It’s a very humbling and uplifting experience to have witnessed the inaugural programs of the Adventist University of the Philippines College of Medicine during the weekend. God’s timing is indeed perfect and His will is always the best! 😀
I first met Dr. Doris Mendoza on March 2, 2014. It was providential that I was invited to sing before she spoke at the Health Professionals Convention, held in Heritage Center, Ortigas. I was indeed very grateful for the privilege to render a song with my friend, Weanne Myrrh Estrada, the pianist. I was elated and was astonished with Dr. Doris’ miraculous conversion and restoration. It was an encounter with a literal wounded healer. I used to address Jesus Christ as my Wounded Healer, especially during the three consecutive years of the most challenging and painful family crucibles (three of my family members died each year due to complicated health cases). It’s just fascinating to be comforted through her testimony of God’s transforming love.
Our next unexpected meeting was on March 30, 2015 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (PAL). Our flight was so delayed, and when I went to charge my laptop, I saw her again! I seldom see her in AUP, and it was a delightful surprise, she even gave me the first brochure of AUP College of Medicine fresh from the printing press.
To support the remarkable milestone of AUP, I cancelled all my appointments and invitations this weekend. I couldn’t miss this for the world! It’s just great to be a part of this most-awaited event, a history and a HIStory in progress. It’s all about God and His great faithfulness!
The Dream Lives On
According to Dr. Doris Mendoza, the Founding Dean, among 16 applicants for medical schools nationwide in 2014, AUP was one among the only three schools chosen by CHED (Commission on Higher Education). But among the three, AUP was the last. The technical committee made it a very hard process, with a query: “Why start another one when the country has more than 40 medical schools already?” Two rejections from the technical committee had been very discouraging and frustrating. And yet, God made it possible when everything seemed impossible! The key people advised them how to improve everything that needed to be improved, to be ready for the approval and its opening.
What made AUP College of Medicine set-apart is its mission and vision: to train, to produce, and to empower medical missionaries that would help hasten the advancement of God’s work. Lifestyle Medicine is the highlight of Preventive Medicine. The health message is indeed the right arm of the gospel and this dream of establishing a medical school sparked 30 years ago, during the administrative leadership of the late Dr. Alfonso Panis Roda, President of Philippine Union College (now AUP) 1965-1987. During the immediate past President of AUP, Dr. Gladden Flores, the Southern Asia-Pacific Division finally said “yes”, supporting the establishment of COM.
Finally, the dream became a reality earlier today, the White Coat Ceremony of the first Seventh-day Adventist medical school in Asia took place at the portals of the Alumni Hall (COM building). AUP-COM is the 6th SDA medical school around the world! It’s during the incumbent President, Dr. Francisco Gayoba that it was approved by CHED, built and inaugurated. Isn’t our Lord wonderful?
According to Ellen G. White, a true converted physician is ten times more effective than any minister in winning souls for Christ. Dr. Doris Mendoza reiterated: “Our trust as God’s people is to rescue souls, not only the body, but mind and spirit…” Quoting her favorite verse, she shared the highlight of her conversion story: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).
Dr. Doris Mendoza had been a very active and faithful Christian leader for many years before she became an Adventist (learn more about her conversion and restoration story in a special feature article soon). For 36 years and 3 months, she taught in the previous medical school were she has a lucrative work and position. She’s been world-renowned physician for her medical contributions, leadership both in the hospital and in her previous churches, teaching prowess and advocacy.
“I can’t thank God enough for my SDA students (former medical students) who lighted my path through their lifestyle practice, especially keeping the Sabbath.” She emphasized that those former students had been instrumental for her to know the truth about Sabbath and healthy lifestyle, for they live up to the truth they embraced. Being inspired, she wants to pay forward the goodness of God. “This is main reason I want to pay forward by accepting the call to teach and serve the students of AUP College of Medicine.”
Of Peculiarity and Providence
From the God’s providential workings in miraculously transforming and restoring Dr. Doris Mendoza (cancer survivor) to tremendously blessing AUP COM with financial needs and dedicated workforce, it’s no doubt that this project is a fulfilled vision.
The generous supporters and prayer warriors who’ve caught the vision and have joined forces to advance this cause are empowered by compassion and spirit of sacrifice. Even before the construction of the College of Medicine building started, the Lord had provided unimaginably. The three prominent alumni associations: EASNAC (Eastern North America Chapter), AACNA (Alumni Association of Central North America) and AWESNA (Alumni of Western North America) have been very supportive in channeling financial help and offering fervent prayers.
Aside from the major supporters, local and international non-SDA institutions, organizations and corporations (AUP’s friends) have been benevolent as well. Even with the special appeal for support yesterday during the Sabbath worship, more than P70, 000 (cash) was raised, and more than P900,000 was raised as pledges from generous brethren. Millions of dollars and a single peso has the same value in the sight of God, and it’s the generous heart that matters most. Both huge and small amounts contributed to the accomplishment of the progressive College of Medicine.
We can’t thank God enough for the unfathomable blessings endowed. Despite the hurdles, unfavorable circumstances and hardships AUP faced in the past years, today marked another milestone of His faithfulness. Imagine having 18 pioneering students who are very talented and gifted, and 126 pioneering faculty who are dedicated and determined to share their expertise through teaching and mentoring.
The Adventist University of the Philippines is indeed wonderfully blessed! Having the College of Medicine to gear the advancement of Christ’s healing ministry, the world-wide church of the Seventh-day Adventists are encouraged to continually support in prayers and encouragements. The presence of the distinguished guests, leaders from the General Conference, Dr. Peter Landless (GC Health Ministries Director) and Dr. Lisa Beardsley–Hardy, (GC Education Department Director) and the support of the flagship and sister medical school (pioneer) Loma Linda University through Dr. Roger Hadley (Dean, College of Medicine); the presence of the government leaders and alumni from far and near; have been a clear manifestation of a unified support to carry on the call to academic excellence and exquisite service among the medical students, faculty and staff.
“Serve God where you are planted.
…Spend and be spent for the ministry.
…The mission of the gospel and health ministry should never be separated.” ~ Dr. Peter Landless (Spoken Word, Philippine International Church)
“Over the past 100 years, Loma Linda has refined a process to select mission-focused graduates who have carried out the healing ministry of Christ and the commission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and their mentoring of AUP and our other new medical schools has been vital.” ~ Dr. Lisa Beardsley–Hardy (ANN news article)
“Our Lord Jesus Christ came to this world as the unwearied servant of man’s necessity. He “took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses,” that He might minister to every need of humanity. Matthew 8:17. The burden of disease and wretchedness and sin He came to remove. It was His mission to bring to men complete restoration; He came to give them health and peace and perfection of character.” ~ Ellen White, Ministry of Healing, p. 18
Related articles (click the title to read)
“Why Do You Serve?” Loma Linda Global Health Institute (feature)
Philippines approves New Adventist Medical School Adventist News Network
AUP COM Update: Tidings of Great Joy! (open letters from the administrators)
Have you caught the vision too? You might have the same burning desire to support the advancement of this cause.
There’s still a great burden financially, for the facilities and other needs. Your financial help would also be much appreciated!
For more information and queries, don’t hesitate to contact:
Pastor Maximino Cadalig (Director, AUP Advancement Department)
mobile number: 0916 339 0125
© 2015 LAF