MEXICO, August 3-10, 2013
“An Opportunity to See”
Envision – Mexico newsletter blog written August 16, 2013
This was the week we’ve been waiting for…for the Clemmers and Mindy, it was our home church, Mountain View Community Church, from Snohomish, WA! A few months back, they inquired about whether or not they could do something different than construction…a ministry that would be new to us down here. They connected with an organization who taught them how to fit people with glasses! We LOVED this idea as we knew there were many people who needed glasses and couldn’t afford them. They came down with approximately 1200 glasses, of various prescriptions, and about 200 reader-glasses, and some fancy equipment that allowed them to determine the prescription. The goal wasn’t to get people to 20/20 but rather as close to 20/20 as possible.
We took them on a tour of churches, starting on Sunday in a town 1.5 hours south of us, named San Telmo. We saw approximately 40 people there. Then we spent the next 4 days seeing different groups of people throughout Maneadero, inviting people from the local neighborhoods, churches, and businesses. Overall we saw about 160 people during that time. Then on Friday, we all darted north to Tijuana to hold a clinic for the C&MA church there. Partly because of a little miscommunication and mostly because of God’s handiwork, we had the opportunity of seeing 100 people in the one day! So many people were given glasses and the opportunity to see clearly! Others were invited to churches. And many were given the opportunity to hear about Christ; one woman even welcomed Christ as her Savior!
This proved to be such a valuable ministry that we hope to have again, Lord willing! One thing that became evident to me, throughout this experience, is that one’s eyesight is a key component to life opportunities.
Take this sweet 5 year old girl. Her eyesight is quite poor and she has an astigmatism and we were unable to provide glasses for her. However, if she doesn’t receive glasses, then school will be difficult and nearly impossible. And if she doesn’t receive an education, then her work options are significantly limited. Likely, poverty and minimal-wage back-breaking work is all that she would be able to do. But what if her eyesight got even worse with age? Would the farmers or factories even hire her? And if she can’t find a steady job, then the rest of her is affect…health, mind, possible-family, family-education, living conditions, not able to afford clean water, etc…. I know that a lot of this is “what ifs” and nobody can predict what can or would happen. But poverty and all it’s consequences often have cyclical and all-encompassing tendencies. As a side note, while this girl wasn’t able to receive glasses, we are sensitively “working on it” with her family.
It was a blessing to be among friends this week and it was a blessing to serve along them. Watching people excitedly be able to see clearly was very rewarding!