An elderly man stood on the sidelines of the impromptu basketball game, observing the mix of YWAM volunteers and children from Bamio village playing at the end of a clinic day in the heat. One of the optometry volunteers, Joban Mea, noticed the man watching them play, he broke away from the game and began to approach him. Had the man come for any of the medical services, Joban wanted to know, and could Joban help him?
He could indeed. The elderly man, Umami, wanted his vision checked; he had not been able to see his grandchildren’s faces in 18 years. When he heard YWAM’s medical team was coming to Bamio, Umami travelled there from his own village. He made the journey alone, paddling his dugout canoe through the river in the hope that someone would have an answer to his failing eyesight.
Joban took Umami to the optometrist, who discovered Umami was severely short-sighted. After the vision test, the optometry team was thrilled to present Umami with the prescription glasses he needed. Joy covered his face when he slipped the glasses on. As Umami looked around a clear world for the first time in 18 years, he exclaimed, “It’s like waking up from a dream!”
As MV YWAM PNG has been serving in the southern region of PNG since January, 1,097 glasses have been distributed, all thanks to generous donations and the dedicated efforts of volunteers. Optometrists are needed for outreaches between February – June and August – December. Click here for more details.