At Easter we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection which means death has been defeated and God is going to mend our broken world, making all things new. We herald that news by reaching out in the name of Christ to those who are suffering. That's where the Easter Sacrifical Offering (ESO) comes in. Through giving generously to ESO we link arms with brothers and sisters in other parts of the world and join them in ministries of mercy and relief. As we do so we demonstrate the unity of Christ’s body and proclaim the coming of his kingdom. Highlighted below is one of the projects we'll be supporting this year.
Imagine a village where half the people are at risk of blindness. That’s the situation in some areas of rural Ethiopia where, unbeknownst to them, bacteria spread by flies and dirty water infect the eyes of villagers. In the early stages, a simple pill can vanquish the bacteria; in the latter stages, surgery can correct the damage, but without intervention a life of constant pain and likely blindness is inevitable.
But treatment requires access to care and, like most of Sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia has only one ophthalmologist for every 1 million people. And because most eye doctors limit their practice to cities, there are only 15 to 20 eye doctors to care for the 70 million people living in villages. No wonder Ethiopia has one of the highest rates of blindness in the world!
Responding to God’s call, Tenth members John and Lori Kempen plan to establish a first-class eye clinic and ophthalmic training center in Addis Ababa. John, a professor of ophthalmology and epidemiology at The University of Pennsylvania’s Medical School is teaming up with two other eye surgeons, one an Ethiopian, to plan and staff the center. The Kempens plan to move their family to Addis in early 2015.
Their vision is to establish a self-sustaining clinic, training and research center, the Discovery Eye Institute, that can provide eye care, and train ophthalmologists as well as provide traveling clinics to remote, mostly unreached areas. Done in concert with evangelistic outreaches, the clinics will offer sight for both body and soul and strengthen rural church planting. Plans call for 60 outreaches in the center’s fist year.
A portion of this year’s Easter Sacrificial Offering will help establish the clinic and pave the way for the Kempen family’s future ministry in Ethiopia.
More details about Discovery Eye Institute and the Kempen's ministry can be found in Discovery Eye Institute's newsletter.
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