One of the most fulfilling opportunities in life is to be able to apply your specific skill set, resources and experiences to help another human being flourish. As a counselor to many over the years, I am learning that humans are made for more than the pursuit of personal comfort, security or “success” as defined by common cultural influences in our world.
Dr. Schaff and Dr. Anderson definitely “get” this. These two optometrists join many other caring humanitarians who are thrilled to use their gifts to improve the lives of others in meaningful ways.
Jesus modeled this type of caring intervention when he healed dozens of suffering individuals during his time on Earth. Mark Chapter 8 records an interesting encounter with Jesus healing a blind man in Bethsaida: “He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”
Clearly (pun intended), this blind man’s life was changed forever following his encounter with Jesus. He was blind, but now he could see!
This summer, Dr. Jina Schaff and Dr. Jamie Anderson, two very successful and generous optometrists, traveled from Colorado and Oregon to Hope Haven Rwanda to help more people see clearly. They conducted an extensive eye clinic, alongside Bethany Wormack and Gabby Bragg, Rhyan and Emma Schaff, Gianna Raffaeli, Lindsay and Jack Peters and Will Williams. After evaluating hundreds of patients, the eye doctors returned to the US with a promise to deliver prescription eyeglasses to 127 students and faculty.
I was grateful to be there when the clinic was underway last summer, but I was even more thrilled to be at Hope Haven when we distributed these prescription glasses just a few weeks ago! The quality of life for these recipients is skyrocketing already. The ability of students to see clearly will open up new doors of learning, at school and in every other area of their lives. As one of them told me, “Now I can see more at home too!”
This week, in this two-part series, you can listen to Jamie and Jina share why they came to Hope Haven Rwanda and how special their experience was. Next week, we’ll share the video of students putting on their new glasses of the first time ever! “I can see!”
Can you think of a specific way you can help another human being flourish more this week, using the unique skills, resources and experiences you have been given?