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Ancestral beads are no match for Easter

By March 24, 2017 No Comments

Last year, when I was in Swaziland, one particular woman caused me to do a double take. It was something that she very quietly, but deliberately did.

At the time, I was witnessing the eye patches being removed from cataract patients after surgery at The Luke Commission (TLC). Throughout the years, I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to witness these joyful happenings many times. It’s always an incredible, amazing experience that reaffirms for me the importance of our work. To see the joy in people who were blind, but now can see the colours, trees… their grandchildren! A 10-12 minute surgery and $39 gives them their life back! That’s certainly a reason to dance. And many do.

This one woman did something that I hadn’t seen before. After her patches were removed, she too began to dance… but it was her actions after she danced that surprised me.

As soon as she settled back into her chair, she quietly ripped the ancestral beads that were hanging around her neck. Then she let them fall to the ground. I’m sure others noticed but didn’t say anything.

It was a profound moment; a very meaningful, deliberate act.

These ancestral beads represented the traditional medicine of her village and her belief in her ancestral gods. Discarding them publically was a clear statement to herself and her community that she now believed in something else.

A little later I got the chance to meet her.

She said the people in her village told her she shouldn’t go to TLC for treatment because if she did, the ancestral gods would punish her. She was afraid, but she came anyways.

And now, she was healed.

She told me she realized at that moment that the God of TLC is real, and she now believes in that God and Jesus.

Every month the power of Jesus is working through surgeons to give sight to the blind, and to show the love of Jesus in tangible ways.

Easter is about new life — new life in Christ. The good news of Easter is that the power of God’s love is overpowering doubt and disbelief. Every cataract surgery done through cbm is a witness to God’s love and power.

Let’s celebrate the risen Lord by continuing to show the power and witness of God’s love… with each sight-restoring cataract surgery.

Ed Epp's Signature
Ed Epp
Executive Director, cbm