Defying the Odds by Giving Love by Ella Tan

(As seen on page 3 of the June 12 issue of the Parish Bulletin)

In our daily lives, we unconsciously isolate ourselves from the realities around us. We tend to simply be focus on pursuing our own personal interests, whether in terms of advancing in our own careers, materially enriching ourselves or establishing our place in society.

But as we are able to attain these achievements, we eventually come to realize that these are all temporal. Our inner beings are then drawn to search for a deeper sense of our existence. What next?

We are then programmed to open ourselves to experience the realities around us and these are not necessarily the most pleasant of kinds. Personally, the challenge really is to find a way to use our God given gifts for His greater glory. At the end of our lives as we face our Creator, the question we all will be asked is, “How well did you love Me (God) and your neighbors?”

In our quest to be deserving recipients of our eternal boarding passes to Heaven, we can surely follow the teaching of St. Anthony on what it really means to love God and our neighbors. We are not here to judge anyone nor be selective as to who we help, yet we are called to open our hearts especially to those in need.

Each day, more than 3,000 patients are being treated at PGH and a good number of them happens to be innocent children with some of the most serious of medical cases from the marginalized sector of our society. We, at the Hospital Ministry, on a weekly basis, get a glimpse on how these innocent children experience the most painful physical pain imaginable with no certainty of recovery as their families have little to none to provide for their ever-compounding medical expenses. Statistically, the odds seem like a losing proposition and very discouraging. However, how can we turn our backs on these innocent children when their zeal to live is ever so strong as they endure all these at such a tender age?

During one of our regular Tuesday visits, I came across a very sick child who was so weak and frail that my greatest fear was that he will not be around anymore on my next visit. Nevertheless, I was moved to spend some time with him and share some words of encouragement. While I fear for what might be in store for him, he surprised me with his most beautiful gesture when he said, “mahirap talaga ang aking kalagayan ngunit dasal ko kay Papa God na pagaling niya ako, alagaan niya ang mahal ko sa buhay at biyayain niya lahat ng tumutulong sa aking pagaling”. Glad to report, that this is one of the patients which we are providing medical assistance to and while his battle is far from over, he is happily recovering and safely home with his family.

While our resources are ever so limited given all these sick children in need, your genuine acts of generosity and love which you share with the SSAP Outreach Hospital Ministry are certainly most welcome and encouraged. Apart from your financial contributions, we are also open to receiving any kind of donation (i.e., clothes, toys, books, medicines/medical equipment, etc.). For check donations, kindly make your checks payable to SSAP Foundation for PGH Outreach Hospital Ministry. All donations may be forwarded to the SSAP Parish Office, c/o Ms. Nimfa Dumaga.