Colombia (MNN) — If you usually throw your obsolete prescription glasses away, there could be a better use for them.
Right now, International Needs is collecting eye glasses to send to children in Barranquilla, Colombia.
These particular children are the 500 students at the Rose of Sharon School.
Rody Rodeheaver of International Needs says, “A high percentage of these children would never get an education were it not for the Rose of Sharon school which is a ‘from kindergarten through high school’ Christian education that’s being funded by people in the United States.” This happens through child sponsorship or individual one-time gifts.
Many of them come from a slum that Rodeheaver describes as a despicable place to live. There seems to be no end to the poverty there, and like many slums, the extreme lack of opportunity is apparent. According to International Needs, very few children or their family members are able to visit a doctor even if their life depends on it.
The Rose of Sharon is an institution that brings hope, possibility, and opportunity through the education it provides. The school is also a place where children can take part in Bible Studies and learn more about Jesus Christ. Read more about how they are impacting the community here.
A first doctor’s appointment
For the first time, International Needs is sending a medical missions team into this community in Colombia. The trip will take place from January 30 to February 6.
The clinic will be set up in the school, and the children will get tickets in order to bring their family members to see the doctors as well.
Rodeheaver says, “Our goal is to see about 2,500 people. We will have doctors, dentists, optometrists, nurses, and lots of helpers to take care of these children and their families.”
Volunteers with the medical team will be able to treat ailments or other conditions that these people may have been dealing with for a long time. They can also refer them to the Baptist Clinic of Barranquilla for those conditions that can’t be treated at the school.
Your old glasses could change the course of life for a child
Rodeheaver says that they are also collecting used or new prescription glasses until January 9.
Some children have trouble reading and end up falling behind in school work. Your old pair of glasses could change that.
“Some of them will become better students because they’ll be able to read better, be able to see better,” says Rodeheaver.
If you would like to donate a pair of glasses, write the prescription on a piece of tape and attach it to the wing of the frame. Reading glasses are also accepted.
Send the glasses to International Needs, 5570 32nd Street, Hudsonville, Michigan 49426.
Helping them see
This trip will be an opportunity to reach the children’s families with the story of Jesus.
“The Gospel is very present,” Rodeheaver says. “As we are taking care of these children and adults, some people are assigned to share the Gospel–to do evangelism while the kids are there.”
Even while waiting in line to see the doctor, some may receive the healing truth of Jesus sacrifice.
“All those children are exposed to the Gospel while they’re in school. But this also gives us a great chance to work with the parents and the people related to them,” Rodeheaver explains.