What makes life worth living... when you live with consciousness every day...wake up with it, hold on to it during the thunder and after a nightmare... When love is your refuge, speaking truth is your weapon; utilizing your talents, it fills you up. There is no regret and you earn your wings. — In Memory of Mary Cantwell
A picture can tell more than a thousand words depending on the interpreter. This remarkable story is about two people from the Sound region—Lisa Frey, who lives on Nantucket, and Dan Egan, who lives on Cape Cod. They met for the first time in JFK Airport this past spring at the beginning of a journey to Ecuador. Their common intention: to test the expansion of their talents, each in his or her own way. The medical team they were with assisted in the healing of over 58 people in five days. Here is a snapshot of their journey.
Imagine a much anticipated and needed vacation: You leave JFK Airport in New York at six o’clock on a Thursday night, followed by multiple layovers, until you reach your final destination in Ecuador, arriving on Saturday, at three o’clock in the afternoon. Having packed all of your essentials, you have 47 pieces of luggage filled with various supplies and tools of the trade necessary for patient care and advocacy. Additionally, you bring along machinery needed to set up operating rooms and a recovery room/intensive care type unit. Despite your exhaustion, you choose to unload your “luggage” personally to ensure that all of these crucial items arrived safely and securely. Knowing that hard work still lies ahead, you have an early dinner, and go to bed— you will be up early on Sunday morning to start your “vacation.”
ISMS Team at JFK Airport, NY
What, this doesn’t sound like the makings of the R&R of your dreams?
What if there were selfless individuals whose acts of humanity inspire ordinary people to push themselves to pursue mission work and advocacy that can change the lives of people suffering from illness throughout the world?
Thankfully, the world is filled with organizations dedicated to transforming lives, one mission at a time. Each extraordinary mission, like the one Dan and Lisa took to Ecuador, is possible because of the compassion and dedication of the volunteers who step forward and give freely of themselves, their resources, and specific areas of expertise. Dan and Lisa have consciously chosen vacation routes similar to that previously described through their volunteerism with the International Surgical Mission Support Organization—a secular, non-political organization created to provide free medical care and specialized services to the poor all over the world. They travel to international sites to attend to health-related crises that can not only be life-threatening, but, if left untreated, can also result in an emotional and social toll that can be equally as devastating. These altruistic individuals not only have specific talents and skills supportive to the mission, but also pay their own way.