“Little kid Martin used to isolate himself from other kids because of his illness. He refused to play with them in fear of being bullied because of how he looked,” shares Pastor Catherine Martinez.
Martin is a 6-year old child from Brgy. Tablao, Kiamba, Sarangani Province. He came from a minority group from Southwestern Mindanao, known as T’boli. Martin lost his mother at an early age. His father works as a tenant in an outskirt farmland, while his siblings have their own family to take care of, leaving Martin under the care of his aunt in Tablao.
Martin is sick, but due to poverty, he was not able to seek medical help for his health condition.
Last May 2020, when Pastor Catherine visited someone in Tablao, she saw Martin’s poor condition. “His tummy looked swollen and his eyes were puffy, I immediately offered assistance to bring him to the hospital,” Pastor Catherine narrates.
Pastor Catherine was able to buy him the prescribed medicines and helped him complete three sessions of check-ups. However, Martin’s medication and check-up were stopped because Pastor Catherine ran out of her budget to support his medical expenses.
Few months later, Martin was readmitted because of his existing health problems and was also diagnosed with pneumonia.
To pay for the medical bills, Pastor Catherine did her best to secure medical assistance from different humanitarian organizations. Not turning a deaf ear to this request is Operation Blessing, which shouldered Martin’s hospital bills and home medication needs.
“I praise God for all the help we received from OB. Though he still needs to complete a series of tests and check-ups, Martin is full of vigor now. He showcases his talent in our church by singing praises to the Lord,” says Pastor Catherine.