Today, I preached the sunrise service at Aninuan Christian Church. I was getting ready to start teaching, when I noticed that a fellow pastor and friend had arrived to encourage and support me. Considering his very full schedule, I was surprised to see him there. But, then again, it didn't really surprise me at all!
Being a full-time missionary medical doctor can mean a very full day of ministry for Francis Daytec. What strikes me as unique about Francis and his wife Leah (who is a midwife) is their ability to speak life into so many crevices of their community. Jesus is important to the Daytec family. They live a rhythm of ministry so natural that it is easy to overlook. However, in all actuality, the scope of their ministry is astonishing.
How many medical doctors do you know who have patients living at their house for post-op recovery? A friend from a mountain tribe recently gave birth and simultaneously had a very serious operation. After the surgery, Francis and Leah invited this precious woman, her husband and five small children to live with them during recovery. At the same time, Leah was hosting a short-term medical team from Australia, home-schooling her three children, and mentoring an American medical missionary living as part of the Daytec family.
Meanwhile, Doc Francis ministers throughout the community serving, encouraging and being a catalyst for outreach. On Saturdays, Doc facilitates a community pastors' get-together at 6am, which focuses on ministering to Mindoro as a church without walls. Francis also happens to be the pastor of a small church that meets in his house, where people come to be taught, loved on, to eat Leah's incredible home-cooked meals, and leave refreshed for another week of service. Between his work as pastor and medical doctor, I've known Doc Francis to work a 40-hour day.
Would you like to meet Doc Francis and Leah? Just come to Puerto Galera and keep your eyes open. They move quietly through the community, feeding homeless, counseling the hurt, and giving medical care to any who ask. I remember when one of our pastor friends broke his arm playing basketball on a Sunday evening. Doc Francis got the call during his church's after-service dinner and immediately left to help his fellow-pastor out. Another time, I was riding my motorcycle past a basketball court where a government medical outreach was taking place. Who do you think was sitting at a folding table listening intently to a patient's words? The other day, we stopped over at the Daytec house to bake some Christmas cookies. A few hours earlier, a mountain family had come to the house with their baby who had been feverish for a week. Doc was out, so Leah got them started on some food and provided an egg fund for the baby. (An egg fund is money that provides one egg a day to help improve the health of malnourished patients.) When Doc got back home, he and I drove up to the church where this beautiful family worships. After a warm welcome from the pastor, we waited a few minutes for the family to arrive. Doc did the check-up and gave them medication to take home.
What strikes me is the heart of this missionary doctor: humble and Christ-centered.
We're a family on mission to bring the good news of Jesus to the Philippines.