There are NO
eye doctors in Togo that operate on children. There are no eye
doctors in MOST West African countries that operate on children.
But, there are many children here born blind due to cataracts.
Why? We don't know. And the problem is compounded by
the fact that none of them get any care so the number just keeps
increasing. Many of these children will either die within their
first year due to neglect....or live all their lives completely
blind. The grief of this hit me when we had 4 children sent to
us by an ophthalmologist in northern Togo - 8 hours away.
teenage girls and a nine year old boy sat squished together on our
bench last Wednesday waiting for Glenn to come out of surgery to
evaluate their eyes. But, I already knew. When you are
born with cataracts and have never seen, your brain will turn off the
ability to see and render your eyes useless after years of never
seeing. 3 of these children were too old and they had eyes that
never even developed to a normal size. Glenn took the 9 year
old because he wasn't born with cataracts. They developed
after he was one and his eyes appeared otherwise normal. He had
a chance. The surgery went well and he regained much of his
sight, but it will not be perfect.
Glenn came in all excited saying a mother had been brought to the
ship by one of the pastors we know with a two month old baby girl who
had cataracts. Since the children we planned on doing from
Wednesday could not be done, God had provided a perfect candidate.....
except she was awfully small and it is difficult to get things to
happen quickly! He rushed the process and got her into
the OR the same day. He came out saying, "Boy! Were
those eyes TINY!" This is the youngest cataract patient
in Mercy Ships history. But, Wisdom did SO well! Her
little eyes will take some time to adjust to seeing, but Glory to
God, it's the same way ALL 2 month olds have to adjust!! This
little baby, Wisdom, will grow up seeing and will never develop
cataracts again...EVER! Here she is two days later, comfortably
asleep in her proud mother's arms. God redeemed the time that
would have been wasted and restored the sight for this child.
recently was asked how many children he has operated on . After
he figured for a minute, he realized over the past 18 months it is
now well over 350! A visiting doctor from the UK dropped his
jaw and said, "That's amazing! That is more than was done
in the whole of England last year!" We were stunned. It
made us realize the need here even more vividly.
a group of our post-op children came for a check up. What a
thrill to see these kids once blind, now walking and playing on their
own! Several have been able to start school, which was a dream
come true for their parents. Their futures are bright!
Isn't it wonderful how God brings us to the right place at the
right time to deliver His blessings. These families rejoice,
thanking God for their miracles! Here are two children's before and
disciples asked Him saying,"Rabbi, who sinned? The man or his
parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus
answered,"Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the
works of God should be revealed in him" John 9:2,3
" I pray
also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you
may know the hope to which He has called you..." Eph. 1:18
Glenn and Kim