HOLTVILLE — Dr. Gayle Cheatwood, founder and president of Dental Vision Mission, and a well-known figure in the Imperial Valley, was the guest speaker at the Woman’s Club of Holtville during their regular meeting January 4. He and Brawley farmer, Ed Wiest, were there to present slides and share memories of their visit to Romania.
Romania is but the latest country Cheatwood has visited. In his travels around the world, he has offered dental and vision care to those least able to afford such treatment, and taking with him gathered donations: glasses, toothbrushes, tooth paste, and items needed for the particular country.
Such amenities are generously donated by individuals, community groups, and churches, including those within the Imperial Valley. Cheatwood also attracts other professionals as well as volunteers to join him in the foreign ministry field.
Whether visiting Mexico, Panama, Belize, Peru, or, in this case, Romania, Cheatwood says he never fails to be impressed by the people he meets and their culture. He spoke Wednesday night on how he was touched by the need of the gypsies in Romania, who are persecuted and live in impoverished conditions.
Cheatwood and Wiest also recounted that while making the rounds to churches and orphanages in the country, they met a pastor by the name of George, a gypsy himself, who founded a gypsy church in Romania.
At the church, George had started a feeding program that served 50 children a day. While such numbers were impressive to Cheatwood and Wiest, what struck them most was to see 50 children, without being urged, prompted, or cajoled, sit down and eat every single thing on their plate.