A gift from God

OM International | Jamaica

Volunteers relished the opportunity to bless elderly residents with new reading glasses during a visit to the St Vincent de Paul Society and a Salvation Army care centre while in Kingston, Jamaica.

The visit was coordinated by Joanne Shorthouse, an Australian who is a long-time resident of Jamaica. She volunteers her time across the city on a number of charitable projects and has previously worked as an elderly care nurse. Joanne’s passion for life and sharing the gospel inspired the team members as they interacted with residents and tested the eyesight of more than 30 men and women.

The volunteers performed a drama in which a woman disregards a ‘do not touch’ sign and becomes stuck to a chair. Nelly Kazykhodzhaeva (Russia) used the drama to explain how disobeying God can cause a person to become stuck in a pattern of doing wrong things, and it is only through God’s forgiveness that the person can be set free.

“I think dramas are wonderful; they really stick in people’s minds, and play over again even after you are gone,” said Joanne. “You could tell the men and women were really paying attention and laughing along.”

Grace Tomas lives in the Salvation Army care centre and is in her nineties. As a crewmember fit Grace with a new pair of reading glasses, Grace told her, “I just want to be able to read my Bible.”

“Why don’t you go and get your Bible and we will re-test your eyes, just to be sure,” offered the volunteer. Grace disappeared into the home, returning minutes later with a well-worn large-print leather Bible in hand.

The crewmember placed the glasses on Grace’s nose, and as Grace looked down at the text, her eyes lit up. “I think God sent these people here today to bring you new reading glasses,” said a nurse, explaining that Grace tries to read her Bible every day, but her old glasses do not work for her anymore. “Oh, yes,” agreed Grace, with a toothless smile from ear to ear. “God sent them to bring me new glasses.”

Published: Tuesday, 30 May 2017
Credit: OM International
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