HIS Vision

Why Eye Care?

The reasons behind Humbly I Serve’s mission to reach people through the gift of vision


We could dig deep into all the facts and statistics about visual impairment to describe why Humbly I Serve uses eye care to reach out to those in need. Statistics are great; they give us the ‘big picture’. They can provide those “WOW!” moments when used to shock a crowd. However, the problem with statistics is that, over time, those numbers become devalued to exactly that – just numbers. Although each number represents a beautiful and unique human life, it is difficult to recognize the immense value of that life in a statement such as, “An estimated 19 million children are visually impaired” (who.int). While that shocks a crowd, it can be discouraging. 19 million is a daunting number. How do you begin to help all those children?

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The wonderful thing about Humbly I Serve ministries, particularly the HIS Vision project, is their love and concern for each individual bleeds into all aspects of society, specifically Haiti. Eye care may seem like one simple task, however, it is much bigger than that. The reality is that through the gift of vision and a sustainable eye clinic, Haiti’s need for education and a healthy economy can begin to be fulfilled.

One of our many memorable stories is of a young boy named Stanley* who was the son of the principal at a local Haitian school. Workers at our clinic went into the school to do a free screening and were introduced to Stanley. He was unable to study because of his poor vision, but our clinic workers were able to give him a complete checkup and a free pair of eyeglasses. Stanley’s improvement in school is just one of the many reasons why we love what we do.

What we need to understand is that eye care, education, and poverty are all interconnected. Poor eye health contributes greatly to poverty, leaving many others unable to receive proper education or uphold a job. Which then turns back towards poverty. It is a Catch 22 that many cannot escape without the help and commitment of others willing to step in to aid in this terminal situation. The HIS Vision Project is stepping in to stop the cycle.

Through our eye clinic in Cap Haitian, Haiti, officially opened May 2014, HIS Vision is battling both poor education and poverty through the gift of vision. According to American Optometric Association, roughly 80 percent of learning is done visually. You can imagine how much of an impact vision has on a student’s education. It is a ripple effect; if the student sees better with a pair of glasses, he can focus better in school, while avoiding delinquency and having a better chance of landing a job and making money.

“Poverty is a direct barrier to education. Approximately half the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day and many are too busy struggling to survive to consider education a priority” (SOURCE). Haiti is included in that $2 a day spectrum. The HIS Vision project goes beyond helping people be able to see and grant them access to eye care. We are investing in the socioeconomic growth of Haiti through the eye clinic. By both treating the locals and offering an eye care education program for them, we are creating a sustaining business model that can give Haitians the tools and education needed to build up their economy. The goal is not to provide a bandaid for the problem. HIS Vision wants to help make the future of Haiti a better place to be, and the first step is eye care.

According to Uniteforsight.org, “Poverty and blindness are believed to be intimately linked, with poverty predisposing to blindness, and blindness exacerbating poverty by limiting employment opportunities, or by incurring treatment cost… Thus, it is evident that disabilities such as blindness may not only be a result of living in poverty, but also may lead an individual or family to become impoverished. ‘Sadly, disability is both caused by poverty and causes poverty.’”

Although it may seem impossible to reverse the effects of poverty in an entire country of 10 million people, we believe that anything is possible with God on our side. The team at Humbly I Serve ministries continues to look forward and dream big!

If you would like to learn more about what we are doing throughout our local area in Virginia, please visit our previous blog, HIS Vision Project Reaches Locals Through Sponsor Sight Program.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

*Name changed for confidentiality purposes

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Trips with Student VOSH

Trips with Student VOSH

The Student VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) groups are excited and willing to come on board to support the HIS Vision Project as we continue through this transitional process into our new clinic! We are looking for licensed Opticians to come alongside to help teach them the profession. These VOSH students are currently planning trips for November and December of 2014, and need Optometrists who are willing to raise their funds and make a difference not only in the lives of these students, but especially to the people of Haiti. The people of Haiti are in dire need of proper vision care, which can drastically alter their way of life.

-Melinda Wilson, ABOC

HIS Vision, Missions, Partnerships

One Small, Crucial Step

One Small, Crucial Step

It is so great to see the progress that has been made, since the first talks of opening an eye clinic in Haiti, to it becoming a reality. As we start operations, another need presents itself, and that is the funding of salaries for the five members who will be working in the clinic for the first six months. The total amount needed is $25,000, which will pay the wages for the employees for these starting months until the clinic becomes self-sustaining. This is but one small step in delivering the crucial care that these Haitians need more than ever. Join us as we help change the lives of these people.

Donate today!

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Vision has arrived!

Vision has arrived!

We are very happy to announce that the grand opening of our eye clinic in Cap Hatien, Haiti will be taking place May 17th!

The eye clinic will offer the following services to Haitians:

-Eye exams for all ages
-Treatment of a wide variety of eye diseases and infections
-Treatment of eye injuries
Currently, Haiti only has two practicing eye care providers, which is hardly enough to meet the needs of a population of 2 million people. As our eye clinic continues to grow, it will be able to bring many more services to Haitians. Our next step will be to implement a ophthalmic training program in which the Haitian people can earn a certification. This will ultimately bring employment opportunities and a better future to Haiti.

We have exciting opportunities ahead of us, but we can’t make it happen without your help. Donate today and help us continue to bring Haiti a better vision!

HIS Vision, Partnerships

Small Needs for a Big Cause

Small Needs for a Big Cause

We are relieved to finally have all of our equipment shipped over to the clinic in Haiti! It has been a long process, but God has been so good in bringing all the little details together. We are so grateful for those who have generously donated and contributed to the cause that this clinic stands for. There are just a few more needs before the clinic can be fully operational:

-Edger
-Visual Field Machine
-Stock Lenses

Help make vision possible. Consider giving today!

HIS Vision, Missions

HIS Vision Trips

HIS Vision Trips

All of us at HIS Vision are thrilled to see the progress of our eye clinic, as God has really paved the way to make sure His people in Haiti are being taken care of. With our celebration of the clinic Grand Opening in May, we are looking for two Optometrists to join us on one of our trips coming up in 2014 in order to continue the success of the clinic.

The first trip is October 6-15, and the following is in November with FCO, an optometric student group. We also host several customizable trips throughout the year for groups, and are in need for professional optometrists to go along with students on these trips. If not for the volunteers and support that God has so graciously provided, this clinic in Haiti would still be in the planning, and not the reality that it is today.

-Melinda Wilson, ABOC

HIS Kids, HIS Vision, Missions, Partnerships

Exciting News!

Exciting News!

We are pleased to announce our newest project, Caribbean Service Corps (CSC). This service opportunity focuses on giving sight to the physically and spiritually blind through several short term and long term positions in Haiti and St. Thomas.

CSC is a new program for those looking to be interns/apprentices, journeymen, and servant leaders in either Haiti or St. Thomas. Positions include working in the eye clinic, health promotions, social media, film/video, finance, children’s ministry programs, sports ministry, maintenance, optometry, ophthalmic technicians, and administrative support in a Bible college. These roles are essential to the overall mission of the HIS Vision Project to eradicate needless blindness and visual impairment worldwide.

If you are interested in getting involved with Caribbean Service Corps in any way, click here and tell us how you’d like to get involved. The Lord can use your skills and passions in ways you could never imagine!

HIS Vision, Missions, Partnerships

Educational Program in Haiti

Educational Program

Haiti, a country of about 10 million people, suffers from inadequate treatment for vision conditions and diseases, most of which are easily curable, a luxury that we as Americans do not have much concern with. But poor eye health contributes greatly to poverty, while leaving many others unable to receive proper education, or uphold a job, which turns back towards poverty. It is a vicious cycle that many cannot escape without the help and commitment of others willing to step in to aid in this terminal situation.

We are in need of Opticians who are eager to help in the writing of our Opticianry program for our Haitian clinic. These will be used to help educate Haitian students, which not only helps establish the work that is being done there, but allows these students employment opportunities, which ultimately leads to change. Create hope, be the change, join the movement.

HIS Vision, Inspirational, Missions

In It for the Long Haul

In It for the Long Haul

A Post By Haley

For those of you who don’t know me, I am not really a kid person, especially those I don’t really know and newborns. I like them; they are cute and funny, but I don’t really want to pick them up and cuddle them with their snotty noses and drool. I will never be one to ask a stranger if I can hold their baby or touch their pregnant stomachs – ew.

But, one night everyone was going to the orphanage, I thought, ‘eh- I just worked all day, the last thing I want to do is have a bunch of kids I don’t even know touch me and ask for hugs.’ But everyone was going, so of course, I wasn’t going to be lame, so I went.

When we got there it was just what I expected. Lots of kids and lots of touching. I was overwhelmed as I found myself suddenly surrounded by what seemed like hundreds of children- but turned out to be only about 35.

Little girls tugging on my arms asking what my name was and wanting to show me all their friends; I was thinking, ‘Okay, this is cute, but I’m ready to go.’

Then the kids started singing and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, am I in Annie right now? How cliché is this. American girl goes to Haiti and gets her pictures with a ton of cute kids. Great, I can check this off my Facebook profile picture bucket list.’

So annoyed that I was actually there experiencing something that so many young girls long for, I politely listened to the kids.

I mean, it was cute.

As I stood there listening, all of a sudden I felt 25 pounds heavier –so confused, I looked to my right and a child had appeared on my hip! I thought, “Wait, how did that kid get up here?” He must have shimmied up onto me like I was a tree, because I know I didn’t pick him up. Comfortably situated on my hip, he said, “BonSawh (goodnight).”

‘Oh no! This kid is on me, touching me, touching my hair, I need to get him off of me,’ was my immediate thought.

Then the kids started singing again, “Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord.” And this kid- oh my goodness, started belting it out as loud as he possibly could.

I couldn’t help but burst out laughing at him, his head bobbing up and down, shouting the words so loudly.

The joy I felt through that child, just being held and enjoying singing together- made me cry happy tears. Hashtag, cliché embarrassing girl moment; hashtag, please don’t judge me for this, I know it’s cliché.

To be honest, I was thinking about how great these kids have it. Living in Haiti, in an orphanage where they are receiving an education, have two meals each day, and a place to sleep; they were so fortunate.

After the singing was finished, we had to go. I tried to tell this kid goodbye. “Ovawah,” I said. He didn’t let go. So I waved, that’s universal in every language, right? He clung on even tighter. So then, being afraid I would be left behind and stampeded by children, I started walking to catch up with the team.

I asked the little boy what his name was; he didn’t know what I said. A little girl came over and told me, “His name is Samuel.” Then she disappeared like a ninja; these kids were everywhere.

So I sat down on the ground and told him “Ovawah Samuel.” I basically pried the child off me and looked at him; he was sad. I was sad and also confused.

I started walking away and turned back to look; he was still standing there, watching me walk, as kids dodged around him running and skipping. Hurrying my walk- I turned around later; he was gone- probably had already forgotten me, playing with his friends.

I left feeling conflicted that night.

First, I actually ‘had a moment’ with a child I didn’t know and couldn’t communicate with. That was weird.

Second, those kids, for being in Haiti, are pretty well off. But is that really well off? How much more could be done to help the other kids who are on the streets?

Third, so many people come down to play with the orphans and leave. Or they come in and provide a care and then go. Personally, I’m learning the value of working with something sustainable.

This whole experience made me so happy that HIS Vision is not short term. We are in for the long haul; we are in Haiti to make a difference and we are determined.

It takes many people with all different talents and abilities to make a difference. If you are interested in Haiti and want to work with something sustainable and long term, let me know! We would love for you to come, have a couple cliché moments and meet some Samuels of your own.

HIS Vision, Inspirational, Missions

The Way Melinda Sees It

The Way Melinda Sees It

If I had to use one word to describe my trip to Haiti, it would be refreshing. Going with a team of seven, five of which had never been to Haiti with HIS Vision before, I was quickly reminded of why I had such a passion to help this country. Seeing the team’s reactions to the poverty and lack of eye care, created an even more burdensome longing to bring hope to the Haitians.

I was so content when I saw the equipment patiently waiting our team at the clinic. It was almost as if the boxes shouted, “You did it! We are here and the hard work paid off!” I was happy!

Then the happiness morphed into anxiety.

While the satisfaction of completing stage one was wonderful, the thought of starting phase two was almost too much.

I looked around at the the new tiles, windows, doors and electric work that had been completed. The beautiful detailed paint job caught my eye. My mind compared and contrasted the differences from the first time I stepped into this building. A dirt floor now replaced with tiles. Broken walls were now standing straight. Garbage piles around the rooms transformed into piles of bubble wrap and cardboard boxes holding glasses. I realized the Lord had done a miracle.

I put my fear behind me. Using the hard work that had been completed as my inspiration, I became energized. The second phase was going to become a reality, the HIS Vision Clinic would be opening in the spring! It was finally coming together and it was incredible.

For the clinic, our main need at this point is Ophthalmic Equipment:
– Edger
– Auto Refractor
– Visual Field Machine

We saw around 400 patients this trip. Our team ferociously tackled the task to give everyone special care, meeting all their needs individually.

Leaving Haiti I felt free. We completed so many tasks, including getting our NGO status in Haiti. We set up the clinic and now it’s a matter of tying up loose ends and a few pieces of equipment. This trip was a milestone; it was refreshing and I was often reminded, “with God, nothing is impossible.”

A gigantic heartfelt thanks to all who donated equipment, finances and time to make this dream a reality.

-Melinda, CEO