Group opens vision clinic in JamaicaPARK RAPIDS, Minn. — Jericho Ministry has initiated a “clinic with a vision” — for Jamaicans to see the world again. Two years ago, Katy Grisamore and Wayne Eimers, longtime United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, returned home from Jamaica with an idea “God planted in the minds of the two Christians.”
By: Forum Communications Co. report, The Jamestown Sun
PARK RAPIDS, Minn. — Jericho Ministry has initiated a “clinic with a vision” — for Jamaicans to see the world again.
Two years ago, Katy Grisamore and Wayne Eimers, longtime United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, returned home from Jamaica with an idea “God planted in the minds of the two Christians.”
Touched by the desperate need for eyeglasses in a country where optical care is expensive and difficult to access, the Park Rapids area residents generated an idea for a vision ministry.
The Jericho Ministry Vision Clinic, in cooperation with Operation Compassion Ministries of the Minnesota United Methodist Church, has just completed a second tour in Brown’s Town, Jamaica.
Approximately 3,000 pairs of eyes are now viewing the world through prescription eyeglasses, readers and sunglasses, distributed free of charge.
The first mission trip, the vision clinic distributed more than 1,200 pairs of glasses and Jericho Ministry established a partnership with the Brown’s Town Methodist Church.
“This year, as last, glasses were given out, the Lord was praised, and hearts were touched, as working side by side with our Jamaican brothers and sisters, sight was restored to many,” said Grisamore.
This year, Kay Jettmann and Diane Allison joined Grisamore and Eimers “in a successful effort to grow the Ministry and reach out to more people,” she said.
From 5:30 a.m. on, hundreds lined up outside the church. Many waited up to four hours to reach the testing area.
Using an auto-refractor (a machine that measures eyes for prescriptions), the team tested eyes and distributed corrective eyeglasses.
The response was overwhelming. “We saw miracle after miracle,” Grisamore said. People told them they lost their jobs because of poor vision, the glasses offering a new perspective on their futures.
With 10 volunteers from the Brown’s Town church, led by Rev. Athone Harrison, the Minnesota team saw over 1,700 men, women and children.
The vision clinic was based in the church fellowship hall. The clinic was open to all.
Although the clinic was geared mainly for adults, because the recycled Lion’s Club glasses are adult sizes, children and teenagers asked for help.
Hundreds of people were turned away because there wasn’t enough time to test everyone.
In addition, the need for sunglasses became apparent. Older Jamaicans who have had no protection from the sun are stricken with cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and other eye diseases.
The Jericho Mission team left Jamaica with “a defined sense of purpose – to move on with more glasses for more people.”
The 2012 trip to Jamaica is scheduled for Jan. 23 to Feb. 4.
This year, the clinic will offer two new aspects to the mission. A thousand pair of sunglasses will be distributed in an effort to combat sun-induced eye diseases and volunteers will head into Jamaican classrooms to share information on basic eye care.
The cost for a Jericho Mission is approximately $10,000, which includes glasses, rental of equipment, room and board for U.S. volunteers and transportation.
Contributions can be made to Akeley United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 292, Akeley, MN 56433. Designate “Vision Clinic” on the check memo.
A donation of $400 buys 1,920 pair of bar-coded prescription glasses; $10 buys 20 pair of magnifying “readers;” $50 gives a volunteer a bed for a night and three meals and $1 will help ship cartons of glasses, which cost $100 for 50 pounds. This year it cost $780 to transport the glasses.
The Park Rapids (Minn.) Enterprise is owned by Forum Communications Co.