Posts Tagged ‘eye projects’

Our MMI Bolivia team breezed through Customs when we arrived in Yapacani, thinking that this ease of entry would bode well for the project.

However, we had a host of challenges ahead.

Equipment crucial to the project wasn’t functioning.

Torrential rains flooded the roads that patients needed to travel to get to us.

One bus got stuck in the mud on the way to the clinic; another had a dead battery at the end of the day.

Roads were blocked on a day of national protest. (And yet  – He made a way through when we thought there was no way.)

A wave of illnesses threaded its way through the team.

Still, we persevered, believing that God would send the very patients he wanted us to help.

And He did.

Early on, we prayed that our equipment would be fixed, the rains would cease, and, most of all, that we would build a bridge of trust with the community we served.

It only took a few days for us to be up and running as usual.

And, after some successful cataract and strabismus surgeries, the people came – by the hundreds.

The shift in their perceptions of us were palpable; later, we heard that they so appreciated being treated with dignity.

Our organization does need to keep statistics regarding the numbers of people who are served on the many MMI projects throughout the world. And we do understand that this is important to the Board of Trustees and donors.

But…. so much of a mission project is about the changes in lives that ripple and flow through the members of the communities we leave behind.

The results of eye care, both little and large  –  can change a life forever.


The woman pictured above is a 37 year old mother who is blind from glaucoma. When one of our doctors was examining her eyes, she meekly said that she prayed that our group could do something “just to make her see a little better.” After she received the heartbreaking news that there was nothing we could do to restore her vision,  one of our compassionate doctors suggested that we give her a pair of reading glasses to protect her eyes. And then we prayed with her.

We hope that her smile comes from feeling God’s loving care.

Who could know that simply attending a church service could result in new sight? Some of our team attended a local church on the Sunday mid-project, encouraging people to come. The man on the right, a church member, told his friend (on the left), who was blind from cataracts, to come to our eye clinic. This photo was taken the day after his surgery, when he could see.


Tears of joy sprang up when little Cielo, age 2, with congenital bilateral cataracts was able to see. Initially she walked into the clinic holding onto her father’s leg, not sure of her steps. When she  got home after her surgery, Cielo ran outside and played in her back yard.

God orchestrated it all.

Crossed eyes were straightened by strabismus surgery, 35 people received prostheses for injured eyes or those that had been previously removed, with remarkable results.

A pastor, upon receiving reading glasses, excitedly grabbed his Bible and starting reading Scripture verses aloud!

Most importantly, bridges of trust, faith and friendship were built.

And our team, powered through, relying on the greatest Physician of all.


….Today is holy to our Lord, so don’t be sad. The joy that the Lord gives you will make you strong. ~ Nehemiah 8:10


Here’s a song with a message that helped us stay focused…on Him.     Joy of The Lord







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IMG_0264Doesn’t she have the most beautiful smile?

That was the first thing I noticed when I met Miladys last year. She was one of the lovely ladies who attended the restrooms on our eye project in Colombia.

When I saw that Miladys’ right eye was in need of a prosthesis, my heart sank. Lawrence, our gifted ocularist, was not able to make the trip in 2014.

Throughout last year’s project, I marveled at how she glowed each time she smiled. She and the other ladies who so cheerfully greeted us each day were tireless as they restocked paper products and kept all surfaces sparkling clean.

I vowed to pray that 1) Miladys would be back to help us in 2015, and 2) that Lawrence would be on our team, and would be able to fit her with a prosthesis.

God heard my prayers – and He answered them.

Midalys received her new eye on the first day of the project.

We both cried tears of joy.

What I didn’t know was that her eye had been injured due to an accident when she was 2 years old. Had she lived in the states, she would have gotten a prothesis long ago.

Although the results of having a prosthesis are cosmetic, surely the internal effects are monumental. And for some people in Third World countries, missing an eye means not being able to get a job, or find a spouse.

26 people in Cienaga, Colombia were fit with prostheses during our 2 week MMI project.

All were overjoyed – and immensely grateful.

The prostheses were but one small part of the work done by our Dream Team of 70 people.

Over 5000 of pairs of glasses were fitted, and over 200 surgeries were performed.

Patients blind from cataracts could see once again.  Children and adults with strabismus had their crossed eyes straightened. Diabetic patients and those with glaucoma received laser treatments.

Smiles, hugs, and prayers were in abundance.

Our team members were steadfast and enthusiastic, pitching in wherever needed, learning new jobs when necessary.

Serving alongside such devoted and inspiring people always gives me new vision and inspiration.

The real voyage of discovery consists not  in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. ~Marcel Proust

This quote is on the front of the journal I used on our very first eye project in 1995.

Twenty years later, it still rings true.

Surrounding the miracles and bountiful blessings we experience during each and every mission project, one thing is true above all.

Seeing the faithful presence of God is what makes us all believe – in His goodness, His mercy, and His grace.

How blessed we are are that God’s desire is for us to have perfect vision – and that He continues to fine tune our ability to see as we journey through life.

20/20 never looked so good….

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