Enlightening Eyes in Eswatini – Vol. 1.2

Update from Jono Pons, MD

August/September 2023

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for another ophthalmologist to join us.
  • Pray for much needed rest during our time away on holiday.
  • Please pray for 60 cataract blind patients identified through our Sight Flight outreach in rural communities in Eswatini: For resources we need to get them to hospital for surgery, and for God’s transforming love to lead them out of darkness.
  • Thank Him for the improving working relationship with Good Shepherd Hospital as we come alongside to support blind patients. Pray for transparency and wisdom in collaborative actions.
  • Pray for Sam, the Mercy Air pilot who arrives from Switzerland in 2 weeks. His task is to build a house for himself, and a hangar for the Helicopter!
  • Pray for our Finance and Administration team who need to complete the accounting for the first-year end and satisfy the local compliance authorities. For Joanne, who carries the many administrative burdens and projects. She is looking forward to me being on leave so that there are no more projects added to her board, and she can get on a finish the previous ones!


Greetings from Mabuda Farm Eswatini where we eagerly await the rains to start the sowing of the next crop. In our mission the blessed rains of God’s provision continue to fall on our services and projects and are excited to share all that has happened in the last month.

Kalahari Outreach – Serving Neglected Cataract Blind in Remote South Africa

Thank you for praying for our outreach to the remote Kalahari region of South Africa. This, the 8th visit to the public hospital was supported by the local church who generously host us to reach hundreds of neglected blind people waiting for surgery for years. With few resources, I must trust God to supply a Mission Aircraft and Pilot, local transport, all surgical consumables, meals and lodging for the team. A small Grace Vision team left Eswatini on the 800-mile journey, with no doubt He would supply these needs. And just like He promises in Philippians 4:19, “my God met all our needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus”! Local churches, Believers and Christian organizations miraculously provided all these needs. At the same time, our team with local pastors trained local staff, ministered to our patients, and inspired others in the faith. As solo surgeon, I was able to complete 94 surgeries with no major complications in just 4 days onsite. So, Psalm 133.1 is true: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!”

Caring4Sight Namaqualand has a great message to share from one of the clients blessed by Dr Pons sponsored surgeries:


  Dr. Josh doing a simple surgery solo.        

Dr Pons and the Medical Team in Upington praying before surgery.

Trainees – Raising Ophthalmology Disciples

Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. Ecclesiastes 11:1. Some years ago, the Lord gave this verse to encourage me in relation to training: I’ve been training young clinician in the art and practice of Ophthalmology for 20 years, to the level of Diplomate. My training program is accredited with the South African College of Medicine Diploma in Ophthalmology. Only when they have this qualification, plus the Primary exams, 100 solo MSIC and Phaco surgeries, are they eligible to interview for one of the scarce 5-year Residency Program in South Africa. (I know it sounds unbelievable but that’s Africa!)  In this year in Eswatini, young doctors become invaluable to our service. They grow wings and leave for residency program elsewhere, which while positive for the communities they serve, it leaves us without the skilled manpower we have come to rely on. That’s why the verse is encouraging, to know we will find more and more young doctors with a passion for Ophthalmology who wish to train in ethical, equitable client care.

Our trainee Dr Josh Cummings has been with Grace Vision for just over a year; during which he has grown in ability and knowledge. He has now been rewarded with both the South African College of Medicine Diploma in Ophthalmology and the Primary Exams. This means that one day he will move on to a Residency elsewhere. I’m sure the mentorship, discipleship, and the exposure to Christian Medicine will stay with him a lifetime and increase the precious resource of well-trained Ophthalmologists in Southern Africa. A trainee from the Netherlands is now also with us for a few months experience, and we shall shortly interview a doctor couple for the Trainee and Community Care roles. Thank you to COS members who have contributed funding for Josh! Our new 2024 trainee needs support, so we appreciate your prayers.

Seeking an Ophthalmologist – Growing Demand, Growing Grace

The Lord has blessed us with many needs, and resources to meet those needs! But at times it does feel like I am a thinly-spread jam on too many slices of toast! Together with the training program, the community services, Director of the non-profit and the practice I am now providing comprehensive eye care to 4 different clinics and OR’s in Eswatini and South Africa. The time is near for another Ophthalmologist to join me, so pray with us for the Lord to send us His choice!

Leave – Time for Resting with God and Family

I will be going on family holiday for 3 weeks: To Scotland UK to see our son and his wife, then to visit Mercy Air and Bern Eye clinic in Switzerland, before 10 days in Greece on a sailing holiday. Please pray for Drs Josh and our team as they care for patients without me and for the Program Director of MME as she manages over 20 programs single handedly.

Sending you our love and warm greetings!
Jonathan and Helen Pons  

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