In Good Faith: 'You can see Christ in their eyes'

loberle@islandpacket.comApril 4, 2014 

Dale Finn of Hilton Head Island holds a child during a church service in the Dominican Republic.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Name: Dale Finn

Congregation: All Saints Episcopal Church

Town: Hilton Head Island

Member for: Nine years

Activity in church: team leader of yearly medical missions to Dominican Republic

A godsend. I recently retired after working as a nurse for 40 years and have been going to the Dominican Republic on medical missions for eight years now. I love nursing. Nurses can do so much and work in so many different settings, so this mission was just God-sent. When I went on my first trip, I got hooked on the people there and their needs.

Basic care. We go to a very poor barrio just outside of the capital. We aren't just going in for a week and giving medicine, we're also working with the Episcopal parish there so they can eventually take over the program. It's basic medical care. There's lots of skin problems and fungal infections, as well as hypertension and diabetes.

Setting up. We set it up in the church. It's a huge thing to organize. I spend nine months working on the details, getting the pharmacists, physicians and figuring out what medicine we need to buy and take there. It's like setting up a doctor's office. If you go to your doctor's office and look around, we have to set all of that up.

Willing to work. They're hardworking folks and just beautiful, happy people. They are so willing to work to get what they need in the area. Probably the most important thing we do is educate them on how to better take care of themselves. We're showing folks how they can do this. It's not just putting a Band-Aid on the problem for the moment, but helping them in the long run.

Seeing Christ. I love just getting to know people on a really fundamental basis. We don't go there and evangelize. We go there and show the love of Christ through our actions, and the people give back the same level of love. You can see Christ in their eyes.

Follow Laura Oberle at twitter.com/IPBG_Laura.

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