Jul 23, 2009

my dad's glasses

There is an ophthalmologist in our area who is well known for being a leading laser vision correction/cataract removal surgeon,

Dr. Davis also happens to be a Christian who regularly donates his time and services by going on missions trips through his church, The Chapel in Akron, Ohio. (www.the-Chapel.org)

My brother, Dr. Donald A. Lichi, is a Christian psychologist with Emerge Ministries in Akron (www.Emerge.org) and happens to be a friend of Dr. Davis.

Don knew that Dr. Davis was going to be leading an eye glasses clinic team on a missions trip to the southern African country of Mozambique in the spring of 2008, just weeks after our father passed away. Our mom was happy to send our dad's glasses with Dr. Davis.

Well, that alone would be enough to make this story meaningful, knowing there are willing servants of the Lord giving of their time and talents to go and do humanitarian work in Africa and to think that our dad's glasses went in the box with probably hundreds of other pairs.

But now we add God's miraculous power to the story, and everything takes on a whole new meaning. I need to back up for just a moment, and say that my dad's vision left a lot to be desired. If you've ever heard the saying "blind in one eye and can't see out of the other" that would pretty much apply to my dad. He was basically blind in one eye from a baseball injury he received as a young boy, and the other eye had some kind of strong prescription.

On to Mozambique...While Dr. Davis was examining a long line of people, he very sadly had to tell an albino man that he would not be able to help him. The man walked away in tears. Later, the man reappeared with a prescription in hand that he had but was never able to afford to get the glasses. When Dr. Davis looked at the prescription, he said "wait a minute, this looks familiar"! That's when he found my dad's prescription sunglasses and there was an EXACT match. Putting the sunglasses on, this man was able to stand up straight, because apparently the sun had always hurt his eyes so much he had to walk with his face down.

Dr. Davis never thought he would ever find anyone who would be able to use my dad's glasses since his prescription was so unusual. He was very excited, but he couldn't locate my dad's regular glasses until the next day, when he found them in his briefcase. By then he was afraid he would never see the albino man again. Well, the next day the church people were holding a service and didn't this same man show up! Dr. Davis went running to get his brief case and the glasses and caught up with the man.

Now who but our great God could orchestrate this scenario? Who would have ever thought that an eye glasses clinic missions trip, the dates of which would have been planned long in advance, would shortly follow the death of an 84 year old man from Stow, Ohio, whose glasses would be a perfect match for a man on another continent and would be hand delivered to someone who needed them desperately by the eye doctor friend of the donor's son!

Following the missions trip, my brother and my mom went to a service at The Chapel where they saw a video presentation about the eye glasses clinic in Mozambique. They got to see the albino man who got my dad's glasses! At least 7000 people in the Akron area also got to hear this story that weekend in this mega-church. My mom was given a DVD copy of the presentation, and the music in the background was appropriately "Amazing Grace"...

A few weeks later, my mom was blessed by Dr. Davis' wife Barbara, who had a plaque made with pictures of the man wearing my dad's glasses. The inscription on the plaque is from Matthew 10:42, and reads: "And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded."


Wanda said...

What a heart warming story...I truly mean it Jacquelyn...in this world of one sad or bad story after another...this so delivers the message of what we could be doing to improve our world and it's people...not only an example of God's orchestration, but an example of how "living green" could possibly help our fellow man! Recycling eyeglasses...in giving you have received much more in return!

Take care!

Anonymous said...

**snifffffff - snnnnniffffff**
Amazing story. What an amazing God - to show a man in Africa just how very much he cares for him through your dad's old glasses.
I don't think we'll ever know the many ways God has moved through our actions to reach and touch others.
Thank you so much for sharing!

Rebecca. Harlan, IN said...

I've got (what we call) "goosebumps"! I want to preserve this story and read it over and over and over again. When are you going to post the video???

Jacquelyn said...

Humm, I'll have to figure out how to do that, Rebecca. I'll see if I can enlist some help from someone a bit more computer savvy than me! But you'll need your kleenex :)