Melissa and David Lyday know that someday soon the education they received at Ozarks Technical Community College and elsewhere will be put to use in Ecuador.
The recently wedded couple from Bolivar will be leaving soon to establish a medical clinic in the country’s capital city of Quito to offer aid and assistance to the poor who have limited access to medical care.
“When I first went there, I saw that the healthcare system was not very good. To see a doctor took a long time. People waited in line for days and if you left the line, you lost your place and had to go to the back of the line,” said Melissa Lyday, who has made several missionary trips to the country as well as to Mexico.
It was during those short mission trips to Ecuador that Melissa and David knew they needed to do something for the people there.
“Melissa knew when she was there that it was where we needed to be. We feel that for now, this is where God is leading us,” David Lyday said.
Melissa Lyday has earned her Certified Nursing Assistant certificate through OTC’s hybrid CNA course and may soon enroll in the certificate program for Electrocardiography.
The couple is taking a Spanish class this semester at OTC. David is attending Southwest Baptist to work on his doctorate in physical therapy.
The couple has known each other since middle school and were married last July. They honeymooned in Ecuador, even though it was more of a mission trip than a honeymoon.
“We went to service people. We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and now we will,” said Melissa Lyday, who works at the YMCA in Bolivar.
While there is no timetable, the couple wants to finish their education, pay off their student loans and then head for their new country. That should take no more than a few years, they said.
Melissa Lyday said both her and David’s families have given their blessing to the couple’s endeavor even though they don’t know how long they will stay.
“Maybe forever,” she said with a smile. “Or, until we’re told to do something else.”
Steve Koehler is coordinator of media relations at Ozarks Technical Community College.
College Director of Communications
Coordinator of Media Relations
Phone: (417) 447-2666