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Susan helping a patient with glasses

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David is working his manic on the computers

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Dr.Brad helping with breakfast

It’s hard to believe a near perfect ending to this mission, but we all believed that is what we got.  Our day started early, with all of the team attending a breakfast fundraiser for the Center, and our Doctor even chose to serve those who came.  Then we got to work.

Very inclement weather was forecast and I admit there was  concern that this would keep patients away.  It did just the opposite.  Today turned out to be our busiest day and it required the full energy of all remaining team members to serve all the patients.  As always, they rose to the occasion.

When the door shut behind the last patient, the team went immediately into teardown mode, and within an hour, we had all gear packed and loaded into the van ready for return to Plano tomorrow.

Before leaving the center, we circled up and did our customary high moments of the day (there were no lows).  Then we asked our hosts and their children to join us as we prayed this mission to an end.

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Our day started with our group prayer and the energy a new day brings.  Many of the team were leaving early today with commitments back home – the remainder of the team dug in for a day busier than yesterday.  Our patients today included unscheduled family and friends of people who were here yesterday, scheduled patients and a bus from a local special needs school.  That proved to be a high point for all of the team.

Overnight and tomorrow the area is anticipating up to 9″ of rain and there is much concern among all – mainly for safety of our patients.  Whatever takes place, the team will arrive early tomorrow for a Community Center fundraising breakfast – first to eat and then to serve others and then open the clinic to the guests.  We will ride out whatever storms come this way, keeping safety of both our patients and the team in mind.  And then prepare for departure On Sunday.

During our high/low moments at the end of the day today, it was not the least surprising there were few lows, but many, many high moments for the team.

The team hard at work! From Wendell and Lowell working with patients at the acuity station, to Michelle and Linda sharing smiles/hugs, to the team circling up to say the Inspiring Travel prayer, the presence of God’s love can surely be felt. What a blessing this mission is to those who serve and those who receive. God is good!

 

Cookson Hills, OK
April 26-30, 2017

Day 1
Today marked the end of months of preparation and anticipation by many Volt team members, including many who did not even make this trip. Special prayers to one such couple who are busy preparing themselves to send their daughter off to the Marine Corp. basic training.

We have been commissioned by our church – a “laying on of the hands” prayer for our team. No matter how many times I am part of it, it moves me. I hope that never changes. We had our “packing party” and we loaded the van.

The team departed Plano as they wanted yesterday, and amazingly enough, most arrived within a few minutes of each other. We checked in to the Tenkiller Lake Lodge before going to set up the clinic.

As the equipment van pulled up, the team in their normal excitement was raring to go. Gear was unloaded and moved to appropriate areas and the process of set-up was underway. All went well except for the computer area. That team stayed an hour and a half past the others before giving up for the day. I like to think we each turned it over to God. I did , but still a tad concerned. Oh well, I’m honest.

Day 1 is at an end and the team is anxious to get the clinic underway.
Day 2
A cold 36 degree morning greeted us, and the team showed up an hour before our first patient was due with nothing to do but anticipate. Excitement was high as always, and when our first patents were processed, one included a women we help 2 years ago. She had broken the glasses acquired on our previous trip – which are optician team was able to repair. She also was able to pick out a new pair of readers. She was all smiles! A first day high moment right off.

As first days often seem to be, we all wanted more patients. Rather than grumble, the teamed turned this into an opportunity to spend more time with them, share stories, laugh with them and even do a bit of witnessing with some.

One of our team members – Leigh Ann – moved east a few years ago and flew in from Pennsylvania to serve with us. Superlatives are plentiful for her, but one story from today is worth note. One of our patients was a cancer survivor and we were able to find a pair that helped her. However, she had her heart set on a pair of purple frames.
So Leigh Ann manually searches our nearly 6,000 pairs of glasses, and then manually grinds the lenses to fit the new purple frames. This is not a skill many have nor a task many would tackle. There is more to this story, but hopefully you understand how special she is to us and our patients.

  • Mary Kay has done a great job getting everything ready for the trip, and I think the team is responding to her efforts. Day 3 to follow.

IMG_4807Picking up the vans for the precious cargo! Our wonderful volunteers David and Larraine will be driving the cargo van to Cookson Hills, OK. They will be carrying over 5000 pair of prescription glasses that will be distributed to those in need at the vision clinic. Pray for safe travel and a successful mission.

 

 

The day begins with our devotion and breakfast, followed by a touch of
melancholy as it is the final day of our first VBS in Belize. Upon arrival at the church, we start handing out bracelets and beads and string to make necklaces. While simple things to most of us, they were sought after gifts for the children.

We transitioned to assembly and then music. With little participation on Monday, today almost every took part in some fashion. For me, that always produces a smile
and a happy heart to see the change from beginning day to the final day. Often the early “lows” of a trip are the lack of participation. At the end it is anything but that.

imageMusic, drama, and crafts and then it was time for our final assembly. For the children, smiles in abundance and joy in showing off their bracelets, necklaces and crafts. For the team, satisfaction in knowing we brought God into their lives – many maybe for the first time. And for the team, well, suffice it to stay, we leave with a deeper appreciation of what being a disciple for Christ truly means.

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The house is ready!

After a night of thunder, lightning and heavy rain, things were decked out with blue skies and sun this morning. If weather was any indication, it would be a great day.

As our 3rd day of VBS started, the line of “Go forth and multiply” seemed to be appropriate for our group. At the outset, we were expecting 125 children (up to a maximum of 160). The first day we exceeded 160, yesterday we had 210 and the head count this morning was 250! They had multiplied indeed.

Overnight planning from the team leads had us well prepared this morning. From check in & registration, to music, drama and crafts, everything played out without a hitch. That brought about a sigh of relief and more than one smile from the group.

image.jpegThe day ended with our regular assembly closing and then most all of the kids participated or watched the line dancing (and miscellaneous other movements)!
Lunch and a welcome afternoon off followed.

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We reassembled in the evening with children and their parents, grandparents, siblings and friends to have Showcase Night. Reverend Clare opened the evening with a prayer, followed by our group taking the children through several songs, and finally the presentation of their Bibles. This was a new way to pass out the Bibles for most of us, and I personally thought it was special. How can you not just radiate inside when you hand a child their first Bible?

imageAll in all, a great next to last day. It seems all of the team is seeing God at work with the children, and truth be known, he is working in us every bit as much.

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The morning begins!

Today starts with a wow!! After meeting for our daily devotion and breakfast, we arrived at the church to find almost 50 children already there. They started arriving as early as 7 a.m., and they just keep coming! Our count for today ended at 210, but it seemed like even more.

Whatever our plan was when we started quickly made a detour. We were outmanned but improvised as best we could, and I honestly don’t think the kids noticed anything. We did, but that was okay. It rained off and on today, so during one of the off periods we did recreation for all. It was a bit similar to the siege of the Alamo! So many kids and too few of us.

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Trying to harness the chaos

Due to tremendous efforts of so many, within 15 minutes of the onset of chaos, it stopped and turned into 6 different groups all playing different games or dancing. A sigh of relief for all after we ended and went into the music portion. We chose to do every session today as one group. It had moments of struggle, but overall the team rose to the task. Special thanks to all.

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No worries here!

The 2nd day ended with assembly and songs, and it was a welcome sight to see that kids were now singing and dancing – whereas yesterday not so much. Tomorrow will be even better.

We broke for a brief lunch and then returned to the church to complete our painting. We made so much progress yesterday that we needed only 3 hours more to finish the job. You could sense the pride of all knowing we painted the entire church in just 2 afternoons, and also the relief that we didn’t have any more to do.

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Princeton at work.

 

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Painting crew

Relaxation, dinner and high and lows finished our day. The team braces for another siege tomorrow. For now though – rest and a thanks to God for helping carry us through the day.

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