Better Vision, Better Hope
CLAYTON, N.M. – On Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, the Clayton Seventh-day Adventist Church held an all-day free eye clinic at a local community center in Texline, Tex. Open to all Texline residents and surrounding towns, the Clayton church partnered with the “Better Vision, Better Hope” organization and its coordinator, Dr. Andrea Schellenberg, to coordinate the event.
Coordinators and volunteers met early to hear a devotional by Dr. Schellenberg. She emphasized how Jesus first met people’s physical needs before meeting their spiritual needs and encouraged the volunteers to focus on seeing people the way Jesus does by demonstrating His love. The clinic doors opened at 9:00 a.m. Patients checked in and went through eight stations that included a visual acuity station, an auto-refraction/tonometry station and they received eye exams by Dr. Tasha Schellenberg and Dr. Gayle Daniels. Patients visited with Becca Suggs, a refracting/exam tech and after being examined, picked out a free new pair of glasses. We saw 143 patients that day.
Patients also had the opportunity to visit the pastor’s table and received free literature and prayer. Patients were eager for prayer and 51 signed up for follow-up services such as health and family seminars, diabetes education, addiction services, financial management information and much more. Thirteen patients requested Bible studies.
Patients expressed their gratitude and said they were blessed by the experience. Some were shocked and overjoyed that they were receiving free eye glasses. They mentioned that small communities such as theirs are far from clinics and they have to drive at least an hour to visit the nearest optometrist. Many patients had not seen an optometrist in years.
This event was an amazing outreach opportunity and was a huge blessing to our church members and volunteers. Not only did it meet an essential need in the community, but it was a reminder that Jesus gives us opportunities to reach out to those around us with love. Fixing our eyes on Him will help us see others as He sees them and, in turn, make us more like Him. The Clayton church plans to stay in touch with their patients and cannot wait to start planning another community service project in 2019!
By Isaí Ramírez