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Posts Tagged ‘miracles of sight’

IMG_1291There’s a party going on at any given moment in Riohacha, Colombia.

Blasts of music throughout the day (and often all night!) are part of everyday life in this city.

And we’re not talking about background music, either.

No ethereal Muzak tinkling overhead in these parts.

The volume level of the throbbing bass is enough to make your heart shake, not to mention the hotel walls!

Personally, I loved it when music blared in the late afternoon, just as my energy was flagging.  Naturally, my walking then began to have a bit of a lilt.

And I would smile to think of the people having fun, wherever they were.

We went to Riohacha with an eye team of 62 people from the US and Canada to do a project with Medical Ministry International Canada .

As we begin our work each year, I ask God what He intends to show me during the course of our time of service.

And He never fails to answer.

Miracles were prevalent, as always. Cataract patients who hadn’t seen for many years had their sight restored.

IMG_1128When Maria’s eye patch was removed, she exclaimed in Spanish, “Brilliante!”, and thanked God in the midst of her tears.

Children and adults with strabismus (crossed eyes) had the gift of having their eyes straightened – and no longer had to feel self-conscious about their appearance.

IMG_1134Ilona was thrilled that she would no longer would have to endure teasing from her classmates.

Thirty-two patients were fitted with prostheses for otherwise empty eye sockets. The results were dramatic, and their lives were changed as well.

The stories are endless.

One young man was brought in by a woman who had taken him in at age 7. He was deaf, and he had very poor vision.

This young man was 17 years old, and had never had a pair of glasses.

Imagine how different the world looked to him when he first put them on.

Sometimes God appeared in the smallest ways.

One day as I was trying to carry three cups of coffee, I heard a voice asking if I needed help.

IMG_1293After I said yes, I looked up at a man smiling at me who had only one arm.

Alexander graciously took one cup from me and delivered it to my co-worker.

My eyes welled up with gratitude for his generous help.

During our two weeks, the music played on.

What I came to realize is that the everpresent booming bass was merely a representation of God’s heart…beating nonstop, bringing light and life.

It was as if He wrapped His arms around the people of Riohacha and our team, and He was so very close that we could hear and feel His heartbeat.

God’s loves ripples through every project and every patient.

And we never know how far and wide the effects of His Presence will be.

What we do know is this…that the reverberations of God’s heart will never cease.

His steady beat will go on.

And I pray that we are always able to feel it.

I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart. I will tell of all the marvelous things You have done. ~Psalm 9:1

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The MMI team will return to Riohacha, Colombia,  January 14-28, 2017, as the need for vision care is great. Volunteers are always needed, both medical and non-medical. For more information, visit the MMI Canada website: http://www.mmicanada.ca/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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