The Eyes of the Blind Are Opened

April 27, 2016 • Cambodia
Haiti eyeglasses

A medical team brings glasses and the Gospel to a rural Cambodian village

Jessica Bland is a public health intern for Samaritan’s Purse in Cambodia.

Miracles can come in many shapes and sizes. They aren’t limited by our imagination or restricted by something mundane like language or rationale. Jesus proved this time and time again throughout the Bible. He cured a woman of a lifelong disease, healed a lame man so he could walk, and raised the dead. Even today, through Jesus, miracles are happening all around us. Recently, along the Mekong River in Cambodia, I saw a blind man see.

As an intern, I often work with the maternal and child health projects, but I recently had the opportunity to join a gifted medical team from Canada. This team, along with several Samaritan’s Purse staff members and medical students, traveled upriver to several remote villages to host a medical clinic and an eye clinic and to share the Gospel.

Cambodia eye clinic

The team in Cambodia prepares for the clinic

On the first day, more than 80 people showed up and about 20 adults gave their lives to Jesus. I could write pages about the many wonders that I witnessed during this week, but I’ll limit myself to the one story that showed me Jesus’ love through a miracle.

The elderly man lived in one of the villages along the Mekong River. When asked his age, he thought for a second and offered the answer of 70. He had come into the eye clinic, and I was fortunate to receive him for testing. Although I’m not an optometrist, the medical team trained me to do this testing.

After I reviewed his vision, it was apparent that he couldn’t see, especially close up. When I found glasses that fit his measurement, I asked him if they improved his vision. However, the elderly man did not hear my question. Instead, he was too busy picking up everything within reach, holding it up in front of him, and seeing the little details of life for the first time in years. He would gaze at it in wonder, marveling at the complexity of a simple roll of duct tape. The smile that spread across his face was something that has not left my mind since. It was priceless and spoke of the miracle that had taken place. He could see.

I don’t believe when he showed up that day that he knew that he would get glasses. Maybe he thought we could help him a little. But what was given to him that day was way more than could be imagined. It was a miracle. I’m not denying that modern medicine made it possible nor that funders provided the means to bring the glasses across the ocean, along with the staff members that offered their time. But isn’t that the miracle in itself?

Everything in this busy, hectic life that we lead lined up perfectly so this man could once again hold a roll of duct tape and see its fine details. The miracle was in God using us, our time, our effort, and our dreams of travel to help others to make this sweet elderly man able to see again. That is a miracle that I saw that day.