Dr. Jeffrey Easley speaks at the annual YMCA Good Friday Breakfast at Willow Bend Country Club. Easley spoke about his experiences as a missionary at the event. (Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)
Dr. Jeffrey Easley speaks at the annual YMCA Good Friday Breakfast at Willow Bend Country Club. Easley spoke about his experiences as a missionary at the event. (Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)

VAN WERT - “Sometimes you just have to do something.”

Dr. Jeffrey Easley said that he has experienced several times when he has been the one to step up. Easley was the featured speaker at the YMCA of Van Wert’s Good Friday Breakfast at Willow Bend Country Club.

An audience of 210 people were on hand for the annual event which brought together a wide variety of area residents to hear Easley’s varied experiences as a missionary.

“It’s a variety of people from across Van Wert who attend, “noted YMCA Executive Director Hugh Kocab. “We had people here today from board members, past and present, and people from all different walks of life, people who walk into the Y and ask to buy a ticket. I saw probably 40 people here today I’ve never seen before.”



Easley described his years overseas, first as a student medical missionary in northern Panama while attending Manchester (College) University.
“We have so much in our lives in the United States, and we always seem to be wanting more,” Easley told the crowd. “But these people had nothing, I mean nothing. And yet they gave us everything. It was just an amazing experience.”

Easley’s second adventure came while he and his wife we trying to adopt a boy from Cambodia. After being matched with a two-year-old, the process came to a halt on the heels of an issue with the adoption agency in Cambodia, not to mention the complications of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. With the problems, conditions in the Cambodian orphanage worsened.

“We prayed for a miracle, and my wife and I talked about it and felt like we needed to do something,” he said. “Maybe that’s the story; sometimes we need to do something.”

Easley ended up traveling to Cambodia to do medical reports on the children which helped clear the way for the children to emigrate to the U.S. After a heart-wrenching second trip to Cambodia and a prayer session in Van Wert, the Easleys were able to bring their son, Sam, home to Ohio.

The third trip, Easley went as a medical missionary on a trip to Nicaragua with pre-med students from his alma mater, Manchester University. He told of a small boy he was treating in one of the villages who was very sick. Easley said he prayed over the boy, asking God to do something to heal the child when he heard a small whisper in his ear saying, “I sent you.”

The presentation by Easley included pictures taken on all three trips as a missionary: as a student, a father, and a physician.

Kocab explained after the event. “It’s our way of getting in contact with the community, and providing an opportunity for people to get together, it’s not about having the Y stand out, it’s about getting the community together and taking action. As Dr. Easley said, ‘sometimes you just have to do something,’ and this is our way of doing that, providing a venue for people to get out and hear a very moving story.