House fire claims the lives of Adventist Missionary Couple in Central Philippines
A deadly fire claimed the lives of Seventh-day Adventist medical missionaries in Brgy. Policarpio, Calbayog City, Samar, Saturday morning, August 31.
Dr. Pacifico Maypa, a surgeon and his wife, Delie May Maypa, Nurse Director of Adventist Hospital - Calbayog (AHC) both died after being trapped in their room while the raging fire crept rapidly coming from the front door.
Adventist Hospital-Calbayog administration and several eye witnesses confirmed that fire started around 3:50 AM and was declared fire out by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) 20 minutes after.
According to sources, Dr. Maypa, 65 and wife Delie May, 57 were sound asleep in one of the Adventist Hospital-Calbayog's residential apartments when the fire started. Nine other individuals staying in the facility managed to escape safely.
Denmark Baldoza, Adventist Hospital-Calbayog Finance Controller, managed to escape the raging fire together with four family members. Four external auditors from Tacloban city who were staying in the same complex were also confirmed safe during the house fire.
Dr. Pacifico from Iloilo and Delie May from Ozamis are both remembered as remarkable medical missionaries of their generation. Prior to their missionary endeavors in Calbayog City, the couple served in various medical institutions in Africa where they assisted in numerous outreach programs for the African community.
With a heart for mission, the couple spent a total of eight years of medical missionary work in an Adventist hospital in Yuka, Zambia and in Akomaa Memorial Hospital in Kowita, Ghana.
The Maypa couple are parents to three children, Carlene Jade, El Rej, and Kczerne Del.
"They (Maypa couple) are truly an inspiration to us. Their missionary-spirit will live within us and will remind us of how valuable it is to utilize what God has entrusted us for mission," Josephine Maypa said. Josephine is Dr. Pacifico's sister in law, wife of Dr. Glenn Maypa, Central Philippine Union Conference (CPUC) Health Director.
"I will remember him (Dr. Pacifico Maypa) as a dedicated, hardworking, medical doctor. For Delie, she will always be (remembered as) a kindhearted and conscientious nurse," Josephine added.
Messages of sympathy and condolences flooded social media upon hearing this tragic event.
Dr. Lalaine Alfanoso, Health Ministries Director in the Southern Asia-Pacific region, colleague and a close friend to the missionary couple extended her thoughts about the couple's attitude towards mission.
"I’ve known them (Maypa couple) as passionate, dedicated, and committed medical missionaries," Alfanoso said.
"In spite of the luxury, comfort, and abundance of life in the Philippines, they have been selfless in responding to the call in Africa. They lived a life of surrender and sacrifice, and they left a living legacy for the Master Physician’s glory," Alfanoso added.
“He (Dr. Pacific Maypa) was a man of God, a skilled surgeon, and a dedicated missionary to his service. Delie May was a supportive wife, thoughtful and kind, ready to lend a listening ear to any concerns and was always ready to counsel,” said Dr. Rose Shirley Llaguno, president of Adventist Hospital-Calbayog.
“We have worked together for just nine months, but his enthusiasm to assist the needy reflects his manner on Christian service. We have lost great servants,” Llaguno added.
Relatives and friends of the Maypas request that the affected family be kept in prayer as they face this grievous event.
The Maypa couple will be brought to Cebu for cremation after which their remains will be buried in Iloilo where Dr. Pacifico Maypa enjoyed his childhood.
Seventh-day Adventist beliefs are meant to permeate your whole life. Growing out of scriptures that paint a compelling portrait of God, you are invited to explore, experience and know the One who desires to make us whole.