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Home Our Missions Mission of Education Ten Years of Healing - What keeps them going?

Ten Years of Healing - What keeps them going?

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Ten Years of Healing
Indonesia
A TIMA doctor
What keeps them going?
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What keeps them going?
At the annual conference in Hualien this year, many TIMA members shared what had kept them going over the years.

Yang Wei-shun (楊偉順) is from Zamboanga, Philippines. He had just come from a TIMA-sponsored free clinic, held specifically for cleft lips and cleft palates. He shared that experience with other people at the conference.

Most of the patients Yang saw at that clinic were teenagers. Some of them had dropped out of school, unable to take the derision from their classmates. Most of them were from poor families and had never dared to dream of the day when their deformed lips would be healed and made whole.

The mother of one young patient told Yang that she felt heavenly joy when she saw her child rolled out of the operating room. Another mother said that she had stopped crying for her son after the surgery, and she had just allowed someone to take a picture of her son for the first time ever.

Yang has organized and participated in many similar Tzu Chi free clinics. He also took part in the establishment of the Tzu Chi Rehabilitation Center and the Tzu Chi Great Love Eye Center in Zamboanga. "All those efforts involved a lot of sweat and toil by many Tzu Chi volunteers," said Yang. "But when we see how we've been able to bring hope to patients and improve their lives, we feel that all that hard work and personal sacrifice was worth it. We'll hold firm to our commitments and try to help more people in the future."

Ruth Oni Angriani Atmadja (林秀蘭) and Kurniawan Tjahajadi (梁樺基), former and current superintendents of the Indonesia Tzu Chi Hospital, both attended the TIMA conference. Ruth is Christian, but feels entirely at home working at Tzu Chi. "Master Cheng Yen teaches compassion and benevolence. These are the goals of all religions. I don't feel that my work with Tzu Chi hinders my beliefs at all. On the contrary, I feel that it allows me to live more fully as a Christian."

After a three-year term, she passed the superintendent's baton to Kurniawan in 2006. Ruth continues to do what she loves to do: helping TIMA plan large-scale free clinics, relief distributions, and medical and health awareness programs in remote areas.

Kurniawan used to practice medicine on a small island. The indigenous population there lived a simple life, and the time spent on that island was his happiest. When he left the island to work for a large hospital in Jakarta, he found the joy of treating patients gradually diminish. He came to the conclusion that practicing medicine in a large city was not his cup of tea. Luckily, he was able to rekindle his love for medicine when he came to the Indonesia Tzu Chi Hospital. He enjoys treating people in need at places few other physicians are willing to go. He cherishes the frank, from-the-heart interactions between people in remote areas.

Two years ago, Kurniawan went with other volunteers to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, to help earthquake victims. A grateful and gracious patient picked bananas from his trees (the only thing he owned after the earthquake), steamed the fruit, and offered them respectfully to the doctors. It is warmth such as this that has kept Kurniawan volunteering year after year.

Pressing on
The need for free clinics shows no sign of abating. On the contrary, the need for free medical care is continually increasing. "We are not unduly discouraged," said Dr. Lin Chin-Lon. "A patient served is a life saved. We must do our utmost to carry on our mission." He implored TIMA conference attendees to press ahead, to spread love, to promote disease prevention and healthy lifestyles, and to help the needy regain the strength and confidence to stand on their own again.

As medicine advances and new technologies develop, people are getting better care at medical facilities. But even in advanced countries, there exist dark corners inhabited by poor, needy people. In such areas, TIMA members will continue to extend love to the suffering and help them toward a better future.

Compiled by Li Wei-huang and Qiu Ru-lian
Information provided by Liang Miao-kuan, Lin Wei-xin, and Yu Jian-xing
Translated by Tang Yau-yang
Tzu Chi Quarterly Winter 2008


 

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