical infrastructure in the region.  Our teams are currently in the disaster zone and the supplies being provided by the US Navy and others are starting to reach those in need.  The short term solution seems to finally be working.

The big challenge now is the long term prognosis of this region.  Many of the first responders will slowly begin to back away from this area and the Development organizations like MMI will begin to try to address the illness and care necessary for the Philippine people to survive.  It’s a substantial task and will be many years in the making.

We need your money and your willingness to join teams to come in support of our in-country staff.  They are assessing the need and we are compiling a list of those that can go and when.  It may be 6 months, or maybe even a year from now, but you can help us when you are available.

We were touched this week when a medical student, Coby Bidwell, designed a t-shirt to help fund MMI’s efforts in the Philippines.  You can see the shirt here…

T-shirt – 100% of proceeds go to MMI Philippine efforts

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They only will make the shirts if he can sell 150 of them in 2 weeks.  This will raise over $1000 for MMI if he can hit that number and the more he sells the more MMI Philippines will receive.

Coby represents what a typical MMIer is all about, love.  We are trying to save lives and every single person reading this can make a difference in some way.  Please Pray, Donate, and Volunteer if you can.  This is a very powerful way to share your blessings with the world!

11/16/13 Update:

The arrival of the US Military is a huge boost to the morale of the people on Leyte.  There are multiple sorties undertaken each day that are finally bringing water, food, and supplies to relief agencies.  We are excited to finally see materials getting to the people on the ground.

The challenges that lie ahead are many, and the lack of any form of structure leads us to believe that we are in for rampant disease of epic proportions.  MMI is a development organization and it will be groups like ours that will be left to address these major medical issues in the weeks, months, and years to come.  We will need money, volunteers, and your prayers to be able to withstand the challenges that lay before us all.

Those that seek to volunteer, we will be developing teams based off of need and assessment coming from our in-country teams.  We are compiling a list of those that would like to go in the future and will keep all on the list updated as to the various teams being developed as we get a more firm control of the situation.

Please keep the ministry in your prayers and get others to join with you in donating to the work that we will be undertaking now and the years to come.

11/15/13 Update:

After 6 days, some signs of relief are beginning to be seen.  The U.S. Navy’s presence has given a huge sign of hope for many people.  The arduous task of collecting bodies, some so bloated that they can’t be identified, has begun.  A mass grave of 1000 people was carefully dug and filled immediately.  The Philippine government is trying to document each person, but in many cases their is no family left to identify the bodies.

The air is filled with a terrible stench of death, but the people are now seeing American Helicopters delivering water/food to once unreachable communities.  The communities have decided not to sit around and die, but to begin to rebuild, with or without the aid of outside support.  It’s the Philippine way, they are a strong and resilient people.  Debris is being removed, temporary structures are being built from salvaged materials.  Life is slowly coming back to this scene of unimaginable death.

MMI personnel continue to try and reach those in need and we are preparing to support Phase 2  which is to try and eliminate rampant disease before it begins.  The pipeline of resources needs to be developed and we need money and prayers to make this all happen.  Please, pray for the Philippine people and what you could possibly donate to help us serve these incredible and desperate people.

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11/14/13 Update:

Efforts to help the people of the Philippines are difficult to say the least.  There has been a major logjam for supplies, water, and food getting into the devastation region.  The US Navy aircraft carrier, USS George Washington, has arrived and with it comes aircraft, purifying water machines, and 5000 crew to help provide security, logistics, etc.  We hope that these brave men and women will be able to restore some order to the area so that our teams will be able to move freely through the devastation zone.

The last 24 hours has been very difficult as Philippine government security forces are dealing with the decision to use trucks to transport food/water or collect the thousands of bodies that still lie all over the area.  The latest official reports have the death toll over 2700, but that number will rise significantly as the days, weeks, progress.  Please pray for our teams!  We need money to secure medicine, supplies, and support for the many months ahead.  MMI has been on the ground in the Philippines for decades and our teams will be there long after the world attention shifts to the next news story.  The people of the Philippines have a long arduous struggle ahead and MMI will be right there on the ground working side by side with them.  These are wonderful people and we pray that God provides the strength and resources to bring relief to their tears.

“Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:6

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11/13/13 Update: The Situation in the Philippines Continues to Get Worse as the World Tries to Respond to this Horrific Storm

MMI CEO, Sam Smith, was a guest last night on the nationally syndicated radio program, The Jim Bohannon Show.  You can listen to this hour long interview here:

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Our teams continue to strive to find the living and deal with the injuries that have been sustained.  We are in need of money and anyone interested in volunteering in the weeks, months, and years to come.

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11/12/13 Update: Medical Ministry International’s Response in Support of our Friends in the Philippines

Medical Ministry International has personnel on the ground in the Philippines currently focused on providing immediate care and triage to those who have survived.  As the situation evolves from rescue to restoration, the MMI Team that is based in the Philippines will begin to address the issues of disease and re-building of medical infrastructure for long term benefit of the region.  We are a capacity building organization that has boots on the ground year around and will increase the number of teams that will be providing support as they are requested from the MMI Philippines Team.  The issues of disease and medical care will become even more substantial long after the cameras have gone.  If you are interested in joining one of our teams now, or in the future, contact us to let us know of your availability.  This region will need substantial support for years to come and if you can’t join us now, then let us know when you can.  Please remember that we need both medical and non-medical personnel.  We have an immediate need of money, supplies, etc.   This is going to be a long term effort to help the Philippine people and we ask that you continue to lift them in prayer.

To learn more go to :  www.mmint.org

To follow the daily updates from the teams go to our Facebook Page:  www.facebook.com/MedicalMinistry

11/11/13: The Storm Has Moved On, But the Problem Is Just Beginning

The news coming out of the Philippines is not good. Currently, we are getting reports from our teams on the ground that there is total devastation. The death toll will continue to rise as people are identified. It’s hard to understand, but imagine an F5 tornado hitting your city for hours before moving on. The swath of devastation is not just a mile wide like we saw with the F5 tornado that destroyed the town of Greensburg, KS in May of 2007. Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyah) has left a path that is over 300 miles wide! This storm spent over 6 hours over this region destroying pretty much everything in its path. Even the best architects in the world have not been able to fully protect people from this level of catastrophe. Now take this image and imagine very modest structures in an underdeveloped region. It’s a recipe that we are now witnessing in the South Pacific.

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Since this is all happening as we speak, there is plenty of news coverage and yes, people are moved by what they are seeing. The first response heroes are being deployed hoping to find those who may have survived in what can only be described as hell. We have teams on the ground in Leyte the point of initial landfall that had a 20 foot storm surge. So far the official death count in this island alone is well over 10,000 people and will continue to grow. These teams are struggling to help all who have survived and the emotional toll on the people, both the victims and responders, is substantial.

In the coming days, we will continue to get more reports about how truly bad the situation is and people will continue to be motivated to help. Then slowly, the news will fade from the headlines and all of a sudden, no one is paying attention anymore. The problem is the work is just beginning. When the earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, the world responded. We are now three years later and the headlines have died, and yet there are teams still on the ground that are continuing to deal with the effects of this tragedy. There is so much that is still needs to be addressed in Haiti. The bad news is that Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyah) is even worse.

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