Honoring Willow First Responders: Des

Willow Creek | October 22, 2021

Thursday, October 28, is National First Responders Day. We’re excited to spend the week celebrating and honoring our first responders, hearing their heart behind what they do, and how being a Christ-follower influences their actions and attitudes on a daily basis. 

Des was born in the Philippines and decided at an early age she wanted to become a physician. For her, the decision was easy. Her family was from humble roots, and seeing how others lived around her, she felt an inner drive to do more. She became a physician and moved to the United States at age 28.

Early on in her career, Des would have described herself as a doctor who is a Christian, but now she strives to have her faith come first: being a Christian who also happens to be a doctor. Remembering this helps her through trying and exhausting situations, especially at work. Des reminds herself, “Every patient is created by, and important to, God.” 

Despite the trials and pace of her job, Des can’t imagine herself doing anything else: “I thoroughly enjoy what I do, and I feel so undeserving that I get to do what I do. I’m truly blessed. When it comes to doing my job, I try to do the best I can, because when I do my job right I know my efforts honor God. And I’m reminded, no matter the situation, God is always with me and He is faithful–more faithful than I am.”

Although a hard worker Monday through Friday, Des also serves as a first responder at our Willow South Barrington campus as a medic. For her, she juggles work and family life, having a husband and two kids, but in her words, “I felt a calling and I tried to be obedient to it. I get to serve with my talents and skills. When I asked myself, ‘What is He calling me to do?’ It was a quick yes to serve. And Willow is built on the shoulders of volunteers.” Her family has been very supportive of her faithfulness in serving.

When asked how we can rally as a church and support Des and others in the healthcare field, she humbly said, “First responders can never be compensated enough for what they do. Your police, firefighters, medics, and emergency staff, they don’t know what they’re going into every day and yet they keep showing up. We could never understand the cost of what they all do. Let’s be sure to pray for them.” 

Des also added, “When you have a chance to obey God, take it. When it comes to serving, don’t miss out when you feel God prompting you. He always has something valuable in it for you, and we so often underestimate the returns. You can trust Him for the outcome.”