Like thousands of people around the world, I owe a lot to Medical Missions Foundation.
My debt of gratitude is not for the gift of medical care that Medical Missions Foundation is known for, but the opportunity to meet people around the world who have enriched my life, as well as a special personal reason.
When Abby Hayo invited me to Romania in 2002, to cover the mission for the TV station I used to report for, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. Romania was Europe- I was interested in helping people living in poverty in far-away places.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
What I found on that first medical missions trip were hundreds of people willing to wait in long lines for hours on end just for the slight chance their child might get the treatment they needed. As the parent of a four-year old I couldn’t imagine the heartbreak of a mom or dad whose child had been born with a cleft palate or crossed-eyes, or had been severely disfigured by injury or fire; knowing I could never pay for corrective, life-changing surgery even if I saved money for the rest of my life.
That mission to Romania introduced me to some of the most generous people I have ever met. People who opened their homes to strangers; shared their food, their culture, and their palinca- a national drink you have to experience to fully understand.
Medical Missions Foundation introduced me to diversity of race, faith, and world views- among my fellow Americans I traveled with as well as the local politicians, citizens and health professionals in the towns and villages we served.
And by some happy luck of the draw, Abby pared me up with Alex Drescanu as my translator on my first trip to Romania. He became my body-guard, my videographer, my friend… and then, eventually… my husband!
Now, almost 15 years to the day of that first Medical Mission to Romania, I am travelling with the Medical Missions Foundation crew again. I’ll be blogging and telling the stories of mission volunteers and the people of Uganda.
Alex is going too; not as a translator this time, but as a registered nurse.
I owe so much to Medical Missions Foundation and the good people I’ve encountered here through the years.
I look forward to sharing their work in Uganda and this new adventure.