Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Mark8:25
An understanding of the Body of Christ is an essential component of faith. We are all God’s children and we are equal and are required to love each other in the name of Christ. Some of us are not more important, nor more sacred, nor more entitled to God’s blessings. We are all the Body of Christ! And to work together is how we all grow in our faith and come to a deeper understanding of how God desires for us to conduct our lives. While in Congo recently, I worked very closely with so many Congolese who taught me so much. I was able to teach nurses in the clinic about sterile technique, but they taught me about humility and gracious hospitality. They respected me beyond measure and shared their family members with me. One particular nurse brought her little baby to the clinic every day and called him “Mon Ami” (My Friend). They could have been afraid of me because of my skin color, my level of education and experience, my obvious wealth (because I could afford to travel to Africa) as compared to them. But instead, they greeted me with singing and dancing and hugs and smiles. And then we worked side by side to provide medical care to thousands of patients. They know their culture. They understand how to function clinically without running water and electricity. That was a struggle for me! But they taught me. I understand highly technical electronic medical devices, which they have never seen. But together the ground was leveled and we functioned as a team. A team united in Christ.
After two years of planning, the team was so blessed to finally bring the Cataract Surgery Mission to fruition. Finding a US licensed surgeon was the biggest challenge. After searching the website of the mission arm of the Association of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and emailing several surgeons expressing an interest in African missions, Dr. Kris Karlen and his technician Charles Narh reached out and agreed to participate. What a huge blessing these two gentlemen brought to the mission! They have much mission experience, especially in Ghana which is the native country of Charles. They arrived with bags and bags full of donations from their organization, Kaiser Permanente, and hearts ready to serve! Charles is also an associate pastor at a Southern Baptist Church in California.