Dominican Republic, 2012
This is a copy of a message from one of the optical team participants.
From: Ellyne Shepard [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 5:06 PM
To: Holland Kendall
Subject: RE: shipment
Thanks for askingÖit was fabulous!
We saw a lot of very sick patients. Several villages had some epidemics going on, so that is where our team was sent. Consequently, almost everyone on our team members also got sick after the first week. I went down the second week with 8 others and we were the only healthy ones at that point. Fortunately, it was only 4 people who were so sick that they had to stay in their beds, so we were able to continue on with our clinics seeing about 70 patients per day. Bobby came home sick and hasnít made it back into work yet.
We kept a steady stream of eye glass patients and only had to turn away a two whose prescriptions we could not accommodate Ė one being legally blind.
We also had a team who were during a Water Survey, who were able to give out 103 water filtration devices in 4 of the 5 villages we worked in. (We didnít know in advance that we were going to the 5th village or they probably would have also brought a few buckets to that location.) Each of these water bucket and filter units will last for 10 years with just water cleaning on the filter and soap and water cleaning on the buckets! We are hoping to add this as a regular component to our medical clinics in the future. So much illness and disease could be avoided with just a source of clean water.
That group also told the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. Several people professed Christ who heard and understood during that presentation!
We had a good number of people each day who committed their lives to Christ and also a good number of recommitments. (We donít keep numbers because Bobby doesnít like us to talk EVANG-ELASTICALLY.) Three of the villages have a thriving church to do discipleship with the new converts, one village has a growing Bible study group that is looking for a location for a church building. The fifth village did not yet have any type of Christian church or Bible study group in it, though we did meet several patients who professed Christ even there. Now the other pastors will have contacts even in that village.
The saddest part of our trip was that there were SO MANY people who could tell US the gospel, better than some people who call themselves Christians in the U.S., but who werenít interested NOW in committing their lives to Christ. Even though they could talk about salvation being a free gift that was not merited, it seemed that they still had some idea that they were not yet good enough to become a Christian. Our job is not to make them Christians, but to sew and water and fertilize the seeds. The harvest is the Lordís! We will ALL continue to pray that God would open their eyes soon.
Grace and Peace,
Christian Medical Ministry of Alabama