MATTOON — Dr. Roger Rives, M.D. recently spoke to the Mattoon Lions Club about making his 13th medical missionary trip to Bonneau, Haiti.
Rives described Haiti as having 8½ million people and being one of the poorest nations in the world.
Haiti is still trying to recover from the 2010 earthquake that devastated the entire nation, Rives said. This nation has very little health care available to the poor, he said.
The availability of running water or electricity is sporadic in much of Haiti and the average per capita income is about $1 a day, the speaker said.
Rives worked with a mission group at the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission. There, he performed 25 surgeries in 10 days with the assistance by other members of the group.
Rev. Steve Hayes, spoke of spiritual issues in Haiti, which is nominally a Catholic nation but has a large population of voodoo followers.
Hayes reported that much of the changes being made in Haiti are being done by U.S. church groups providing aid and assistance. The group that Rives and Hayes were with worked in the medical clinic and led services at the local church.
Before leaving, the missionary group bought nine goats and gave them to the local church to be adopted by local parishioners. The goats are not to be eaten until their third generation is born.
The Mattoon Lions Club meets at 6 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of each month at Pagliacci’s restaurant, 319 N. Logan St., to hear reports and plan for various fund-raising events for the benefit of the Mattoon community and Lions programs.
To inquire about joining the Lions Club or about assistance in the purchase of glasses and hearing aids, call the club’s president at 217-259-7326; membership chairman at 217-317-1901; or glasses program representative at 217-234-3401.