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Stewardship in Action in the Dominican Republic

September 10, 2014

Stewardship in Action in the Dominican Republic

By Kery Giedd, Doctors of Optometry

Once again, I had the privilege and pleasure of visiting the Dominican Republic (DR) as the lead (and only) doctor on a vision care mission trip over Labor Day weekend. And, again, my 11-year-old daughter joined me and served with our team. Together we saw over 400 patients in three days of clinic and even had time to build a playground swing set at a local school before heading home on our last day.  While the clinic conditions abroad always make me appreciate what I have at Eola Eyes – from reliable electricity to air conditioning to all kinds of medical technology – I wanted to share a couple “before” and “after” playground pictures that, I think, will help ANY American appreciate what we all have in our great country.

Stewardship – being a servant of the local, national, and global community – is an important professional and family value for me. This is also a spiritual responsibility that I feel I’ve been called to in the Bible,  “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10).

As much as we hope to bring to the communities when we provide eye care, they give so much more back to us and I would invite you to consider sharing your unique gifts with your community to experience this for yourself. My ultimate goal is to develop sustainable eye care programs within the DR and elsewhere, so that locals there could help each other, think critically about medical care, and support their local economy. There is much work to be done to reach that goal, but, hopefully, all achievable in due time.

Lastly, I could not do these missions without a great team at home and I’m deeply grateful for all of the support than I have. My fellow optometrists, who keep our office running in my absence and financially support these ventures, our awesome Team Eola that helps make the glasses we need for our DR patients when they have extraordinary prescriptions that we can not fill on site, and my husband, Brad, who stays home with our other two children when I’m away, all make these trips possible.

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