MEANS, in consultation with MEANS board member and volunteer, Anne Violanda-Benthien, and MEANS volunteer, Bethel Trasmonte-Skinker, spearheaded 3 initiatives during Anne and Bethel’s visit to Bacolod, Philippines this August.
1) MEANS Dental and Vision Care Clinic was held on August 6th. The purpose of this project was to provide dental and vision consultation and treatment services to low income church workers, missionaries and members of their families located in Bacolod. By providing dental and vision care for the families of our church workers and missionaries through our ministry partners the hope was to alleviate physical challenges, boost self-esteem and bring back dignity to a person, resulting to a more focused and efficient Christian service. As our Christian doctors and volunteers provided care for physical needs, they also ministered to the spiritual needs of the patients through health education, prayer and compassion. This project was accomplished through a partnership with Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, MEANS, and volunteers. Bethel Trasmonte -Skinker, Anne Violanda-Benthein, and Elsie Trasmonte-Quirao led the team.
Our target was to serve at least about 40 – 50 individuals. We thank God for providing volunteer dentists, optometrists and nurses. They provided dental and eye care services for FREE! Some ministry partners in Bacolod also provided the administrative help where needed. Our 2 missionary partners from Elpis Ministry in Mae-sot, Thailand, Roselyn Sanchez and Joy Gahaton, who are on furlough, were also there to help.
The volunteers provided dental materials and medicines such as disposable needles, anesthesia, antibiotic, pain and anti-hemorrhagic medicines, cottons, disposable cups, dental filling material, dentures, etc. to enable them to perform the tooth extractions, tooth fillings, dental cleanings and denture provisions. Prescribed lenses and frames were provided. MEANS helped raised funds for the project.
2) Project Josiah – Greenhouse at F.F. Gonzaga Elementary School was held on August 7th. Anne Benthein’s sister, Rose, had met with the school principal, Ms. Federez about this project. Ms. Federez’s overall reaction was overwhelming excitement for MEANS to initiate this Earth Day project. She informed the Department of Education head about the Earth Day event. The school was chosen to be the only recipient of a Nursery Plant Project from a Batangas-based government program. The Batangas government program provided all the seedlings & nursery trees.
As a result, Ms. Federez requested that MEANS channel the budget for seedlings to build a MEANS Nursery House instead. The purpose: to store the donated seedlings & be a “classroom lab” for students’ PPE classes. Their budget cost for this Nursery House was P6,000 pesos, $150, the exact amount budgeted by Carmena! Also, the school designated 1,000 square meters for a Garden Project. A passionate teacher supervised this project. Rose had met with this passionate teacher & he showed her the areas where the proposed MEANS Nursery House plants would be. With the school principal there, the students planted a vegetable garden with the provided seedlings. The Nursery House will tie in with their school curriculum classes. F.F. Gonzaga Elementary School is also the school that MEANS gave rubber slippers to and where a regular feeding program to malnourished school children is being done weekly by a Project Josiah Team (all volunteers).
Project Josiah also took the opportunity to feed malnourished children of the school in between seed planting and the “Edible Earth Parfait” presentation of Bethel Transmonte. The principal was very grateful for this regular activity of feeding malnourished school children which they do at the school throughout the year.
3) Presentation at F.F. Gonzaga Elementary School on “Edible Earth Parfaits.” This was also held on August 7th, with the purpose of promoting environmental awareness and protection of natural resources among students. Bethel, who is an environmental engineer, gave this presentation. Using a power point presentation, she discussed information about the water cycle, groundwater, aquifer, drinking water sources, how pollution can get into groundwater, and how pumping of groundwater can cause a decline in the water table. She also presented an “Edible Earth Parfaits” activity. This activity was a fun and easy way to understand the above discussions. Participants built their own groundwater, learned about confining layers, drinking water, contamination, recharge and water table. The picture below is a great summary of what was discussed.
In addition to these 3 initiatives, Anne Benthein taught music from August 13th-15th at the Villamonte Christian Reformed School. Anne decided to add this to her already busy schedule.
Thank you, Anne and Bethel, for all your hard work in ministering through these projects!!