Dreams Come True
​It made me realize why the people don’t drink enough, they’re not as clean as they could be, and that nothing is easy for them. They work the land with their hands and man-made tools, not tractors or tools bought at a store. As parents, they live each day to try to have food for their family. How hard it must be to know you don’t have enough, and you have no money or means to do anything about it. If you are lucky enough to have goods to sell or trade, you may have a couple hour walk to the market where you sit on the ground in the heat of day. You are at the mercy of what is there at the market. Then you travel back up and down the mountain on the rocky path home. There is no convenience store you can go to where you know they’ll have what you need.

In clinic I saw sad eyes but warm welcoming smiles. I saw tattered clothes, some with no shoes, and clothes and shoes that didn’t really fit. The most heart wrenching moment came the last day of clinic working in the pharmacy. We began rationing the vitamins because we wanted to be able to give some to all. We were only able to give them thirty vitamins to last the next six months until we came again.
Our trips to Gandou bring the people industry. Some came and sold goods to those waiting all day to get into clinic. Cooks were hired to feed us. We bring medical help to those in need. We bring education to those we sponsor, and comfort to their parents. They know that child will have one meal that day. We bring hope to people that would otherwise have none.

The rewards that I received from going to Gandou are numerous. I see my world through different eyes now. I understand now how truly rewarding it is to help others and expect nothing in return. I now look for opportunities to help others, even in the smallest ways. My heart is filled with joy and happiness, and is open to new possibilities. I see no limits now. All you need in life is family, love, and then the happiness comes free.

Sandy Kramer – St. Nicholas Parishioner, nurse, daughter of Walter & Joan Eckstein
Dreams do come true and never stop believing in your dream. My dream of going on a medical mission trip came true. My trip to Gandou was everything I had hoped for and so much more.

​The people of Gandou live in small shacks. Everyday life is difficult. Our walk to the spring showed me a glimpse of this. We helped each other on the rocky path down the mountainside. The spring was beautiful. I sat on a rock, closed my eyes and enjoyed the warmth of the sun and the soothing sounds of the water. I also realized I’m hot and tired and still have to walk back up the mountain and I won’t even be carrying water.