Enlightening Eyes in Eswatini – Vol. 1.7 Look at What God is Doing!

Update from Jono Pons, MD

April 2024

Greetings from our family and mission partners at Mabuda Farm in Eswatini!35EA2

April was another inspiring and exciting month for our missions, with new and unexpected developments that we can only attribute to God’s amazing Grace. Since our last update, we have great changes to share, so much of which you, our COS family, are helping make possible:

Prayer Requests

As MME steps up to the callings God provides for us to complete, we ask for your prayers in the following:

  • To find the correct technical support as we help to develop all new areas of neglected health services.
  • That our staff, volunteers and beneficiaries will be protected from any attacks as they work for God.
  • For God to show us where not to tread, as we have constant new demands on our time and resources.
  • That our staff will grow in knowledge of God, his Love and how they can share that with every person.

Actions

New Malelane South Africa Outreach                                                15th March

Most areas of the vast country of South Africa have no access to Ophthalmology. We will be providing a monthly outreach to an area in need called Malelane and offering low-cost treatment and surgery options. Patients are excited for the opportunity to be seen much sooner, closer and for much less cost than in SA.

 

Namaqualand Caring 4 Sight Vision Project                                       17th – 23rd March

We completed our regular outreach, transported by Mercy Air SA to an even more neglected area of SA, Namaqualand, where our partner Caring4Sight South Africa identified and mobilized vulnerable people who have been blind for long periods of time with no ability to access surgery alone. The thanks, songs and beaming smiles of the grateful Northern Cape people inspire us to seek ongoing funding for this work. On Dr Pons 11th visit to this region, the man below who lives alone on a remote farm and could not care for himself any more was helped by 2 ladies from the church to reach surgery. This gift has now transformed his heart and life. Dr Pons also helped 2 ladies with severe dementia see again which will help make their care easier

Sight Flight Outreach #2                                                                     15th – 25th April

Mercy Air Switzerland in collaboration with MME and local health partners has continued to bless the remote communities of rural Eswatini by flying Eye, Dental and GP health professionals on outreach. Sight Flight’s second helicopter mission for the year saw a new Chaplain join to allow people waiting for health care to hear the Gospel and receive prayer and counseling as part of MME’s commitment to caring for the whole person. Each day around 150 people receive care and love in some of the most disadvantaged communities:

Vision, dental & GP care teams, partner to reach rural, remote places by helicopter.

Hofman Family Mabuda Farm Visit                                                    5th – 12th April        

Dr Pons recently invited Dr. Wendy and Eric Hofman and their children to visit Mabuda for a rest and respite time and to share the joys and challenges of mission in resource limited settings. The family enjoyed a wonderful week of fellowship with the Mabuda Community and bonded with our family, volunteers, staff and farm animals alike! The children’s joy in the very different environment was as inspiring as the amazing stories from their development of training opportunities in Ophthalmology in Gabon. May God continue to bless them in their personal and professional missions and the children’s education and development.

 Blessings

Samaritans Purse Fund – Lubombo Medical Services Sponsorships

Since their inception, Grace Vision ad Medical Mission Eswatini have existed to provide equitable access to neglected health services, especially to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged who suffer without help. Grace Vision, operating on a tiered cost service delivery model, was this month able to support the first patients identified as eligible for sponsorship for essential care. The first client blessed under the Samaritan’s Fund was the mother with cataracts who is the sole guardian for her child, who is living with a disability. She was struggling to provide the supervision and intense care her child needs. Dr Pons was able to remove her cataracts, at no cost to her, and send her home with her vision and a renewed sense of God’s love in her life.

 Libumba Inclusion Initiative Funding

LII is now coordinating the care of 94 children who live with disabilities and was this month blessed with 2 international grants to continue and expand the therapy and support given to the carers, the children, and their families. The EU through the UNFPA identified LII as a leading provider of community-based care and will be funded for 3 years. The SAHEE foundation in Switzerland, a long-term supporter has also come on to bring training in home-based livelihoods development to these mothers to increase their financial stability.

 New Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery Project

In May 2023 we first met Joe and Fiona Northway from Southampton, UK by email, when they had felt called to bring their love and skills for 8 months on a voluntary mission, supported by their church. None of us, not even they, knew what God would do with their willing and able hearts and hands. Fiona, a Physiotherapist threw herself into providing therapy to Libumba families and Dr Joe, a Surgical Trainee battled against the challenges of resource poor departments in Good Shepherd Hospital to help many each day. On a visit with Fiona to children she cared for, Joe realized many had operable conditions and determined himself to make a way for them to have surgery that could improve their capacity and the outcomes of the therapy they do. Against all the odds, a UK surgeon volunteered and would be nearby this month, funding was miraculously granted in record time by the office of the UK High Commissioner, a private donor added to this and on the 30th of April children were seen in clinic in preparation for MME’s first ever orthopedic surgical mission. The first 10 surgeries are being completed this week, with the team and chaplain on hand to pray with mothers.

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

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