At the end of January into February, Dr. Emde & his family traveled with the high school students from Greeneville Adventist Academy (GAA) to Meru, Kenya. Sabrina, our optical lab manager at East View Eye Care, & her family also went. The team went with an organization called Maranatha International which works in many countries all over the world. They mainly focus on digging wells and building churches, schools and medical clinics to those in need.
On this trip, the team had 4 different projects. One team laid the block walls and roof for a bathroom and shower facility for a girls dorm at Kiutine Adventist Academy. Another team went with Dr. Emde to 5 different locations and saw 1,091 patients in 4 1/2 days! Approximately 700 glasses were dispensed to those in need! Another team traveled to 4 of the locations with the vision team and provided a VBS program to the children during the morning as the vision clinic was taking place, and then in the afternoon that team joined the construction team. The 4th project was a week of prayer each afternoon to the students of Kiutine Adventist Academy hosted by Pastor Alejandro Sarria (the associate pastor of the Greeneville SDA Church). 32 students gave their heart to Christ and were baptized as a result!
Dr. Emde has seen patients in many parts of the world, but the remote Tarkana tribe in Kenya was the first time he had ever seen patients who basically didn't know what glasses were. They may have seen a couple of visitors wearing them before, but they did not know what glasses could do to help you see better if you needed them. If you think about it, you probably learned about glasses because of your parents, grandparents, or another friend or relative who told you as a child why they were wearing glasses. The Tarkana tribe has been ignored by the outside world, and so they had to educate them on the benefits of glasses for those who couldn't see anymore--especially those over 40-45 years old that needed help seeing up close (most don't read or write, but still needed help removing slivers or thorns or doing bead work for example).
Dr. Emde recalls one lady at a clinic they did in one community that was so happy after she walked outside that she came back in the clinic dancing and shouting all around the room. Dr. Emde's translator was just smiling and laughing so when Dr. Emde asked what the lady was saying, the translator said she is saying she is so happy because she hasn't been able to see for decades and now she can see everything perfectly! He said she was so happy she is shouting thank you and that God will bless you all!
As with anytime you are able to help someone in need, the team from Greeneville were so blessed by their experience in Kenya!
Read the article below written by Angela Emde (Dr. Emde's wife) by clicking on the first picture:
(shared with permission from Communique', a publication of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists)
Our Local Mission Projects:
We are involved in mission projects here locally as well as overseas!
In Office Fundraising Projects:
1. EYES FOR INDIA
2. WATER WELLS FOR AFRICA