Special to the Item
The Picayune Item
GUAIMACA, Honduras —
“A friend tells me that when God squeezes my heart, water runs out his eyes. On more than one occasion recently, water ran from my eyes as I saw the joy and amazement on the faces of patients who had cataract surgery at Baptist Hospital in Guaimaca, Honduras.
— Dwight Carr (Missionary in Honduras and Hospital Director)
Seven ophthalmologists and support personnel from four states traveled to Guaimaca, Honduras to be part of a World Cataract Foundation team of volunteers. In four days, they performed forty-one cataract surgeries, fifteen pterygium surgeries and eight additional procedures.
Hattiesburg ophthalmologist, Dr. David Richardson of the Hattiesburg Eye Clinic, and his son Cole, were part of the team.
“If you have not been on a mission trip, you need to go,” said Dr. Richardson. “It will open your eyes to the needs of others and the hardships they face every day. Many of our patients traveled a long distance and waited a long time to be seen without complaint; they were so overjoyed at all times. When you realize all that they have gone through it makes you realize how God has blessed us. There is no feeling like the morning after surgery when we see the patients; they can see for the first time in months or years. I am glad I can give back some of my time and skills to honor God — it’s what He calls us to do.”
The Baptist Hospital in Honduras is a ministry of Baptist Medical & Dental Mission International (BMDMI) which has its headquarters in Hattiesburg. BMDMI missionary, Dwight Carr, was moved to tears as he saw lives changed while the team was there.
“Six patients came into our hospital being led by the hand of a family member; they were completely blind,” Carr shared. “All of them left the day after their surgery walking without assistance. It is difficult to imagine the joy that they experienced.”
Maria Dionesia, who lives alone, had been blinded by cataracts for six years. When her eye was uncovered during post-operative care, she was beaming and began giving thanks to God. The surgeons and nurses all said they had never seen a cataract as dark or dense as hers. She was literally healed of her blindness.
Santos Edalio Sanchez’s family related that when he returned home after having his eye patch removed, he immediately invited all the children and grandchildren to the house so he could see them. As they arrived throughout the day, he wept with joy being able to see their faces for the first time in more than seven years! The grandchildren would ask him, “Grandpa, do you know who I am?” “I think I understand in part what Jesus’ Disciples must have felt when they saw him restore sight to the blind,” said Carr. “I know that trusting in Jesus, Maria’s and Santos’ sight will be made perfect again in Heaven, but thanks to God and the World Cataract Foundation team they will have adequate sight here in this world.”
Baptist Medical & Dental Mission International is a non-profit organization that has been serving the physical and spiritual needs of the poor living in Honduras and Nicaragua since 1974. Information about BMDMI is available at www.bmdmi.org or by calling 601-544-3586. The BMDMI office is located at 11 Plaza Drive in Hattiesburg.