God of the Impossible…
“Recently, one of our staff members in India, Mark, who is legally blind, asked me this question: “Why don’t we have a ministry for blind children?” My immediate response was that we already struggle with raising sufficient funds for our existing ministries. I didn’t think we could take on another right now. But his question haunted me for days, so I began to pray about it. “Dr. Samuel Thomas
With further research we learned that there are 37 million blind people world-wide and 15 million live in India (indiatimes.com). Of those 15 million, 26% are children. Statistics also show that 75% of blindness in India is preventable, but the care for the impoverished is non-existent. Even with those who have the funds to be treated, there is a problem. India needs at least 40,000 optometrists to serve its population, but there are only 8,000 working in all of India. There is less than one eye surgeon available for every 100,000 people who need ocular surgery!
In India, when parents give birth to blind children, they leave them on the streets or drop them off on the steps of some temple. Most blind children are eventually used in the sex slave market. Others, once they reach a certain age, are forced to become beggars on the streets. A blind child in India has very little chance of having a life outside of extreme poverty and unspeakable abuses.
“Lord, open his eyes so he may see” (2 Kings 6:17).
“When I saw the enormous need and put much thought and prayer into it, I realized that the Holy Spirit can never lead a “wrong” person to Christ! The blind also have a right to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord doesn’t look at the finances; His bottom line is different than ours. The bottom line is that by faith, not by sight, we have launched a ministry for blind children. We covet your sincere prayers and financial support for HopeVision. Through HopeVision, we introduce Jesus to the blind! ” Dr. Samuel Thomas
What is HopeVision …
HopeVision is a ministry that rescues blind orphaned, abandoned and at risk children so we can protect, educate, and supply basic necessities for them. As these physical needs are met, we earn the privilege of introducing these young people to God who wants to bless them, love them, provide for them, and use them in spite of their blindness. In 2 Kings, Elisha’s servant saw that an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. He asked Elisha, the prophet of God, what should they do? Elisha answered:
“Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16).
Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” The Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire. It was only by the power of God that Elisha’s servant saw the angels. If blind children never have an opportunity to hear about Jesus, how will they ever be able to see the world through His eyes? In most cases, we will not be able to give these children their physical sight back, but we can certainly help them see life through His eyes!
Rescuing the blind…
Rescuing blind children from the streets to fill a Hope Home is not the problem. Building a Hope Home and acquiring the support to care for these children is the problem. Once we bring them under our care, we must be able to feed, clothe, educate and attend to any medical needs they have. An education and/or a trade will be extremely important for these children – just as it is for any orphan – if they are going to function outside the Hope Home one day. We have already taken a “step of faith!”
A Step of Faith…
We have already started rescuing blind children! We temporarily took over some space at the Naya Geet Hope Home in Delhi. The need is so urgent and so many of these children are suffering all around us, we did not feel we could wait until everything in our plan was in place.
Although we are limited to the number of children we can rescue while we occupy temporary quarters at Naya Geet Hope Home, we are very busy taking care of the 10 blind children we have rescued thus far. In our present space, 30 blind children will be the maximum we can care for. Although we praise God that He has already provided the land where we can build a separate facility for the blind, we must wait on God to provide the funds to build a Hope Home for the blind. Also, the temporary quarters do not include separate living quarters for Mark, their caretaker, and his wife and child. If we do not have the funds to build the Hope Home by the time we rescue 30 children, we will need to build a separate room for Mark and his family. Naya Geet Hope Home is already full!
Mark shares His Heart…
Mark has a heart for the blind because he understands what it means to have sight and what it is like to lose it at a very young age. He says:
I lost my sight at age 9 due to meningitis. My father died when I was 6 and so I lived with my mother and other family members. My mother spent nearly every penny she earned looking for ways to restore my sight. I was the oldest of three children. When I was 13 my mother’s family convinced her to send me away to a government-sponsored school for the blind. While I was gone that first year, she died. The family did not tell me until the school year was over. They then forced me to go back to the school; they did not want the responsibility of taking care of a blind boy.
Although I learned book binding and candle making and learned to play guitar through the school, I never heard how Jesus loves me in spite of my blindness. My relationship with Jesus did not take place until after I met Dr. Samuel Thomas through a mutual school acquaintance. Dr. Samuel asked me if I would like to come live at one of the orphanages and teach the children how to make things out of paper and teach them to play the guitar. I said yes. I wasn’t there very long before I was hearing about Jesus. I asked Dr. Samuel if I could attend the seminary classes, but not as a student. They don’t have Braille so I wouldn’t be able to do the studies anyway. I just wanted to sit in and listen so I could learn more about this Jesus. I accepted Jesus in 2008 and was baptized. Now I get to play my guitar during worship services!
I want blind children all over India to know God the way I do! I want them to know that their birth was not a mistake. I want to teach them music, book binding, candle making and many other things, but I want them to do all these things for the glory of God.
Because Hopegivers is rescuing blind children, thousands will hear about God’s love for them and how precious they are in the eyes of God. I thank God daily that Dr. Samuel prayed and we have begun a work that will expose thousands of blind children to Jesus Christ so they too can have eternal life.
By sponsoring a child for $35 monthly you can help feed, clothe and provide all the needs that every child has. We also have many start up needs. Any amount would be helpful over and above the $35 monthly.
• Bunk beds
• Cooking utensils
• Medical care
From an educational perspective we need help purchasing Hope Packs so these children will also have school uniforms, shoes, sweaters, underwear, a Bible and toiletries. We also need help purchasing:
• Bibles in Braille
• Textbooks in Braille
• Computers and software packages for the blind and visually impaired (reading machines, assistance technology, etc.)
Until we are able to build a Hope Home, we need the funds to build a room at the orphanage for Mark and his family. Right now his family lives in the same room as the 17 blind children. Our desire is to provide separate living quarters for Mark and his family.
May God help us bring tens of thousands of blind children to know Jesus and accept Him personally into their lives through the ministry of HopeVision!