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"I thought I'd go blind but God made a way for me to have my surgery for free..."

Updated: Sep 20, 2022


We live in a fallen world and though it can be hard to understand, God allows things to happen for good reasons. Sometimes the things we can’t change end up changing us. Just like how God used Pastor Roy’s situation to show His glory as the story goes. This is the continuation of Pastor Roy Ongoco’s story. He was one of the IT missionaries in Laos back in 2011 until 2014.

After Pastor Roy and his wife studied the locals’ language, they were stationed in a remote area near the mountains in Paksong Province. They started to do God’s work and Pastor Roy worked as a farm administrator on a coffee farm, so he could effectively reach out to the locals. He and his wife were in a risky situation, for Christianity was not widely accepted in those areas and there could be a possibility of being deported once they would be found out as missionaries. For years, they have been under God’s protection and continued doing God’s work. However, another recurring tragedy was about to happen.

After losing his left eye, the doctor warned him before that his right eye would become weak and that if he is not careful, he might lose his right eye as well. Then the most dreadful thing happened when he was in Laos. His right eye was strained and there was blood in the front of his eye and the anterior chamber was filled with blood. He lost his vision and he couldn’t go anywhere without the help of his wife. He just stayed mostly in his room in isolation, feeling sorry for himself and thinking that it was his last ministry before he completely went blind. His son, who had just graduated from the seminary, went to Laos to assist Pastor Roy with the mission work. Pastor Roy was also thinking of turning over all his tasks and responsibilities to his son since he couldn’t see anymore.

Pastor Roy had his check-up in Thailand. It was just a few hours away from where they were staying, and since Thailand has better medical facilities, he along with his wife went to see the doctor. The doctor said that Pastor Roy’s right eye has been filled with blood and it can’t be removed by any laser treatments and the possibility of losing his right eye is at hand. The doctor gave him a referral letter to a hospital in Bangkok called Siriraj Hospital to get further treatment. Little did he know that the Siriraj Hospital is one of the most prestigious hospitals, and it is the king’s hospital. Before he could get admitted, he had to fill out some forms and in the ‘denomination’ category he wrote Baptist. Pastor Roy also had this personal gesture where he shaves off the hair on his head every time he has some personal requests to the Lord.

As his medical ID was processed, "Buddhist' was written in his denomination, and the hospital personnel had the notion that Pastor Roy is a monk because of his appearance. Changing the details in his medical ID would be quite a hassle and fortunately, he was granted a check-up and was admitted to that hospital because of that honest mistake. When he had his check-up, the doctor told him that his chances to see again would be 50-50 and he could not go back to the Philippines since traveling is not advised in his condition. He contemplated and thought that the best option would be undergoing surgery in Thailand.

When he was scheduled for his eye operation, he asked the doctor how much it would cost him. Back when he had the surgery on his left eye, they became broke because it was awfully expensive. Now that he was in Thailand, he was certain that it would cost triple the amount they have to spend. Fortunately, the doctor said it was free. Pastor Roy couldn’t believe it! A lot of people come to Thailand and spend a lot of money to be treated, yet his operation was free. The doctor said that the king of Thailand has the same problem with his left eye. Therefore, those patients who have the same condition would be free of charge with their treatments or operation.

Pastor Roy was exceedingly glad because he felt God’s love for him, and he experienced an extraordinary miracle when he was in a foreign land. It was beyond words how God moved through his situation. No one could say that everything that has happened was just a coincidence. But it was proof that God has orchestrated from the simple honest mistake down to the major details of the king having the same condition as Pastor Roy.

After the successful operation, Pastor Roy and his wife decided to go back to the Philippines. Even though they went back to the Philippines, Pastor Roy’s son and daughter took over the work they had started and continued to stay in Laos as missionaries. Meanwhile, Pastor Roy and his wife are doing a church ministry in Orani, Province of Bataan.

God remains perfect, good, loving, kind, and just. Some people are blind and see better than people with eyesight. Some people are deaf and can hear better than people with good hearing. Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. There is no greater disability in society than the inability to see a person as more. Your disability will never make God love you less. We also need to remember that He is Jehovah Rapha – the God who heals!

Psalm 103:1-5

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with a good thing, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.

(Written by: Venus Jablo)

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