Meetings

COS Shark Tank

Shader, Nigeria Evangelism

Jesus opened the eyes of the blind, providing vision and meeting the physical needs of the lost. He then proceeded to preach the gospel, opening the spiritual eyes of the people. As ophthalmologists, The Lord has equipped us with the privilege of serving others in the most incredible way, using us to restore sight, as Jesus did. Even more important than physical sight, is salvation. My idea is to conduct high volume cataract missions in close connection with crusade evangelism. 

This idea came about when I was on an evangelistic outreach with Christ for All Nations, the ministry of Reinhard Bonnke, in Ibadan, Nigeria. While there, I witnessed crowds of over 500,000, and I was greatly impacted when I noticed a Nigerian who could not see, as he had a mature cataract. It was at that point that I realized the powerful impact of ophthalmic medical missions, and how it could be so powerful in connection with evangelism. This experience led me to leave an accounting career 6 years ago, to pursue the dream of medical missions and evangelism. 

PDI Check, a near vision screening game on the Nintendo 3DS platform, was compared to conventional tests on the Thai-Burma border and also with US Military staff. PDI Check was quicker than conventional Rosenbaum near card, Titmus Stereo Fly and Ishihara Concise by about 25%, and US military adults were about twice as fast as non-english speaking Karen ethnics from Myanmar.      

 

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Traditional Missions Hospitals often struggle financially, as continuous fundraising is necessary unless the organization can become self-sustaining. In ophthalmology, numerous centers in South Asia such as Aravind, LV Prasad and Tilganga have demonstrated that cross-subsidization can lead to sustainability by offering varied services (such as phaco vs. Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery, or refractive surgery instead of glasses) patients with funds are willing to pay for and using the revenue to subsidize the poor. This approach can lead to a self-sustaining institution and has great applicability in medical missions, especially in ophthalmology. Taking an academic approach to it, with an emphasis on training programs in eye care and research provides opportunities for discipleship in addition to ministry opportunities with patients and communities. 

Drs. Scott Lawrence, Demissie Tadesse, Emebet Getahun and I are in the process of implementing this model in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 

Currently ophthalmology training is being used worldwide to reach others. Having a product that is not yet on the market yet, is produced by a Christian company, and fills a needed void could help open doors to disseminate the Gospel. 

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ROP rates are rising in both the developed and developing world with survival rates of premature infants, and the supply of human screeners cannot meet this demand. The advent of telemedicine has not been fully integrated into ROP screening, with one key factor the lack of high quality photographs. But what if we could take non mydriatic fundus wide angle fundus photos using a smartphone via trans-scleral illumination?