Anyone who attended the 2015 ICM Banquet will remember the remarkable story of Susan Entong.
In 2002, Susan was just 11 years old when her drunken father threw a kerosene lamp at her, extensively burning her face and body. For three years, she suffered from festering wounds because the medical treatment she required was not available in Negros Occidental. However, Susan was given a new lease of life when International Care Ministries (ICM) came to her rescue.
Susan was flown to Seattle, Washington, for reconstructive surgery in 2005 where she stayed for 11 months with an ICM host family. On her return, she moved into the ICM Excel House orphanage for young children, finished high school before starting to study social work at University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos (UNO) in Bacolod. She enjoyed the life of a student, making friends and dating.
Like all people of her generation, Susan is adept at social media and got to know Mark through social media, and was surprised by his efforts to get to know her and keep in touch. She responded, and a few months later was surprised when Mark said he was leaving his job in Manila to come back and work in his hometown of Bacolod. Mark admitted to Susan that she was the main reason he was moving home.
After six months in the same city, Mark, a trained mechanic, proposed to Susan. A wedding date was set and on March 18, 2016, Excel House was adorned with flowers and filled with friends as Susan and Mark were married by Susan’s pastor. Members of the ICM family who attended included: Jackie Banasing, Pastor John and Leonivan Enguana, Delores Gagatam, former Excel House supervisor Brenda Tapuz, Dave and Deanna Sutherland and Michal and Louise Joachimowski .
The wedding featured the bride in an empire waist gown and beautiful, long white veil. The groom wore a black tuxedo.
After a short honeymoon, the newlyweds have settled down in Bacolod until Susan graduates from UNO with her degree in social work.
One medical crisis can wipe out any progress most people have made in the fight out of poverty. ICM works with families to help them remove as many barriers to quality health care as possible. In 2014-15, ICM assisted 61 patients with surgical needs and 1,892 patients with non-surgical needs.