Previously, the Luke Society clinic was strictly an out-patient clinic. But when local leadership restricted Dr. Cayaon from bringing her patients that needed overnight care to the local hospital, they were forced to become an in-patient clinic as well. "It brought advantages and disadvantages to the usual activities of the ministry," says Dr. Cayaon. "With in-patient care, we have to be at the base clinic for maximum results. This has lessened our time in the fields or visits to other villages. However, this has increased our time with the patient and his family and loved ones. There is time enough for prayers, counseling, interviews and sharing God’s Word."
The out-patient department attends to an average of 300 patients per month, while the in-patient service treats an average of 30 per month. The only X-ray machine in the area is in the Luke Society clinic, which draws patients to the clinic rather than to the government hospitals. A Christian medical technician has partnered with Dr. Susie to provide laboratory results for her private clinic, and a sonographer comes once a month to provide ultrasound services.
On the weekends, the Cayaons close the clinic for family time and field work including village visitations, film shows and evangelistic rallies.
In April 2007, Luke Society clinic staff held a daily vacation Bible school in a nearby village. Over 60 children, ages 4 to 15, attended the classes. "The Gospel was given through lessons and a film during the closing program," explained Dr. Cayaon. "Every one of them expressed that they have decided to take Jesus as their only Savior."
They also show one film per month. "We go to villages and proclaim the Gospel," says Dr. Cayaon. "We work hand-in-hand with a resident pastor so that he can promote the activity and his church can follow up with those who express their faith in Jesus."
The film shows have been a surprising success in the ministry. They choose films that have Christian values and are evangelistic in nature. With their portable projector and generator, the entire staff travels to a village and a white screen blanket is tied to tree branches or poles. "Usually, we are under the stars since there are no buildings big enough to hold 150-1,000 people. We pray for no rain, or else the show is cancelled," Dr. Cayaon says. "Usually the watchers walk for as long as an hour to get to the place and to get back to their homes."
In places where there is no electricity, the shows are a welcome event for the whole community. The turn-out in communities without electricity is much higher than in those with televisions. "Filipino characters are well-accepted," she says. "English characters with Filipino-dubbed language are well-accepted also."
"Film shows are helpful to us because it is a way of communicating Christian truths to a big number of people at the same time in a controlled environment," Dr. Cayaon explains. "This is also an effective tool for church evangelism and beneficial to the local pastors and church workers. It is able to promote our clinic ministry and the local church ministry."
In the past, the Cayaons have butted heads with local government officials and were "intentionally neglected" in government plans and meetings. In May of 2007, however, the administration changed and new officials are in place. "So far, we have been invited to take part in the planning board and now we have become a part of the Executive Committee," Dr. Cayaon says. "Trust in who we are and what we do in spite of the heavy opposition must have triggered their decision to involve us in the highest council of our town. To God be the glory!"
Dr. Susie counts it a true success to find acceptance among her peers in her home country of the Philippines. "I used to think that missions meant getting out of one’s country and to bring the lost to Christ," she says. "But the longer I work with the Luke Society, I finally understand that the best place for me is in my own home country. I get to see the real Filipino family and their values in life. I also found that the ‘lost’ can be ‘found,’ and they are breathing next to me."
Not only has Dr. Cayaon’s love for her people grown, but her faith has grown also. "I used to plan only when finances were at hand. I used to be afraid to create visions that seemed to involve so much of me and my family. I used to think small," she admits. "Looking back on how the Lord has changed me, I have to admit that we’ve gone further than I ever imagined. We went through tough times, uncertain of the future, praying on our knees, crying for God’s help and direction, accepting our big assignments. How we – my husband and I – survived is a living testimony of the faith that the Lord instilled in our hearts. By His unending grace we continue to live by faith."
And as she hears of these same struggles and growth from other Luke Society ministries around the world, she feels the sense of family. "We have become entwined with other Christians and have grown to be a part of the Luke Society family," she says. "I can no longer live alone, but as a vital member of this worldwide clan."