Have you ever been on a MOST Ministries eyeglass team and witnessed someone being able to read a Bible or see their grandchild for the first time? It is a powerful experience. It helps you appreciate your own sight. Or, if you’re like me, it makes me appreciate never having to go without glasses in order to read or see things clearly.
In February, MOST Ministries celebrated the 30th anniversary of its eyeglass ministry. In those 30 years, MOST’s mission teams have distributed 152,279 pair of eyeglasses that have provided clear sight to over 153,000 people who would otherwise not be able to afford prescription glasses. In addition to improved vision, everyone who comes to a MOST eyeglass clinic has their eyes opened to the Gospel. In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus read these words of the prophet Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
When I first became involved with MOST Ministries as a volunteer 10 years ago, I had no idea how much impact MOST’s eyeglass teams, volunteers, donors of eyeglasses, and financial partners make on the lives of people. MOST eyeglass teams have blessed tens of thousands of lives over the years with the gift of sight and the Gospel message which has the power to “set the oppressed free.” Eyeglasses distributed on the mission field do more than just improve vision. They also: enable children to see the words on a chalkboard and finish their education; make it possible for grandparents to read to their grandchildren; help fathers find work and hold down jobs; and allow mothers to thread a needle and sew clothes to provide for their families. Our ministry partners (individuals and organizations) who collect and donate the prescription eyeglasses, our volunteers who refurbish the eyeglasses, and our team members who provide vision testing and distribute eyeglasses to those in need are changing peoples’ lives!
What better way to serve people while impacting the world for Jesus Christ! One of our hosts in Tanzania wrote, “Every [team] member demonstrated a great love towards the people. The gospel of God was a great lesson to the community…There were two girls who never wanted to discuss God or smile, but after the team arrived, those girls now talk about God and smile at each other.” Our host in South Africa wrote, “Some clients [of the eyeglass clinic] have asked how to join the local church. We have made inroads into the community.” We are all just a part of God’s bigger picture!
God’s “bigger picture” included touching the hearts of Don and Gayle Sommerfeld 30 years ago when they led the first MOST Ministries eyeglass team to Haiti in February 1991. Ever since that first team returned home, MOST’s eyeglass ministry has flourished. In the past 30 years, MOST has sent 202 eyeglass teams to serve in 39 countries ranging from major cities in Guatemala to rural parts of Tanzania.
Since my days as a volunteer, I joined the staff of MOST Ministries and currently serve as the Ministry’s Team Administrator and Communication Specialist. I have loved the experience of being able to work with our team members, team leaders, volunteers, and international hosts and watch our collective lights shine as we, together, impact lives and share the Gospel. To everyone who has supported MOST’s eyeglass ministry during the past 30 years – thank you! You are truly a blessing to MOST and to all of the people around the world who continue to be impacted by your generosity. If you or someone you know may be interested in serving on an eyeglass team (or any of our other short-term mission teams), please contact me by email at: email@example.com; or by phone at: (734) 994-7909 Ext. 3. I would be thrilled to talk with you!
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16