By Edwin M. Fayia III
More than 800 Liberians over the weekend were grateful recipients of free new reading glasses from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Liberia (ELCL) and Hope and Child Care International, a United States non-profit organization in Paynesville.
In an interview with the Daily Observer Saturday, Pastor Patrick Fayia Nanning of ELCL and Madam Linda Kurtz of HCI said the initiative was intended to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ to fellow believers and others.
Pastor Nanning disclosed that the USA team conducted a three-day extensive training for their Liberian counterparts.
He also noted that following the announcement of the free eye testing and distribution of reading glasses, two persons came all the way from Lofa and Nimba counties to benefit.
Pastor Nanning explained that owing to the introduction of computer technology in Liberia, many Liberians’ eyes are being affected by the bright light from computer screens.
Asked if a survey was conducted to determine if Liberians need reading glasses, Pastor Nanning said personal interactions and daily discussions with Liberians made the need for the glasses apparent.
“We initially requested for 150 reading glasses, but by the grace of God, we now have in stock 2,200 reading glasses and hope to do the eye testing and issuing of glasses to affected persons,” Pastor Nanning added.
He underscored the need for Liberians and others that have eye problems to take advantage of the free testing and eye glasses at the ELCL Clinic in Paynesville.
He disclosed that there are plans to take the service to some rural parts of the country. But Pastor Nanning was quick to note that rural initiatives are normally associated with funding and logistical challenges.
Besides, Pastor Nanning disclosed that the ELCL is running a well-organized orphanage in Liberia and the mission has embarked on the construction of an orphanage which will include an elementary school.
He added that plans are being worked out for the second phase of the free testing and issuing of reading glasses to affected Liberians and others in the country.
For her part, Madam Kurtz pointed out that the free testing and reading glasses will provide better vision for the beneficiaries.
On why Liberia was chosen for the eye program, Madam Kurtz said her love for the people directed her to come and assist them.
In a related development, Madam Kurtz noted that at the moment, HCI is hosting 30 orphans, including two that were recently rescued from Foya District in Lofa County.