Monday, September 16, 2013

Sight is Coming to Blind Eyes

Chapter 11 of the book of Isaiah has a powerful description of the coming reign of the Messiah, that includes this well-known verse:
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." Is 11:6
Ethiopian child leading two blind adults
In Isaiah, this is a beautiful prophetic image. In Ethiopia, however, the concept of being led by a little child has a dark and tragic meaning rather than a glorious one. Because of poverty and lack of medical care, blindness is common in the rural villages. You will often see an adult being led from place to place by a young child.

The consequence of blindness for the adult is of course devastating for there is little work available for someone without eyesight. But the consequences for the child can also be drastic, eliminating any opportunity to attend school or enjoy free time with other children. Blindness for Zenebech, one Ethiopian widow with mossy foot disease, forced her to giving her youngest child away since she could not care for him.

This need recently drew the attention of a friend of the Mossy Foot Project, who has generously offered a financial gift that will allow for 100 mossy foot patients to receive cataract repair surgery. Medical Missions International has an eye clinic affiliated with Soddo Christian Hospital where the surgery will be performed. They have offered to train 3 staff members of Mossy Foot Project to identify patients that qualify for this surgery. The three Mossy Foot staff will in turn train the health care workers at the 16 Mossy Foot Project clinics. The gift covers the expense of surgery for 100 eyes as well as overnight lodging in Soddo and food for each patient identified as in need.

We are very grateful for the way God has moved to make this possible. Our approach has always been to treat our patients holistically, and this gift enables us do so in an even more complete way. And how wonderful to think that restoring sight to the blind will also restore childhood and the possibility of school to a boy or girl.