Dr Gary Parker
Early in his surgical career, Dr. Gary joined a Mercy Ships team in Mexico in 1986 and has served with Mercy Ships ever since. He met his wife Susan onboard the hospital ship, and the couple has raised their two children, Carys and Wes, onboard.
Dr. Gary has had a front-row view of the tremendous surgical need in countries listed in the lower part of the UN Human Development Index … countries where people live on $2 or less per day … countries where hope is an elusive luxury.
And that lack of hope is a critical problem. Dr. Gary says, “As I’ve worked for so long in the developing world, in low-income nations, I see people who seem to just sit and wait and don’t take the action needed to create a better tomorrow. And there’s actually a reason for this. They’re not lazy. They’re not unintelligent. They have all those things … but they lack hope.”
“You could enter a poor village and say, ‘Let’s work together and see if we can get your water systems sorted out … and get a better school for you and a better hospital. We can do all these things, and tomorrow will be better!’”
“And the villagers would look back with those sad and apathetic eyes and basically say, ‘What in our life experience gives us any reason to believe that you’re telling us the truth. We have never been helped. We have struggled. We haven’t been able to get anything that will ease our suffering.’”
But when people come to the Mercy Ship, and they see the impossible happen, hope for the future is born!
And that is exactly what is stated in one of Dr. Gary’s favorite quotes:
“For hope to be credible (believable) in the future, it must be tangible (experienced) in the present.”