Doctor On His Way To Sri Lanka - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/6/05-Tyler

Doctor On His Way To Sri Lanka

Dr. Andrew Bentley is used to seeing patients with the common cold, flu, or sinus infection. But he's ready to face the possibility of widespread disease in Sri Lanka, like malaria and dysentery, starting 24 hours from now.

The father of three is also preparing to see the faces of thousands of children who are now orphans, after the tsunami swept away their mothers and fathers.

"Just like to try to give these kids a smiling face and a fresh glass of water and some basic medical care," he said.

Dr. Bentley will join a team of psychologists, sociologists, and other volunteers in one of the hardest hit areas. Led by Children's Emergency Relief International, they plan to set up five orphanages and foster care programs on Sri Lanka's east coast.

"I very much feel like that this is a trip the Lord would like me to take this week," he said. "Close my office and give a helping hand."

Bentley plans to stay in Sri Lanka for eight days, while his staff in Tyler hold down the fort with help from another doctor.

Visitors to his clinic can see Bentley is no stranger to medical trips overseas. He's done mission work in Africa and Latin America, in countries including Ghana, Kenya, Guatemala, and Belize. However, this trip, he says, will open his eyes to the most devastating circumstances yet.

Children's Emergency Relief International will be partnering with Texas Baptist Men to provide water filtration systems for the people of Sri Lanka.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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