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  • Natalie Willis

Full of Thanks

The May 2010 Healing Eyes Mission was the first one I had the pleasure of being apart of and I am so thankful for it.  I loved the group I got to go with and they made it such an enjoyable experience, but I must say, it is the people of Ixtapa that really made this trip worth while.  The majority of people have the same basic lifestyle: working all day to feed themselves and their families and receiving probably less than we do in an hour, in an entire week.  These stories are all heartbreaking but as unfortunate as they are, they will never over shadow the happy and uplifting memories that were made during that week.  One specific memory will stand out to me forever...

It was the final day of the mission and we were all but out of supplies when a little mountain man, along with his wife and daughter, stepped into the clinic looking for a helping hand.  He was nearly blind in both eyes.  It had taken them two days to travel to the Naval Hospital and to make matters more complicated, he didn't even speak spanish.  After being cleared to have surgery we all had to play the waiting game to see if we even had enough supplies for one more surgery. I remember sitting next to this man in awe of how stoic he was.  If I was in his shoes I can guarantee that you would not catch me sitting still... but there he was, sitting still as a statue, staring straight ahead at the wall as if it was showing him the secret to life.  Looking back, I realize the mountain man taught me a lesson in faith.  Sometimes I just have to let life run its course, in the hope that it turns out in my favor.  Luckily for the little old mountain man, it did.  The supplies had lasted and he was able to get his surgery; the last one of the entire trip.  I was so trilled, you would have thought I was the one getting surgery!

I still do not know why that little mountain man impacted me in such a big way, but I suppose that's just how life works... it surprises you every step of the way.  

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