We read in the New Testament that the harvest is great, but the laborers are few. This certainly applies to the medical needs of the Third World. While many countries have some highly trained medical personnel and medical facilities, their distribution remains limited and the needs of the poor are frequently inadequately addressed. Thanks to the generosity of many medical personnel in the First World, medical and surgical missions abroad seek to help those most in need, trying to fill in some of the gaps in local health care delivery.
This last month, I was able to volunteer with the Society of Philippine Surgeons in America on their annual mission trip to their home country. My son, Kevin, age 18, was in attendance as well as a volunteer. Our experience was profound and deeply moving. The presence of a deep and prevailing poverty in the beautiful country of the Philippines was in regular evidence. Fortunately, with the support of Bausch and Lomb, we were able to bring medical and surgical supplies of over US$10,000 to be used for the benefit of the most poor. Working with the fine Ophthalmology Residents of Velez Hospital, in the city of Cebu, we performed some 25-cataract operations and left supplies sufficient for another 25 operations after our departure.
I have included pictures taken on our mission trip, to help you visualize the experience. Perhaps you have an inclination to serve on a medical mission trip, or already have served on one? The Finger Lakes Guild welcomes any pictures or experiences you may wish to share. In either case, we hope that you may be able to join us on May 25th at St Bernard’s School of Theology, 120 French Road, Rochester, 14618, at 7 pm for an evening of reflection and sharing on our own medical mission, both here and abroad. Ellen Dailor, M.D. and I will be presenting some our own experiences with foreign medical mission work.
We hope to see you on May 25th. Please feel free to bring friends and colleagues for this evening of sharing. Our Faith is constantly calling us to care for our fellow man in need!
Richard Seeger, M.D.
President, Finger Lakes Guild