In November of 2022, Dr. Emde traveled with his wife and 2 youngest daughters to serve at an Seventh-day Adventist Christian orphanage/foster day school called Familia Feliz (Happy Family) in the country of Bolivia. They provided free vision care and glasses to the students and staff.
Dr. Emde's oldest daughter, Katie-Jane, is serving as an house parent and teacher's assistant at Familia Feliz. She is a volunteer student missionary from Southern Adventist University where she is currently in her sophomore year as a biology/pre-med/optometry major with a minor in Biblical Old Testament Archeology.
Dr. Emde and his family were able to help provide basic glasses and sunglasses to 62 people. He and his family also helped with providing a VBS--Vacation Bible School and some maintenance around the school while they were there. As hot as it was, they loved waking up hearing the gurgling of the Oropendolas and other birds, but they never quite got used to sharing their living quarters and bedrooms with the tarantulas. They were happy to sleep within their mosquito netting each night!
Familia Feliz is located in the Amazon rainforests of Bolivia near the town of Rurrenabaque, on the edge of the Mididi National Park. However, The small town is famous for Pampas tours which explore the waterways of the tropical wetlands of the rainforests by small thin boats. Dr. Emde and his family took one day to do a Pampas tour and were amazed to see all the wildlife such as pink dolphins, ostrich, coati, thousands of caimen and turtles, alligators, capybaras, yellow monkeys, and even an anaconda!
On Friday, October 14, 2022, Dr. Emde, his wife and 2 of his daughters, volunteered at the one-day AMEN Free Clinic in Charlotte, NC. One of his technicians, Erica, also helped. They all arrived a day early to help set up the clinic along with the AMEN team.
AMEN, the Adventist Medical Evangelism Network, is the organization that lead the event held in the Ivory Baker Recreation Center. Over 250 patients were seen in Charlotte. Various needs were met including dental, vision, medical, medical massage and more.
In April of 2022, Dr. Emde traveled with the high school students of Greeneville Adventist Academy (GAA), one of our community's local K-12 Christian church schools, to serve those in need in the country of Bolivia. They provided free vision care and glasses to several small communities around Cochabamba. It Is Written (see Mongolia, Moldova, and Costa Rica trips below) helped to organize the trip.
Bolivia is in South America south of Peru and Brazil. Cochabamba sits in a basin at 8,392 feet elevation surrounded by the Andes mountains.
Dr. Emde was able to help provide basic glasses and sunglasses to 791 people in 5 days of vision clinics. What was unique about this trip was we saw over a hundred indiginous people who lived in the Andes mountains called Quechua who do not speak Spanish so I had to have two translators for each of these. English to Spanish, Spanish to Quechua, then Quechua to Spanish back to English. It was time consuming, but most of them could not read or write and the livelihood of the women was sewing. When we were able to get them reading glasses, they not only could see again, but they were so thrilled because we gave them back the way they can make a living!
This was our largest group form GAA so far with 48 people going. Over 25 students from GAA went on the mission trip. Students would rotate through helping in the vision clinics and helping build a local Seventh-day Adventist church in Cochabamba and providing some maintenance on others. In the evenings, the students gave health talks, children's stories, and preached at the local churches.
Dr. Emde was happy he was able to go on this trip, not only to help those in need, but to help teach the students the joy of serving others, whether it is here in Greeneville, or abroad.
This Spring of 2021, Dr. Emde traveled with the high school students of Greeneville Adventist Academy (GAA), one of our community's local K-12 Christian church schools, to serve those in need in the country of Costa Rica. They provided free vision care and glasses to several small communities within the region of Abangeres. It Is Written (see Mongolia & Moldova trips below) helped to organize the trip.
Costa Rica is located in located in Mid-America below Nicaragua and above Panama. This is Dr. Emde's 2nd trip to Costa Rica. The first being in 2014 (see below). Costa Rica has socialized medicine so eye care is free to citizens of the country. However, as Dr. Emde has seen in several socialized medicine countries like Moldova and Mongolia, unless you pay "extra" above and beyond what your "insurance" provides, you will many times wait many years for the care you need. He saw several patients again on this trip that needed cataract surgery years ago, but are still waiting. One patient needed cataract surgery seven years ago, but is still on the waiting list as he tries to live his life with very little vision.
In addition, there are many immigrants living in Costa Rica from Nicaragua and other countries who don't qualify for any medical/vision benefits because they are not citizens of Costa Rica.
Dr. Emde was able to help provide basic glasses and sunglasses to approximately 580 people in 5 days of vision clinics who otherwise haven't been able to or haven't had the money to get even glasses.
Twenty-six students from GAA and twelve chaperones went on the mission trip. Students would rotate through helping in the vision clinics and helping build a local Seventh-day Adventist church in Las Juntas. In the evenings, the students gave health talks, children's stories, and preached at the local group meetings on the topic "Steps to Christ" -- a series designed to start or grow your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Each of them wrote their own sermons based on the book Steps to Christ by Ellen G. White.
Dr. Emde was happy they were able to go on this trip, not only to help those in need, but to help teach the students the joy of serving others, whether it is here in Greeneville, or abroad.
Click here to get a free copy of
Steps to Christ
in .pdf format
or you can listen to it in an .mp3 file!
Watch video below by 2 GAA students, Jayden Cushing & Braden Ball
On March 29, 2019 a group of over 100 volunteers from several different medical professions joined together to offer a free Vision/Dental/Medical clinic to those in need in Chattanooga, TN.
AMEN, the Adventist Medical Evangelism Network, is the organization that lead the 3-day event at the Eastgate Town Center. The Optimal Health Center, a non-profit medical clinic nearby, was the lead sponsor. Follow-up care was provided by the Project Access of Hamilton County.
A local radio station interviewed Dr. Emde live on the air during the clinic. 200 patients were seen in the vision clinic alone by the five optometrists that volunteered during the event.
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)
This Spring of 2018, Dr. Emde traveled with the high school students of Greeneville Adventist Academy (GAA), one of our community's local K-12 Christian church schools, to serve those in need in the country of Moldova. They provided free vision care and glasses to several small villages within the country. It Is Written (see Mongolia trip below) helped to organize the trip.
Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. If the gross national product (GNP) of Moldova was doubled, it would still be the poorest country in Europe. Those students not needed in the vision clinic performed community service for the villages such as shoveling snow, delivering food to the poor, visited homeless shelters, and cleaning the apartments of shut-ins. In the evenings, the students provided vacation Bible schools and an adult Bible study meeting also took place each evening.
We were excited to bring help to approximately 800 patients in the five day-time vision clinics and three night clinics over a period of six days. The students had wonderful stories of how much they enjoyed helping those in need and were blessed so much while they served.
Click on image below to watch a video on GAA's website produced by It Is Written about our Moldova trip....or click here to watch the full It Is Written episode on "Mission Possible"
On Memorial Day, 2017, Dr. Emde went with his entire family on a medical mission trip to Mongolia. They joined over 120 other medical professionals and ancillary staff and their family members who came from many other parts of the world to help the poor and needy in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The trip was organized by It Is Written and ADRA (Adventist Development & Relief Agency). Dr. Emde was asked to lead the free vision clinic. Free dental and primary care medical clinics were also done during the day, as well as many other specialties providing free surgeries in the local hospitals. He was excited to have 2 eye surgeons (a cataract surgeon and a retinal specialist) joining his team as well, including Dr. Jacob Prabhakar from India and his 3 assistants. Dr. Jacob is the leader of the "Eyes for India" mission project that Dr. Emde has promoted in his practice over the past several years). The vision clinic provided free exams and glasses. On average, Dr. Emde had one other eye care professional helping do the exams each day. They saw over 1,100 patients in 5 days of clinic! The vision team took approximately 2,000 pairs of basic glasses (no bifocals prescriptions). Approximately 1,400 pairs of glasses were dispensed since some needed both a distance pair and a near pair of glasses.
Pastor John Bradshaw did an evangelistic series in the evenings after the clinics were over. Currently, only 2.5% of the entire population of Mongolia are Christians. With God's help, the medical mission team brought the love of God to this country in a very big way. Over 200 accepted Jesus for the first time in their life. An additional 70 more were baptized into a new walk with Jesus. Pray that many will continue to find Jesus and realize the love He has for them!
In June/July of 2015, Dr. Emde traveled to Iquitos, Peru with his entire family and one of his staff, Tabatha Greene, who headed up the optical dispensing of the glasses. They traveled with Dr. Svendsen and his entire family and a team from Takoma Regional Hospital and other volunteers to provide vision and medical clinics during the day. In the evening, the volunteers would provide VBS-like programs.
Iquitos is the largest city in the world (over 750,000 people in that area) with NO roads leading to it. You can only access it by airplane or by boat on the Amazon river!
Watch video below to see Dr. Emde fit an orphan girl with her first glasses!
In April of 2015, Dr. Emde traveled with his entire family and a large team of doctors and volunteers from Takoma Regional Hospital and Greeneville Adventist Academy to San Antonio, Texas, for a Your Best Pathway to Health free mega health clinic. They joined 1,700 volunteers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church from all over North America which converged to help those in need in San Antonio.
Eye exams, glasses, dental care, medical care, and all kinds of services and goods were provided in the Alamodome. Even surgeries such as hysterectomies, gall bladder removals, and more which were done in local hospitals and were provided free to over 6,192 patients in San Antonio. Overall $20,400.000 (over $20 million) of free services were provided! Click the box below to see where the next free event will be!
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