Saturday, October 17, 2009

much ado about photos

On our day off on the 28th of September, the Hubby and I happened to volunteer for a medical mission for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy.

I felt totally useless that day because I was neither a doctor nor a nurse, and I didn't think there was much need for "counselors" (at which I would have been useful) because people needed practical aid. But good thing I brought a camera.

At that little operation, we met Ptr. R - he usually does the collecting of stories and a bit of documentation. His camera got drained, and seeing I had a good camera, he asked me to take photos for him. I took a lot of photos and had a blast.

Pastor R recently e-mailed me to let me know that some of the photos I took were posted on their website, accompanying a featured story. He also sent me a link to the page of course.

It makes me glad to see my photos made a valuable visual contribution to a worthwhile website (and of a good organization at that). My camera and what I thought was my insignificant presence turned out to be my two-loaves-and-fish, like in the Bible story. ^_^ The Lord found it useful and "multiplied" it somehow.

Aside from the photos, I realize I made another little contribution. The story featured on that page was that of Mang Antonio, who I just happened to bump into while I was wandering (I thought I got lost). He was repairing his home and asked me if I wanted to see what happened to it. We chatted a while and then I prayed for him. I thought he had an interesting story so I shared a bit of it with Ptr. R. and our team leader Dr. W. They became interested in interviewing Mang Antonio so I led the way to where he was and introduced them. That of course led to Mang A's receiving Christ. His story is now posted on Operation Blessing's website.

I also smile at the thought of being somehow appreciated, particularly after we were put down. You see, a day or two after the Hubby and I volunteered for the medical mission, a certain Sister D from our home church sent an e-mail of complaint to the Hubby and some church higher-ups. She expressed her displeasure at how we volunteered at another organization instead of helping out at our home church, and further at how I shared my photos on my FB page. She might have wanted to promote loyalty to the church or something like that, probably organizational values or whatever. But the way I saw it, the whole country was in crisis brought about by Typhoon Ondoy; people everywhere needed some sort of help, and churches, organizations and local governments were urgently working toward the same end, which is to bring relief to typhoon victims. It shouldn't matter where we did the work as long as the work got done well. Considering the state of emergency, it isn't really the time for protocols and policies. I believe the Hubby and I did a noble thing, choosing to do volunteer work instead of go on with the date we planned months ago. It's a huge shame that some other Christian's legalism, narrow-mindedness and control-freakism would find fault in something good.

I must admit that upset me somehow, but seeing a few of my photos on OB's site is a vindication of sorts. It's a kind of stamp of approval - though not from the home church, but from God - that cheers me up immensely this evening.