Lini had her surgery and it was a success and she’s already feeling better and able to walk a bit. Thanks for praying!
We learned that she was taken to the better of the two hospitals in the town of Brookes Point. So she’s at the Leoncio private hospital. We’re thankful, because this means she will get a much better quality of care there. It will cost more, but the Lord has so abundantly provided through generous donors, this will not be a problem.
Lini’s nephew Tato is handling things and running errands for them. Lini’s husband Lito is with her inside the hospital and he can’t leave the hospital and get back in due to COVID protocols. Tato picked up the first installment of your gifts from the remittance office. One of the many place he was able to get the cash was the Palawan Pawn Shop. It’s amazing how easy it was to send the money. And the transfer was INSTANT! Literally 2 minutes after I click “send,” the money is there and can be picked up.
Over the years, in our updates you have heard the names Abil and Arturo and Susing. They have been Palawano church leaders and some of our main translation helpers. Susing was the voice for the audio recording of the New Testament. So you might be interested to know that all three of those men are Lini’s brothers. And Tato is Abil’s son.
In the pictures, you can see your dollars turned into the pretty colors of Philippine pesos. I didn’t ask for these pics, but Tato sent them to verify that he had gotten the money!
Why That Hospital?
This is an “interesting” story and illustrates a lot of the culture and how things work on Palawan.
The closest hospital to Lini’s home is run by a foreign mining company. It has pretty good care and international doctors. The mining company is supposed to provide lots of benefits for Palawanos like Lini since they are mining on Palawanos’ ancestral land. (Don’t get me started, but this is an environmental nightmare, if nothing else.)
However, some of Lini’s family members are tribal leaders who are anti-mine and trying to stop the illegal mining planned for their side of the mountain. That is the lush river valley where we lived and ministered for all those years. Because of that, those Palawan men are not on the mining company’s “happy list.” So the local elected “civil servants” who are supposed to give Lini her papers to prove she is “native” Palawano refused because they are in the pocket of the mining company. So Lini would not get the native discount at that hospital, and every aspect of the experience there would be difficult because of a lack of cooperation at every turn.
So we had her taken to the town of Brookes Point. We have contacts in Brookes where Lini and the others can stay. After she is released, she will need a place to rest and regain her strength until she feels up to traveling home on a bumpy dirt road.
It was recommended by our missionaries on Palawan to try to get her into the private Leoncio General Hospital. That hospital at first refused to admit her because she didn’t have the cash yet to pay up front. But Lini’s husband Lito said, “Please admit my wife. A person’s life is worth more than money. And God will provide.” So Lini was admitted. She’ll get better care, and because of your generous gifts, it will be a testimony to the hospital staff that God provides, and that these poor-but-honest Palawanos will indeed pay their bills in full.
Why So Little News?
There are several reasons for this. First of all, the Philippines is 16 hours ahead of California, so there are only about 4 hours a day where it is waking hours simultaneously for us and the Palawanos. Sometimes Bill has been checking his phone and writing messages at 3 a.m. to keep the ball rolling.
Also, the Palawanos are communicating via Facebook Messenger. They are writing in Palawano, and Bill is fluent (he was the Bible translator for this language, remember!) However, they use shortcuts and “textspeak.” They misspell words and leave out critical punctuation. So deciphering their messages is sometimes quite a puzzle. Good thing Bill likes puzzles!
And then they don’t always provide the information we were wanting. They tell us what seems important to them and assume we know things. So we have to ask more questions, and then wait until the next time the Palawanos are awake to answer. Also the hospital is very slow to give them information and Palawanos are too culturally timid to demand answers.
So patience is a good virtue to have in these situations!
More updates coming as we learn more!