Update: Thanks to several local Lions Clubs, and financial supporters like you, we met our funds goal and were able to purchase the auto-refractor! We appreciate your support! For details, read the rest of this article.

I hope that you all had a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving. I was blessed to spend the day with my family, and my brother’s family. We enjoyed a bountiful feast of delicious food, but most importantly, we shared precious time together. I thank God for great food and wonderful memories made with family.

Me and my family on Thanksgiving

Me and my family on Thanksgiving

A few months ago, we discovered that I had a problem with my eyes. I was lucky to be seen immediately by a nearby eye specialist, who gave me several options on what could be done to correct the issues. The doctor also noted that I had cataracts, and suggested that two surgeries be scheduled back to back in order to resolve the issues.

Here I am, with my lovely eye patch

Here I am, with my lovely eye patch

On Black Friday, while everyone else was out shopping, I went to the nearby surgery center. In a matter of hours, my problems were corrected, and I was resting comfortably at home.

As I was giving thanks for how well everything went, I couldn’t help but think of the people that I had met in Africa on our last trip in February. I remembered the many long lines of people waiting for a simple eye exam. Typically, there would be no place for them to go for such treatment, and no way for them to afford it if there were such services available.

We normally make these trips every other year. While there, we offer free eye exams to about 1200 people. This may seem like a large number to you, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the number of people who so desperately need vision care.

During this last trip in February, we met Dr. Watson Kaputula, a Zambian ophthalmologist, who has a heart for serving those living in poverty in the rural villages. Dr. Kaputula had joined a Lions Club local to him so that he could offer his services free of charge to people who needed it most.

I don’t believe that it was coincidence that God brought us together—a man looking to serve his own people and an organization looking for a way to multiply our services to the many thousands of people who never get the opportunity to have an eye exam.

Here we are with Dr. Kaputula, WAGC volunteers and local volunteers

Here we are with Dr. Kaputula, WAGC volunteers and local volunteers

As we talked with Dr. Kaputula, it become apparent that his number one impediment was the lack of a good portable auto-refractor, a handheld device used to screen and detect vision problems. Upon returning from this trip, we brought this concern to the Board of We’re All God’s Children. The decision was unanimous to do whatever it takes to purchase this piece of valuable equipment and donate it to Dr. Kaputula.

After some research, we found the Spot Vision Screener, which is perfect for rural villages with no electricity, and would allow Dr. Kaputula to screen infants as young as six months, right on up to older adults.

This refractor will not only help the villagers, but it will enable the Zambian people to provide healthcare to their own communities. Instead of depending on foreign missionaries to provide these services once a year, they will be able to schedule ongoing clinics in many more villages.

So, as I was counting my many blessings, my heart once again went out to these people. I can honestly say, I know how it feels when you can’t see well. It has brought me a renewed sense of commitment to obtain the vision screener for Dr. Kaputula.

Update: Thanks to several local Lions Clubs, and financial supporters like you, we met our funds goal and were able to purchase the auto-refractor! We appreciate your support!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (will not be published) (required)

Website

*