Caring for the earth at a Philippine eco-center is one of hundreds of ways in which Medical Mission Sisters around the world try to be a healing presence to others today.
The Cagayan Valley in Northern Luzon is one of the hottest, driest areas of the Philippines, with summertime temperatures over 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Sister Yolanda Durian is in mission there in an eco-center called HOME (Healers of Mother Earth). The center is a place where people in the valley can learn how to care for their environment. It also has a clinic that offers alternative healing modalities.
HOME is surrounded by the rice fields of poor farmers who formerly depended on rain in order to plant rice. When the rains came, they were able to harvest once a year, but they did not have enough water for the necessities of life. Sister Yolanda explains, “These farmers and their families worked so hard, but were still poor, sickly and undernourished. Their children were not even able to go to school.”
The people working in HOME discovered a free-flowing, underground stream that could be harvested to supply clean water, not only to the eco-center, but also for the farmers and their families. “If the poor farmers are able to plant and harvest more often, they will be able to eat enough to keep them healthy,” Sister Yolanda says.
With the help of a generous donor, our Sisters were able to use wind and solar energy to bring the underground water to the surface and harvest it. This system will permanently supply the water needs of the eco-center and the farmers.
Sister Yolanda adds gratefully, “The eco-center teaches people how to care for and heal the Earth, and make proper use of the bounty of the Earth like water to keep them healthy. It also supplies the farmers with clean water for their daily needs, and for watering their rice fields and gardens. When people are able to harvest from the work of their hands, they are able to eat and maintain their health…a healthy environment makes people healthy, and water is indispensable to a healthy life.”
June 15, 2010