For the first time Mission for Vision heads westward to join forces with Missionary Ventures in Guatemala. The team were invited to work in a clinic located high in the moutains north of Guatemala City in the town Nebaj. Although the region was poor, society had reached a position where better education was becoming available. For this reason the eye clinics were extremely relevant as the visual demands were becoming greater. The team consisted of 3 optometrists, 2 dispensers and 3 screeners.
Nebaj, in a beautiful area situated in the highlands north east of Guatemala City, is a town that was in the centre of the conflict in the 1980s. The people speak mainly Ixil, so a triple translation was used from English to Spanish to Ixil. We worked out of a clinic called 'Clinic Vida and Esperanza', run by Missionary Ventures. The area is one of the poorest in Guatemala but not as poor as those in some of the African countries we have visited.
There were no optical facilities for several miles and the need was great. Many had corneal diseases and the majority needed glasses. On the last day we went to a village high in the mountains called Sequille Grande, where we ran a clinic before joining in a church service in the afternoon.
On the way back to Guatemala City we rested for a while in Antigua, which is a pleasant Spanish colonial town an hour from the city and a great place to buy souvenirs.
What was achieved:
Many thanks to Missionary Ventures for the excellent organisation and hospitality and we hope to return one day.
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"It was such a privilege to be able to work with the people of Nebaj and to help to make a difference in their lives in more than one way. Many gave their lives to Jesus: only He can give a lasting change." – Nels Trelease
"The warmth, kindness and compassion we received from the people of Guatemala is something that I will always remember. I feel so fortunate to be able to use the skills the Lord had given me as an optometrist to help these wonderful people and to share His Words with them." – Selina Cho
"The mission trip to Nebaj was an amazing experience and a wonderful opportunity to help in a specific way the need there. The best part of the trip was that everyone on the team is a Christian and the opportunity to share our Lord was ever present and never missed. Can't wait for the next one!" – Savory Turman
"This was my fourth mission with Mission for Vision and during this trip the Lord has taught me that He wants our worship more than the works themselves. For me this ministry is an act of my worship to Jesus and it was wonderful to see the name of Jesus being glorified through His people." – Graeme Tucker
"Leading missions can be an arduous task – but not on this occasion. I was blessed with a really great team who had servant hearts and a desire to sacrifice time and finances to helping others, and all for the glory of God. Several people came to know the Lord and many had life-transforming glasses provided for them. Many thanks to Missionary Ventures for the excellent organisation and Praise the Lord for his faithfulness and in equipping the saints for the task!" – Ian Squire