July 7, 2014


Life can be running smoothly, comfortably, when suddenly the Lord throws in a “time bomb” and everything changes.

This happened to me in 2010 while I was living a hectic lifestyle, but enjoying my clinical practice as an obstetrician-gynecologist and appreciating my financial security. That’s when the Lord planted a burning desire in my heart to engage in medical missionary work.

I initially fought the idea, but I eventually proposed what seemed an impossible deal. I asked God to slow me down to the point where I could devote less time to my clinical practice and more time in service to others. I also asked Him to help me maintain my financial status.14 1 4 1

Almost two years later, in January 2012, my husband, Rey, and I prayed and fasted for guidance regarding what God would like us to do in service for others. We continued to pray earnestly and perseveringly for God to open doors, and also spent time in careful study of the counsels of Ellen White.

Then in April 2013 Rey and I attended a camp meeting at the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP), from which was launched the Integrated Evangelism Lifestyle (IEL) approach adopted by the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) for evangelistic work. IEL is SSD’s comprehensive strategy to share the love of God through small care groups, and actively involve members in sharing their faith.1 This program provided us with a plan about how to accomplish the work the Holy Spirit was inspiring us to do.

Stepping Out in Faith

Following camp meeting we began looking for a facility in which we could base our work. One day we heard an audio sermon entitled “Reaching the Cities With Centers of Influence,” by Jeff McAuliffe. McAuliffe pointed out the necessity of “downsizing,” even one’s income, in order to be able to do God’s work, particularly establishing healthful-living community centers based on biblical principles. We were inspired, and it became easier for us to make the decision to sacrifice time, space, and resources to build a “center of influence.”

After many prayerful discussions in which we considered the magnitude and cost of the work to be done, along with the fact that our two children were attending medical school, Rey and I finally agreed that rather than renting out the second floor of my clinic in Pasay City, we would convert it into the Heavenly Treat Hope and Health Center, a medical outpost and center of influence that follows the principles and counsels of Ellen White.2

Were we concerned about finances? Certainly. But we believed that if we said yes to God’s call, He would provide us with all the needed resources to do the work He was assigning us. After all, if it’s God’s will, it’s God’s bill!

The renovation of the clinic began in June 2013. The construction work proceeded smoothly under Rey’s supervision—he is a civil engineer. God provided all the needed materials, fixtures, and furnishings. Many prayers were offered at every step of the three-month process.

I had been sharing my plans for the clinic with my patients, and the list of those interested in availing themselves of its services grew longer and longer. They impatiently kept asking me when the center would open.

The Vision Becomes Reality

On October 21, 2013, the Heavenly Treat Hope and Health Center was officially dedicated to God. Zorobabel D. Aquitania, pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist church at the Adventist Medical Center in Manila, delivered the dedicatory message and prayer.

14 2 0SMOOTHIES: Dr. Ancheta-Garcia demonstrates how to blend healthful smoothies." class="img-left" style="float: left;">The center’s mission is to educate people about the principles and practice of living a healthful lifestyle, and to help them prepare for the second coming of Jesus. Its core tenets center on the apostle Paul’s counsel: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Tim. 4:8). Staff members live by the center’s motto: “Give God Glory.”

The first IEL meeting at the center was held the day after its official dedication. We now hold meetings three times a week. These gatherings include such activities as singing, praying, IEL lectures, health principles and updates, demonstrations of vegan food preparation, and dinner with the doctor.

Guests who arrive early can choose a “treat” from the following free services, which begin and end with prayer: salt glow body scrub, hot bath with Epsom salts, hot foot bath with back massage, foot massage, or Thai body massage.

Our guests tell us that they “enjoy every minute of their stay with us,” and they’re developing close bonds with one another, as well as with the staff. Their personal testimonies about how God is blessing them and improving their health inspire and motivate us to do more.

With help from young professionals from the Manila Adventist Medical Center church, the center has now organized two additional city missions: one in the Rockwell complex in Makati City, the premier financial and business center of Metro Manila; the other in Taguig City. Some visitors to the missions attended the Revelation of Hope presentations recently held by General Conference president Ted N. C. Wilson and are interested in taking Bible studies and preparing for baptism.

With God’s continued blessings, we hope to establish more Hope and Health Centers of Influence—medical outposts such as Ellen White envisioned—as monuments for God in other cities.

To God be the glory!

  1. http://ssd.adventist.asia/programs/integrated-evangelism-lifestyle/.
  2. Ellen G. White, The Health Food Ministry (Washington, D.C.: Ellen G. White Publications, 1970), pp. 12, 15, 56, 90.

Lillieth Ancheta-Garcia, M.D., is a visiting consultant in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Adventist Medical Center in Manila, Philippines.