Outreach: st. Peter's eye team
Total Teamwork in the Dominican Republic
St. Peter's annual eye mission to San Pedro de Macoris helped hundreds of people see better -- again! For the sixth year, St. Peter's parishioners were joined by volunteers from three other states and six other churches to examine the eyes of nearly 1,000 people and distribute more than 1,500 pairs of prescription and reading glasses and sunglasses to residents of San Pedro de Macoris. We attended a festive, two-hour church service, we set up an extensive clinic and optical shop and saw patients for five days.
It was a joyous and fulfilling time for all 26 members of the eye team. But this year, there was more. Dr. Bill Degenhart and 10 staffers from the Georgia Eye Institute performed surgery on 98 people, removing cataracts and pterygium, giving sight to people who had been unable to see for years. One 90-year-old man had not been able to see his wife for a decade. A mother had not seen her son for years as he grew up.
Suddenly, there they were -- before their eyes, loved ones who had become foggy memories. Their new vision was greeted by cheers, applause and many, many tears. And prayers of gratitude from patients, families and especially from those fortunate enough to experience this very special ministry.
History of the DR Mission
Each year since 2014, a team of missioners travels to San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, carrying hundreds of pairs of prescription and reading glasses collected over many months. The team members (this year 28 in total) are from St. Peter's and St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Tifton, Georgia; some are medical personnel who perform crucial eye surgeries, most are laypeople.
They all work with the Reverend Milquella Mendoza, Vicar of St. Peter's sister church Iglesia San Esteban, as well as with staff at the Clinica de Esperanza y Caridad. Glasses are distributed and cataract surgeries performed during the week the team is in the Dominican Republic.
In addition to monies raised by our parishioners, an expanding network of donors contribute toward costs of flights, lodging, meals, in-country transport and shipping, making it possible for the blind to see!
"WE RECOGNIZE AND APPRECIATE THE GREAT EFFORT AND GENEROSITY THAT YOU HAVE SHOWN US, GIVING HEALTH AND LOVE TO THE PATIENTS OF OUR CITY OF SAN PEDRO DE MACORIS."
Rev. Milquella Rosanna Mendoza, Vicar