Friday, October 20, 2017

Thambalagamuwa: Day 1 of 2

Well, grand totals from today's eye clinic in Thambalagamuwa set a new record for a single day clinic thus far:
 -186 people's eyes examined
 -141 pairs of glasses given away.
And this all in 6 hours and 20 minutes of working time.
Exams started at 9:40 AM, paused for a short lunch break in the early afternoon, and the last one finished at 5:05 PM.

There is a bit of a back story to this amazing day unfolding as it did.
The Methodist pastor's requests to build a church have been denied by local officials. But when he brought a request for permission to hold the eye clinic at a private location in the district, the same officials said, "Why don't you hold it at our district government offices?" So, this morning's clinic started with formal greetings and addresses from several district representatives, as well as the local pastor who laid the groundwork & coordinated logistics.

We saw a fair number of students in the morning, many brought by their parents with permission from the school officials.

During both the morning and afternoon, many area police officers took their break time to wait for an exam. We saw this as a positive opportunity to build goodwill relationships with more local officials.

The caption that sprung to mind for this next scene was:
How many Reverends does it take to examine the eyes of a Buddhist monk?
(From these pictures, the answer, apparently, is three!)

The entire day was an amazing example of eye clinics - or any relevant answer to an actual need - opening doors and building relationship bridges - and relationship opens doors of the heart and mind for the very relevant Gospel of Jesus to be heard.

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