Written By: Neyzielle Ronnicque Cadiz, Writer, Operation Blessing Philippines
He only learned about the medical mission from his neighbors that day. Without thinking twice, he put on his only jacket to somehow hide his adult diaper, and then he immediately looked for a kid who could push his wheelchair so he can get to the site—sadly, he had to pay 10 pesos for the service. He came with a happy disposition and only his hope that someone will attend to him, carrying with him his identification documents wrapped into a plastic bag. He was never disappointed, because the moment he reached the site, he was immediately asked of his information, and was given the attention he really needed.
Benjamin Pascua, 80, has diabetes, and his right leg needed to be amputated three years ago to prevent more complications. He was amenable that life has been too tough for him and his family because his wife is bed-ridden– could no longer walk because of rheumatism, and is on the brink of being deaf; one of his children has breast cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy —Lolo Benjamin said that he is still hopeful that his child will someday be ill-free.
Some of his children is no longer living with them, that his youngest is the only one left to look after him and his wife. They came from Pasig, and were relocated in Western Bicutan because of the C5 widening. With all of these hapless bearings, he still has the wide smile on his face as he gracefully shared his story.
He had a very high level of blood sugar, and the doctors were alarmed. He was then provided of the information on what food to avoid– to cut down his sugar intake. He was given a one month supply of tablets to decrease his blood sugar, and vitamins to boost his immune system.
He unhesitatingly followed the flow of the medical mission, and he had a wide smile on his face when he learned that he still had to undergo counselling before procuring his medicines. Indeed God’s calling, he willingly expressed his anxiousness and shared that he hated his life, that as if God always leaves him alone in his daily endeavours. Still, he said that he never failed to pray every night before he sleeps because he still believes in God—even said that he is not afraid to die because he will somehow seek forgiveness from the Lord. It happened that day.
After getting his medicines, he was accompanied to the far-end of the basketball court, and calling one of Operation Blessing staff asked, “May gulong ba kayo para sa wheelchair? Kung pwede sanang mapalitan ito para di ko na kailangang magbayad ng bata na magtutulak sa akin, wala na rin kasi akong pambayad.” (Do you have a spare wheel for a wheelchair? If it is possible to change it, for me not to pay the service of children just to push it for me, I don’t have money to pay for them now.)
The staff unhesitatingly looked for someone they could coordinate for Lolo Benjamin’s free wheelchair; someone who could help him secure all the documents he needs for the processing of the requirements of the free wheelchair grant of OB, lucky enough, a member of Gawad Kalinga (GK) Taguig volunteered herself to help.
Lolo Benjamin asked the wheelchair he is using now from their block leader, and he said that although it was actually for disposal, he had to endure the pain from the inoperative wheelchair—because the broken parts make it impossible to serve its function.
“Naniniwala ako na di pa Niya ako kinukuha kasi gusto ko pang magsisi sa mga kasalanan ko. Alam ko namang papatawarin Niya pa rin ako sa gitna ng lahat ng ginawa ko. Salamat sa [Operation Blessing] sa oportunidad,” he said before a member of GK accompanied him on his way back to their home. (I believe that He still has not yet taken me because I still need to repent for my sins. I know He will eventually forgive me for all that I did. Thank you [to Operation Blessing]for the opportunity.)
Operation Blessing’s medical missions are not just designed to provide medical assistance to our fellowmen, but it is also a medium for the Lord’s saving grace to reach people who are open to be renewed spiritually like Lolo Benjamin. The Lord doesn’t consider someone’s age for His healing power because as long as someone is willing to accept Him wholeheartedly, the repentance will be accepted genuinely.
Be a conduit of God’s blessings!
By partnering with Operation Blessing, you help us distribute wheelchair units from Free Wheelchair Mission to our differently-abled kababayans and make someone’s dream come true. Call our trunklines at 477.7802 to 04 for details on how to partner with us.