Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton August 2019

August 2019

M y love and faith in Christ has called me to a life of service, whether it is on a mission trip or in the courtroom. I go on mission trips frequently to help those in economic, physical, spiritual, or emotional need. At the firm, I serve my clients by counseling them, praying for them, and working hard to meet their needs and serve them. The mission trips have been a lot of fun, and they reinforce the kind of impact you can have when helping those in need. I’ve been going on missions since 1999, and they’re always an adventure. The time I went on a mission in the Ecuadorian jungle to help run a medical and an eye clinic was quite the experience. We were two hours from the nearest road. We had to carry everything we needed to survive for six days with us as well as enough equipment to run a medical and an eye clinic in just two canoes. In those six days, we canoed to two Quechua Indian villages. While the jungle was hot and humid, we were able to sleep in the village schoolhouses. Between 20 of us, we had to sleep six inches apart from each other under a mosquito net.

We had just a lightbulb on a string and a generator to enable us to work well past dusk. We used paddles that had

the different lenses fitted into them and the lens strength marked on the side. This way, when someone approached needing glasses, they could look through each lens and determine which best suited their eyes. Everyone was very warm and welcoming, and I found they were very family-oriented. Being able to help people that needed to see up close to make a living, and seeing the tears in their eyes as some of them read for the first time in years, was an amazing thing. It’s moments like those that remind me of the impact you can have when helping anyone in need. It’s what also drives me toward helping those in our own local community. With Lions Club supplying us, we were able to provide the Quechua people with 400 prescription pairs of eyeglasses and 800 pairs of sunglasses! Because of the intensity of the sun, the Quechua people have a horrible time with pterygium, which is a fibrous growth that develops over the eyes. Eventually, someone with pterygium can lose their vision, but the sunglasses help stop the pterygium from growing any further. Everyone was very thankful for the help and resources. While we were mainly running the eye clinic, we had the opportunity to help with some other tasks, including building a church! We utilized the Quechua’s designs to construct the building. The design and their construction methods were something to marvel. The Quechua villagers wanted an octagonal building, using wood for the walls and leaves for the roof. Never had I seen such creative ingenuity with the resources they had on hand. The tools the Quechua people worked with included nails, string, a hammer, a hatchet, a machete, and a chainsaw. While we did our best with logistical planning, we don’t always know what to expect, so we let God work out the details, which is always an exciting adventure. Seeing the happiness in the eyes of the villagers when the last wall went up on the church was a beautiful reminder of the effect you have on those you help who are in need. Until my next mission, I have a willing heart and willing hands, and I’ll do my best to help those in our community by representing them the best I can.

We worked from sunup to past sundown, providing proper medical and eye care for the Quechua people.

–Don McKenna,

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