We had many things to do while in Davao with Dr. Call, the first being a presentation ceremony to give many items to the local hospitals for vision help. From specialty microscopes to eyeglasses, it was included. We held it at the Stake Center in Davao and had over 50 people attend, including the press. We use the local church public affairs to aid us wherever we go to set up accommodations, lunch when needed and inviting all the local dignitaries and local leaders of the church. Whenever possible, we have the local leaders give or accept anything we are involved with. This gives the church a Filipino face to be associated with it.
Dr. Call is the tallest in the photo followed by Sister and I. Next is a local Ophthalmologist and then Emily from Mabuhay Deseret. This is the Doctor's office that contains all diagnostic equipment, eyeglasses and an area to do minor surgery all in a 10 foot by 12 foot space. Fortunately, she is receiving a new office next door that is currently being remodeled and is 8 times larger. Incorporated in the new office is a branch of Charity Vision that is part of Mabuhay Deseret and will help with the poor and needy that will come there. Charity Vision will screen the patients and those that qualify will receive free exams, glasses and surgery. The local Dr. will donate her time and equipment (that will come from Mabuhay Deseret) to aid in the cause.
Our son Jeff was in an accident at the Sand Dunes several years ago and had damage done to his eye and face. Dr. Call is the physician that helped do the repairs but was unsuccessful in correcting the ugly. That comes naturally and can't be corrected.
Not far from one of the other hospitals we visited is a small store front being remodeled for another Charity Vision outlet. They will work will the hospitals to refer the poor and needy for work by other Dr's willing to give of their time and means.
Outside the store front is a scene we see everyday. This young mother and her two children are begging for money. Money that will feed her and her kids for the day. It is hard to attack the other issues facing this country (such as education) when the only thing on their minds is "How do I feed my children today?". In spite of their hardships they smile. They have a great faith that somehow the Lord will provide, and he does.
One last item is to find a suitable place to store wheelchairs in this area. The man in the middle is Philip Tan. He is an employee of the church and one of our eyes on the ground as we do our work. I couldn't ask for a more able and dedicated leader to help us. This location is ideal and we will begin to get projects written and approved to fit the bill. We hope to find several locations around the Philippines to house wheelchairs for those that need them.
This is our first trip to Davao, but I hope to return. It is a beautiful place to see for the landscape and the people.