A Mission. A Purpose. A New Perspective: Merit Shop Contractor takes first mission trip to Ghana

    Tom Deere, the owner of Deere Electric in Tecumseh, MI, never imagined he’d venture outside of the United States, but on a joint mission trip with his son Matt, he returned home with a new found mission for his life.
    Winneba, Ghana is home to 55,000 people and no hospital. Deere accompanied nine medical professionals on his first mission trip in November 2023. The team performed 45 life-saving surgeries in five days and he kept the team moving by sterilizing the equipment in between.
    “I assisted this incredible team by getting their equipment up and running, and keeping to their schedule even when the power went out,” Deere said. “We needed power inverters to lower the voltage, so I set those up. We also encountered a few times when the power would just go out while they were operating, so I made sure we traveled with headlamps and helped get the power back to the building. I didn’t think my background as an electrician would come into play as much as it did, and that I’d be sterilizing equipment, but it helped keep things moving.”
    Deere continued saying as he got older, he realized life’s not just about working. Life needs a mixture of security like a steady paycheck and experiencing what else is out in the world.
    “I was very humbled on this trip. This was my son’s fifth mission trip and he’s asked me every time to go, so finally I said yes and I’m changed for it,” Deere said. “Experiencing this country, seeing people go years without medical attention, you realize how little some of your problems are back in America. Don’t get me wrong our government is screwed up, but there you’re either rich or super poor. There is no between and there’s not an option to go from the bottom to the top. It’s where you’re born.”
    He continued to say that the America Dream is still very much alive. Deere is even more grateful for the opportunity he had in 1981 when he opened his business and was able to work for everything he has in his life.
    Coming back from this trip, Tom Deere said he has a whole new perspective for how he lives.
    “We don’t need everything we think we need. The people in that village had a smile each day and they couldn’t tell you where their next meal or clean glass of water was coming from. We have everything we need to be happy and live a fulfilled life, but it’s never enough. Be kind and treat people with respect. We all deserve to live with equal respect and I’m bringing that into my company,” Deere said. “I’m grateful for this experience and will continue to do my part making my business, my community and my country better.”