Living up to See
The afternoon sun shows little mercy for those standing in line. Still, people wait – for hours – just to get their eyes examined and (if needed) receive a pair of prescription glasses – all for free.
It’s a scene Libby Johnston has witnessed over and over again as a volunteer working with the Yahve-Jire Children’s Foundation in Haiti. To date, she has made six mission trips (and is planning another one for 2019) to this nation devastated by natural disasters and unrelenting poverty.
But the sight of people lining up to see an eye-care professional, perhaps for the first time in their lives, is not unique to Haiti. In reality, there is no shortage of need for basic medical care throughout the world. And that’s why missionaries, like Libby, Michael Regalski and Lori Steinsdoerfer, travel the glove bringing with them support in the form of eye care clinics and hope in the word of the gospel.
“Preparing for a clinic,” says Michael, “is really intense. You have to collect hundreds and hundreds of glasses, then clean, neutralize and sort them, and finally pack them in suitcases and cross your fingers that the government doesn’t confiscate them when you arrive.”
A nurse by trade and a missionary via the Victory Family Church, Michael helps run eye clinics in the Dominican Republic.
“we can give out about 300 pairs of glasses in a single week,” he says. “And the impact of each pair is immediate. Right away, for example, an older woman will be able to read the Bible or sew, or a kid will be able to see the blackboard at school.” ~Micahel Regalski, Missionary