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Friday, December 4, 2009

In the Dark

Literally thousands of people in Sudan are living in the dark because they live with cataracts. The most basic health care is not available to many, much less surgical eye care. That’s why Mango Ministries has arranged for the Tenwek Hospital Eye Team to take a safari to Sudan in early January to help people see. Drs. Ben Roberts and John Cropsey and 6 Tenwek staff will fly to Akot to take the same message that has always been Tenwek’s moto to Sudan. That is, “We treat ~ Jesus Heals.” Reuben and Joseah are meeting this week with the hospital staff and local pastors to prepare for the spiritual side of this outreach.

In an animistic culture people think differently than we do in the West. Sudanese are raised with an Animistic Worldview. We have very scientific reasons for why things happen which is called the Western Worldview. We accept that most cataracts are a sign of aging which causes degenerative changes in the eye. An animist will have a different set of reasons for what causes poor vision. Cause and effect to an animist is not based on science so much as on the spirit world. As we talk about Jesus to the patients and their families let’s pray that they will ‘see’ that any power that is preventing them from seeing is not nearly as powerful as that of Jesus.

I’m somehow in the dark too. Advertisements have recently gone out into the community about the cataract clinic. I thought there would immediately be a long line of cane wielding people lined up at the front door. As excited as people seem when they hear the news no one has registered yet! Is it the registration fee? This is a small fee being charged that is a step at moving away from the post-war hand out mentality towards cost-sharing which is a more sustainable model for health care in the future. Are people afraid of surgery? Will it just take one bold person to register and then others will follow? Right now we don’t know what the barrier is. Reuben wrote that the answer is to pray and I told him I’d let you know. Please pray with us that what ever is keeping people from registering will be overcome, whether it be money, fear, stigma, etc. Our goal is for many people to come and receive their physical sight but also spiritual sight too.

That’s our goal based on a Biblical Worldview! Now we need to commit it to the Lord and see how He is going to turn the darkness to light. That’s His job. Our job is to pray.

“You O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” Psalm 18:28

Following His star,

joy


* Pictures are from past Tenwek cataract clinics held in Tanzania

** A gift of $200 will enable one Sudanese to see the light. Go to "Donate to Joy's ministry" in the right-hand column to give a gift today.

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