Haggai leader Dr. Jo Vee Dignadice is living proof of what you can do when the storms of life assail you. She has chosen to ride the waves of life’s storms with Jesus as her guide. She says, “God is using the storms that beset us to bring people to Him.” She quotes Isaiah 55:8 so that we might better understand her frame of reference. This Bible verse says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”
For Dr. Jo Vee, it all comes down to that choice of whom to follow — and she chooses her Savior. She is trusting Him, no matter what the circumstances around her look like.
A missionary surgeon based in Bacolod City, Philippines, she and her team have seen turbulence these past two years which expanded the nature of their ministry to taking hospital care right into patients’ homes thus the moniker: “Hospital Without Walls.” She explains, “We get to use medicine to share the love and hope of Christ to the underserved and unreached to help them know His hope and salvation as they welcome us into their homes”
One of the places her surgical team has performed several outreaches is at the Leyte Baptist Hospital in Hilongos, Leyte, the eighth largest and sixth-most populous island in the Philippines. But when a surge of COVID-19 cases curtailed travel and a super-typhoon devastated this hospital campus and the whole town, returning there has proven difficult and the cost of doing surgery had become prohibitive. Many people who needed surgery — elective or essential — have had to wait at least two years.
Dr. Jo Vee says the biggest hurdle to sharing the Gospel is simply not having enough time to lead people to Christ when there is a queue of patients that need to be seen.
Finally, a team of volunteer surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other support staff agreed to travel back to Hilongos to perform four days of surgeries in early 2022. Announcements were made throughout the town and on social media platforms. When Dr. Jo Vee and her team arrived, patients were ready, even some from other nearby provinces and islands.
She explains, “From day one, we prayed for each patient who came, after speaking with each about the upcoming surgery. With one lady, after explaining the management of her illness, I got to share the Gospel with her in a clear and concise way that she understood. The lady told me she had been attending prayer meetings with her Christian siblings but was not herself a believer. So, we went over several Bible verses again and I encouraged her to say ‘yes’ to Jesus. To God’s glory, she said she now finally understands that she needs to personally receive Jesus as her Savior and Lord and then proceeded to commit herself to follow Christ. What joy!”
The miracles did not stop there. A medical student who loves the Lord came for surgery for a mass in her neck; her mother and brother were able to come with her and received a presentation of the Gospel after the team leader informed them of the consensus to do a confirmatory biopsy instead of proceeding with surgery. Her mother put her faith in Jesus right outside the operating room.
QV, a follower of Christ who is 79 years old, had a non-healing ulcer on his forearm for three years. Dr. Jo Vee says, “He needed cancer surgery with reconstruction, and a plastic surgeon was there with us! And God used us to encourage QV to tell his story to bring others to faith in Jesus.”
No matter what you might be going through, good times or bad, Dr. Jo Vee encourages us all to seek the peace that only Christ can give us through the ups and downs of life.
Written by Valerie Dyke