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  • Raeanne Newquist

Celebration of Sight

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

I never knew a child could be born with cataracts. Mossane was born blind because of cataracts. She received surgery here to remove her cataracts and so far we've performed about 35 cataract surgeries on children. The other day I sat across from Mossane as we gathered to celebrate our children who have received eye surgery on The Africa Mercy in Senegal.

The elementary students from our Academy were invited to come celebrate the children and I slipped in with them. Patients and their parents were in one of our tents on the dock, now decorated with balloons and bright colors. Most of the children wore some sort of glasses over their newly repaired eyes. I learned that after surgery, the children cannot immediately see. It takes some time for the brain to learn how to communicate with the eyes before the children begin to see clearly.

The tent was jam packed and our hospital chaplaincy began by leading us in some songs of celebration. The Africans sing and clap and celebrate with such enthusiasm! After some singing, Koffee, one of our chaplains, told the story of Jesus healing the blind man which another man translated into Wolof for the patients and caregivers. Once they finished, the floor was opened to testimonies.

One father stood up to share and he started by saying that if he didn't testify, it would be as though he was ungrateful. This hit me profoundly. It was his deep gratitude that compelled him to stand up and make known what God had done for his daughter through Mercy Ships.

This whole day was set aside to celebrate, testify and make much of our God and His ministry here. The people of Senegal do not shy away from standing up and telling the crowds what they have received and how grateful they are. I want to live like this. I want to have my eyes wide open to see every good gift God is daily giving me so that I am filled with gratitude and can't help myself but to testify to anyone who will listen!

I was not born blind, but there is so much I do not see. I need to train my brain to communicate with my eyes to see the daily gifts that are given all around me. I need to train my eyes to tell my heart to wake up and be overwhelmed with gratitude for all that God is pouring out upon His children everywhere. God, remove the callouses that make me blind to your presence in my life, and receive my gratitude as I make much of you and celebrate.

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