Each year in July, Wilderness Community Church embarks on an annual multi-faith travel ministry to the mountainous region of Ayacucho, Peru. Dr. Neatrour believing strongly in their endeavor and was delighted to join this support mission and donated sunglasses to be delivered by teams from the Spotsylvania, Virginia church to the people of the Quechan region. The teams included volunteers from diverse backgrounds. Medical, construction, pastoral training and Vacation Bible School participants collectively shared in the mission, all of whom worked with more than more than 400 Quechan children in Ayacucho and the nearby remote village of Milpo.
Because both Ayacucho and Milpo are positioned at elevations above 10,000 feet in the Andes Mountains, the native Quechan population is particularly at risk of developing several eye conditions. The people of this region are particularly prone to developing cataracts, pterygium and dry eyes as a result of long-term exposure of the eyes to sunlight, increased pressure on the eyes from living at high altitudes and exposure to smoke from open, unventilated cooking fires in their adobe brick homes.
As part of the WCC mission, Beach Eye Care and the Neatrour Family Foundation donated to the Quechan community, both children and adults, nearly 600 pairs of sunglasses to help protect their eyes from additional exposure to the sun. The glasses, delivered by Dr. Neatrour’s brother in Christ and fellow church member of Community United Methodist Church here in Virginia Beach, were a huge hit with the children and were welcome gifts to the adults as well. Following this good will mission in the region, the Vacation Bible School team left behind all unpresented sunglasses which were then distributed by church leaders and team of medical professionals after the group departed.
Dr. Neatrour enjoys the opportunity to share the experience with others while providing the same vision care we enjoy here in the U.S. with those who might not otherwise have access.