"Bent, weathered bodies were living testaments to the difficult, relentless cycle of rice planting and harvesting. The hardships of living in an isolated, mountainous region of the Philippines were written across every face."
By Bruce Piercey, Eurasia Regional Director
September, 2013—Arthritis, hypertension, lung disease, parasitic cysts and goiters…
As I watched elderly men and women receive medical care from our partners at a Samaritan’s Purse-funded clinic in the Philippines, I was struck by the aches and pains of the impoverished people who filled the room. Bent, weathered bodies were living testaments to the difficult, relentless cycle of rice planting and harvesting. The hardships of living in an isolated, mountainous region of the Philippines were written across every face.
That day in the clinic, I was reminded of Genesis. It was hard not to see the literal manifestation of that story and the curses that resulted from it.
In Genesis 1 to 3, we learn that God created humanity—male and female—in His image, and it was a very good thing. God intended for us to live in close relationship with Him in a perfect garden of a world.
But the story doesn’t end there.
In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve disobey God, and the Lord laid out the consequences of their decision to live apart from Him: a woman will desire a loving, caring relationship with a man, but he man will “rule over her” (a foreshadowing of gender conflict, exploitation, and oppression); a woman will suffer in the conceiving, birthing and raising of children, and humanity will live a life of toil which will frustrate our efforts to find just enough bread to eat and survive.
During my travels in the Philippines, I realized that the ancient prophecy described everyday life for most people in the world today. But God hasn’t forsaken us.
God sends a Savior
For thousands of years, the Old Testament prophets foretold that God would send a Savior to rescue humanity from the curse and restore our relationship with Him. And 2,000 years ago, Christ came to earth and fulfilled those prophecies. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor,” Jesus said. “He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners” (Luke 4:18, NIV).
Today, even though the curses are evident in our world, God and His Church are counteracting them. And through Samaritan’s Purse’s work in the Philippines, I saw glimpses of what God is doing to establish His Kingdom.
Our health and midwifery clinic is bringing healing to communities. The elderly are being provided with relief from pain and suffering, the sick are receiving medication and treatment, and villages are embracing a new mentality for health and wellness.
Partners in other areas of the Philippines are implementing remarkable techniques that are improving crop yields and animal husbandry, so that rural communities can thrive. Across the board, we are seeing family nutrition and health improving.
Please join us in reaching a broken world with God’s Kingdom and goodness. Our prayer is that those we come in contact with may experience freedom from sin and suffering, and might come to know Jesus Christ.