Monthly Archives: February 2014

Dr. Grant Gilliland

By | Belize, Blog, Dominican Republic, LEAP Stories, Mission Program, Volunteers, Zimbabwe | No Comments

DrGillilandDr. Grant Gilliland was born in Dallas and raised in Oklahoma City. His father, a physician, traveled twice a year on mission trips to rural Mexico. Dr. Gilliland accompanied his father on these trips during his formative years, making an extraordinary impact on him. After completing an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Baylor University, Dr. Gilliland attended UT Southwestern Medical School, graduating in the top of his class. Thereafter, he had additional training in Internal Medicine and Ophthalmology, completing a fellowship in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Presently, Dr. Gilliland is an Associate Clinical Professor of Opthalmology at UT Southwestern Medical School and Director of Orbital Surgery for the Skull Based Surgery Institute at Baylor University Medical Center. He has extensive experience in sports-related eye injuries and is a leading expert in Sports Ophthalmology. Dr. Gilliland is actively engaged in teaching residents. He has completed extensive research, published numerous journal articles, written several chapters in leading textbooks, and is an international and national speaker within his specialty field.

In the 1990’s, Dr. Gilliland first connected with LEAP when he was invited on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. This experience deeply connected Dr. Gilliland to his love for mission and medicine. So over the next many years, he has traveled twice to the Dominican Republic and established a state-of-the-art Ophthalmology and Prosthetic Eye Program in Belize, taking approximately 15 trips to Orange Walk with LEAP. And, for the first time, he and his family traveled to Zimbabwe with us this month. Frequently, Dr. Gilliland’s wife, Mimi, and their two children, Connor and Nicole, have traveled on these trips together, planting seeds for a possible third generation of medical missionaries!

Also an active Board of Director and Director of Eye Surgery for the LEAP Foundation, Dr. Gilliland has been a most humble servant over many years. While an extraordinary presence within our organization, he is also a longstanding member of Northwest Bible Church. Guided by his faith and dedication, Dr. Gilliland feels blessed by the opportunity to be faithful to God’s purpose for him. He also feels enormous gratitude to Craig and Robin Hobar, who have been remarkable role models of selfless devotion.

Final Day in Damoh, India

By | Blog, India, Mission Program, Volunteers | No Comments

We are completing our final surgeries this morning and then packing and praying for our patients’ quick recovery. By end of morning, we will have performed 114 surgeries – such a blessing! Inspired by Dr. Hobar’s enthusiasm toward our mission, our team has been so dedicated, working late every night in order to help as many as possible. None of us will leave here the same as when we first arrived. Please pray for our safe travels over the next three days.1606205_10152209266172254_1914804871_o-1024x682

Make Me a Servant by Charlie Lin, RN

By | Blog, Haiti, LEAP Stories, Mission Program, Volunteers | No Comments


Who knew that an e-mail requesting a Chinese-speaking translator for a live news interview would inspire a life of overseas medical missions? Certainly not me.

I was first introduced to LEAP while responding to such a request from a friend in my fellowship at church. The story of Li Ying, the girl in the interview and beneficiary of LEAP’s Landmark Fund, and hearing about Dr. Hobar’s heart for missions ignited a passion I never knew existed. I started going on mission trips at nineteen simply because I was tired of sitting on the sidelines, watching everyone go and come back with life-changing stories. God was quick to teach me that missions are for His glory and not my own. God has called each and every one of us to a life of missions. Mission work is not an interest but a call to obedience from God. While God calls some to serve locally among our community, He also calls others out into the world to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). I had gone to several countries as a missionary but never once considered using my nursing background. After some prayer and much encouragement, I took my first LEAP trip to Haiti in 2012.

Caring for the needs of so many children, we hardly have the time to even learn each child’s name. Going back as a returning team member to Haiti in the fall, I stepped out of the car to a very familiar surrounding like many others on the team. I walked up to Hôpital Espoir, the place where nursing changed for me. While walking through the hallways, reliving past memories, in awe of how God could bring me back to such a place, a familiar face, Chris, Co-Director and Co-Founder of HIS Home for Children, stopped me in the hallway. “I remember you. You were Ellie’s nurse. Oh, how I wish you could see how big she is now.

Who knew how true this statement would be as I was blessed to have the opportunity of visiting Chris’ orphanage. We were swarmed with children, running at us with open arms, seeking nothing but love and affection the second the car doors were opened. Chris showed us around the home and then into a large room with bunked cribs. She led us into the room where she stopped us in front of a crib by the window. “This is one of LEAP’s success stories. This is the patient you took care of, Ellie.” I lost control of my emotions in that moment as tears flowed down my face as I gazed at a napping Ellie. It was in this moment that I was reminded of just how each LEAP child is loved and precious in His sight (Isaiah 43:4).”

Charlie is an RN at Baylor Surgicare at Plano & Baylor Health Care System and at The Medical Center of Plano.

Prayers for Alex

By | Blog, Landmark Program, News | No Comments

healing words

Today, young Alex Kiarie is having his fifth surgery: lip and nose reconstruction! Please pray for him as he begins this long awaited day!



Alex was born in 1998 in Nairobi, Kenya. Born with a cleft lip and palate, Alex had difficulty eating and speaking normally. He couldn’t suck to drink milk or to pull food off a spoon. Although this condition is treated early and effectively in the United States, this is not the case in most parts of the world. Then, when he was only a year old, his mother was killed when the gas stove in their home exploded. From that day on, his grandmother Rachel raised him.

Specialized medical care is scarce and very expensive in Kenya. Nevertheless, Alex was able to have three surgeries growing up thanks to visiting medical mission teams. Knowing that Alex needed more surgery and that specialized care was available in the United States, his grandmother secured a medical visa for him. In 2007, Alex and his grandmother made their way to Dallas. Alex’s treatment would be long and the price tag daunting.

A pastor in Dallas researched options for Alex and was led to Dr. Hobar and to LEAP. Upon meeting Dr. Hobar and his staff, he and Rachel heard the words they had prayed for: “Everything will be taken care of.”

Alex has since had four surgeries in Dallas and is now able to speak and eat more effectively. LEAP is committed to a multi-year plan, and Alex is halfway there. He has had orthodontic care, an operation to help him speak better, and a bone graft to fill in missing bone in his gums and roof of his mouth. The plan is to complete his orthodontics, surgical advancement of his upper jaw, and to surgically reconstruct his lip and nose.

LEAP has supported the costs of Alex’s surgery. Dr. Hobar and Alex’s craniofacial orthodontist have donated all their services, and Dallas Day Surgery Center and Baylor have also made significant investments. Alex has also been working closely with a speech therapist from Children’s Medical Center, who has offered to donate her time to help Alex.

Healing Words

“Alex is the nicest, most appreciative young man. It is a real pleasure to help him,” said Dr. Hobar. “Alex is a good example of what LEAP is about – faith, personal relationship, and commitment to the long term.” Now a high school graduate, Alex says his goal is to be able to give back to others once his treatments are done. He earnestly wants to serve others in the name of Christ. His heart’s desire is to “work for organizations like Dr. Hobar’s or the United Nations where you don’t only earn a living by doing your job, but you help others get better in their lives, just as others have made mine better.”

Evan McClay

By | Blog, Haiti, LEAP Stories, Mission Program, News, Volunteers | No Comments

McClay, Evan

LEAP volunteer Evan McClay reflects on her first mission trip with LEAP three months ago.

“Ever since I was little, I’ve always had a heart to help those who were in need. I can’t explain why it is so important to me. I just think The Lord has laid it on my heart to use the blessings He gave me, for the good of other people. And I love every minute of it. We are called to help the widowed and the orphans (James 1:27) and to spread the Love of Jesus Christ. This is what mission work is to me. I heard of the amazing work LEAP does through my father, John McClay, LEAP’s Director of Pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat Surgery, who had been on a few trips before. After hearing stories of the people they encountered, the moments they had, and the hope they gave, I wanted to have a first hand experience. Haiti and the Haitian people were unlike anything I had ever experienced. They are kind, caring, and hopeful people. And the team I went with was so lively, fun, and giving of everything they had. I was in the presence of some of the most caring people I have ever met, nto to mention how much fun they were! Haiti was the most incredible trip, and I hope to be able to return some day!”

Evan is a university student and owner of the online boutique Dress and Bless.