One woman made the whole trip worth it. She was an older lady who was blind. She slowly shuffled into the “clinic” with her “white” cane in hand and her purse around her neck.
I admired this lady from the moment I saw her. Life in Haiti is hard and her life was even harder, yet you could just tell she was one of those that made the best out of what she had. She wasn’t angry or rude, she was content and pleasant. Despite all that she could be angry about, she wasn’t. I wanted so badly to sit down with her and have her tell me her story. I knew I could sit for hours and glean from her experiences, but of course the language barrier would not allow that, so I was just able to soak up her goodness that radiated from her!
When she came in, I figured since she was blind we wouldn’t be able to help her, but I hoped so desperately that I was wrong. After talking with the providers and pharmacists and getting her other medical needs taken care of, she headed over to our “optometry office”, i.e. table in the corner with glasses on it.:-) Can I just say that I LOVED the simplicity of Haiti. I love that a table filled with random donated glasses could help so many. They were all so genuinely happy no matter what the glasses looked like. I loved how we didn’t have to worry about anyone suing us and it was so amazing to see how the smallest things made people so happy. I found myself yearning to have that in the states again.
After trying on a few glasses she found the pair!!! She couldn’t believe it and we couldn’t believe it, but she could see!!! To see the look on her face as she looked around was priceless. She could hardly contain herself! She was so happy and was praising God and blessing us with all sorts of blessings! Our poor interpreter was trying to keep up with her, but he couldn’t. He ended up stopping and after minutes of her going on and on, and when she had finally stopped talking, he told us she pretty much blessed us with all kinds of blessings that we were going to be set in life.:-)
I can’t describe the feelings I had. We had just completely changed her life, she went from being blind to seeing, and we (and many of you) were a part of that! It was something I’ll never forget.
We gave her a walking cane to use instead of her “white” cane. It was so funny because she didn’t even want her “white” cane anymore. We had just changed her life and she was ready for her new one!:-)
When she was done, I walked her out of the building. When we opened the door and the suns rays shined down on us, her smile grew. She could see even more outside! She was so excited; it seemed like she was about to jump out of her own skin! As I walked her across the field to her family, she talked a million miles a minute to me. At this point, I had no interpreter, but I could feel of her gratitude. Standing in the middle of a field of grass, both with tear filled eyes, we “talked” a little more and said our goodbyes.
Our Haitian driver was with me and heard the whole conversation so with his broken English, as we walked back, he gave me a recap. He said that she was talking about how she went to the doctor and he had told her that she needed to go to China for a surgery if she wanted to see again. She of course couldn’t afford that so she never went. She said she had prayed us there and is so grateful that God led her to us. She said she was going to pray that we’d come back and that she’d know when we were there again.
After hearing all of that, the tears in her eyes meant that much more.
If we had done all we did and only met and helped this one blind woman, it would have been worth it. Her life is changed forever and it’s so amazing to be part of such a life altering experience.
This next gal was another one of my favorites.
She is about 11 years old and lives in a special needs home. It seems to be a great orphanage. They call themselves a family and home instead of an orphanage which I love. Sweet Fiona is confined to a wheelchair and has limitations with her hands and legs. Amazingly, she has learned English just from listening to and talking with volunteers. She is extremely smart and incredibly endearing. We were working on a project and she kept kindly asking if she could help us. It was so fun to be able to communicate with an older child! It was so much easier to interact with the little kids when we didn’t have interpreters, but I always felt so sorry for the older kids and wanted to just sit down and tell them all how awesome they were, but I couldn’t. With Fiona, I was finally able to do just that.
After interacting with her for quite a long time, we learned that her vision was highly impaired. So we got her some glasses and her reaction was priceless. As quickly as we put the glasses on her face, her squeals of excitement couldn’t be contained. With two fisted hands hugging against her chest, a gigantic smile, and giddy squeals of excitement, it was no secret how excited she was to be able to see the world around her.
I was inspired by the words on Fiona’s shirt, “Possibilities Not Disabilities”. I talked to her about her shirt and told her how much I liked it and how true it was. I want to pass her message on to all that I can. Fiona, the blind woman, and so many others in Haiti and around the world live what this remarkable girl’s shirt read. At this orphanage, it was so amazing to see the possibilities that were offered to them (I’ll talk more on that in future posts).
My favorite thing about Glasses for Haiti is that it created more possibilities for these strong Haitians! It really did bless so many. To some it opened up a new world, and to others it brightened theirs.
Here are some pictures of just a few more…
Glasses for Haiti also made our driver, Noel, feel like a million bucks. He became the Optometrist for a week. He could speak the language (which freed up an interpreter) and did a great job at finding their need and fitting them to the perfect pair of glasses. You could tell he was in heaven and so proud of what he was doing! Seeing him feel so fulfilled was the cherry on top!
THANK YOU Haiti imprinters for donating glasses, money, support, and prayers. Because of you, lives were changed!
To read Part 1 of Imprints in Haiti click HERE.
This article appeared first on Real Imprints.