By: Christa Meland
Rev. Lowell Gess, a 93-year-old retired ophthalmologist and Minnesota United Methodist pastor, will head to Sierra Leone in January to bring medicine and moral support to the country he calls his second home.
Gess established the Kissy UMC Eye Hospital in Freetown in 1984. He won't play an active role in treating Ebola patients. But he will have contact with patients at the eye hospital, helping staff diagnose difficult cases of eye disease.
He'll also take about $100,000 in eye medicines and equipment—donations he procured himself. And he'll repair aging equipment at the eye hospital.
Many have asked how to financially support Gess' efforts. Gess has requested assistance with two types of expenses: clinic supplies he's taking over and salaries of clinic staff members (a recent decline in traffic has led to a temporary 50 percent reduction in pay). If you'd like to make a financial contribution, you can write a check to Central Global Vision Fund and send it c/o Roger Reiners, 508 E. 9th Ave. S., Milbank, SD 57252. If your congregation donates, you may wish to self-report the contribution on this year’s Financial Table II under “Other UM Benevolences Paid.” For more information, contact Roger Reiners at 605-949-2595.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church