Saturday, June 02, 2007

Of prayers and passports


There are days...

When you have a major presentation for work which you toil the whole week for…

And your alarm clock fails to wake you up at the appointed time on the day of the presentation…

For which you rush to the taxi stand to get a cab to take you to the office…

Where you wait for at least half an hour…

Until you finally land in one whose driver is even outpaced by a snail…

Whom you have to endure for an extended period of time because all traffic lights at all intersections turn red five meters before you are supposed to go through them…

Eventually arriving at least an hour late in the office disheveled, pale, and drenched in liters of sweat…

To be informed by your boss’s secretary in her usual nonchalant demeanor- that he took the day off because of his sick kid and that the presentation is postponed until further notice.

O joy.

It was during one of the rare times I surfed the UP Manila website that I saw the invitation for the Advanced Seminar On Applied Techniques On Public Medicine And On Emergency Situations For Asian Experts: The Indonesian Experience sponsored by Cooperacion Espanola (AECI)- the Spanish Aid agency. Immediately, I thought this would enrich the module I teach for third year medical students and it will also benefit our Gawad Kalusugan work since we are slowly taking on disaster management and emergency preparedness as an advocacy. What a blessing for me to stumble upon this invitation!

It was a Thursday night and the deadline for submission of application + other requirements was the following Monday. Great! I still had Friday and that Monday to accomplish all paperwork. I knew I can make it. My planner revealed a relatively light sched for those two days.

But no. Activities in GKal came one after the other- including hours-long meetings and shooting for our documentary. Before I knew it, 5pm of Monday has come and gone. The next day, I rushed to accomplish all requirements after calling the Cooperacion Espanola office in Manila and getting their nod for a late submission of my application. Simply put, I was able to send them the materials at around 3pm of Tuesday, the day after the application was due.

A week passed- no phone call, no email from AECI Manila. I even activated my voicemail service so I wouldn’t miss their call should I be in class or my battery be drained. Another week passes. Feeling antsy two Thursday after I submitted my requirements, I called the
AECI here in Manila to inquire about the status of my application.

- Sir, you didn’t get our email yesterday?
- No, I didn’t.
- I’m sorry you weren’t included in the list because we prioritized doctors from disaster-prone areas like Bicol…
- Oh ok. Thanks very much.

The end. Or so I thought.

The following day, Friday, I went through the usual activities for the day. I went to our Lingkod prayer meeting and got home at around 11pm. I checked my email. And to my delight, sitting in my inbox was an email from Spain, containing my acceptance letter to the June 3-12 course, an all-expenses-covered course, including airfare, hotel accommodations, hotel transfers, meals, and travel insurance. Surreal but definitely nice.

Sampai Jumpa! (See you later in Bahasa)

--==+==--


Indeed the Lord works within the desires of our hearts. I am a firm believer that what we ask for in earnest, earnest prayer, He will grant. This Jakarta trip is proof of His faithfulness- should there be days that I ever be in doubt of it.

But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

1 comment:

  1. Wow Ian, you are truly blessed!

    Bring home lahat ng matututunan mo. Im really happy for you. :)

    ReplyDelete

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