2017 El Salvador Vision Care Reflection
Helen Keller once said, “the only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision”. The experiences that I have encountered during the Vision Care mission trip to El Salvador led me to think about this statement from Keller. Although she was deaf-blind, the clients at Vision Care all experienced tremendous hardship because of their cataracts. I was put in charge with the eye chart, and I see it in many of their faces. I noticed the stress from the lack
of sight, the hardship with traveling (in some circumstances they traveled great distances to receive free surgery), and ultimately nervousness with potentially experiencing an invasive procedure to correct their vision. By the last day, most of the clients saw improvements in their vision. A few even improved from only able to see the waving of my hand just a few inches in front of their face to almost having perfect vision amazed me. This experience resonated within
me for the next few days and made me feel blessed to have seen this with my very own eyes. After a few days of reflection, I felt that the overall mission trip’s brief zeitgeist was one of a feeling of hope. Keller stated that the one thing worse than being blind is having no vision.
This is the vision that I saw. Through Vision Care, I noticed that it was not merely a temporary clinic that provided free surgery for underprivileged people, but it is a lesson of hope. Although I saw all this hardship in most of these individuals, I look into their eyes and see hope. I noticed that most of the patients waited outside for sometimes hours hoping to receive any improvement
for their impaired vision. I noticed that the patients’ families also waited for hours outside hoping that their kin could receive free treatment to better their vision. I noticed during post-operation the patient’s hope for a more convenient future as they begin their recovery.
The one major lesson that I learned from my experiences at El Salvador was to continue this feeling of hope. In the grand scheme of things, I figured that if I can continue to have hope with the Lord’s plan in mind, then I can relieve myself of the superficial burdens that the world binds me with. Just like what the Lord stated with Jeremiah 29:11 “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”