Philippine Profiles (7)

By Jim McDonald

Teressa Cruz -Toreja is the daughter of Ben and Delores Cruz. Ben preaches for the Kapitbahayan, Navotas church, one of Manila’s largest congregations. Teressa is a medical doctor, practicing medicine under what some might call “primitive” conditions. However, Teressa’s knowledge and skills are anything but primitive! 

Teressa’s practice has greatly increased and I have seen her facilities expand from just one room to where now she occupies almost the entire house of her parents. One of Teressa’s promises to her parents (who greatly sacrificed that she might go to college and then to medical school) was that she would attend the needs of indigent Christians, without charge. Teressa has kept that promise and needy saints from all over Manila come to seek her help and at- tention. The Kapitbahayan church helps Teressa by paying for the medicine she supplies to their needy members. 

Teressa does not confine her care solely to Christians. She practices Paul’s instructions “as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). Once each month she has a “Saturday clinic” in which she sees, without charges, the sick in her area. By chance I was at her parents’ home the day one such clinic was conducted and witnessed the overflowing number of patients there who took advantage of Teressa’s mercy. 

Teressa is a devout Christian. She and Jerry, her husband (who works for Philippine Airlines), provide regular, monthly support to some of the Manila area preachers for their needs and transportation. When funds for her father’s radio program (Manila’s only radio program among brethren) was not forthcoming and cessation of the program seemed eminent, Teressa and Jerry saved the day by providing half of its cost and challenging the Kapitbahayan church to provide the other half (they did). Ben’s widely heard program continues, with its growing and far reaching effectiveness. 

Teressa’s love for fellow-Christians and care for her fel- lowmen provide an excellent opportunity to Americans who also want to share in practicing pure religion. Individual Christians can help Teressa greatly by supplying her with medicine and medical supplies that she might not only help needy saints, but other indigents, as well. She would welcome and distribute to those who need it most, cough and cold medicines, anti-asthma medications, antacids and anti-ulcer medications, antifungal, antibacterial, anti- inflammatory ointments and creams, vitamins, aspirins, gauze, plaster, steristrips, sutures (chromic, silk, needles), any medical instrument (even slightly used ones), as well as all other various kinds of “over the counter” medicines. You can help this noble woman help attend to poverty stricken brethren and non-Christians, and prove to be a blessing. 

It is highly unlikely that you will come into contact with a fraction of the needy that Teressa does. Jesus will com- mend some on the last day by saying, “I was sick . . . and ye ministered unto me,” concluding “inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye did it unto me.” By providing Teressa with medical supplies, you can help as she gives to others and by aiding your brethren, these little ones, you minister unto our Lord! What noble and blessed deeds you can do by helping our sister in her acts of mercy and compassion! 

Write her: Teresa Cruz-Toreja, MD, B-01 Kapitbahayan, Navotas, 1413, Metro Manila, Republic of the Philippines.