As soon as I saw his description, I knew who I was going to match him with.
Each of our Visionaries gets matched with a patient. They get a photo and description of the patient to whom they gave sight. These descriptions include age, job, and sometimes family information.
I am always looking for matches that will connect to the heart of the donor.
A few months ago, Meheza sent me photos and a story about a man who had just received sight.
His description read:
His name is Adoli Mawukplom. He is 73 and he was a pharmacist in his village. He has eleven children and three of them have passed away. He has twelve grandchildren. He has been blind for five years now. He stopped his job when he went blind. Last month he heard about Sight.org and he told his daughter to bring him to us. He said, “I know I will get my sight back in Jesus name, if not God would not let me hear about Sight.org.”
As soon as I saw his description, I knew which of our Visionaries I was going to match him with.
Ashtin Taylor was one of our very first Visionaries. She has been donating monthly to give sight for almost two years.
Ashtin is a pharmacist, so when I saw that Adoli was a pharmacist, I just knew I had to match them together.
We don’t see many patients who are pharmacists. In fact, I’m not sure we have ever seen one. Most of our patients are farmers, produce sellers, teachers, or pastors.
When I texted Ashtin with the photo of Adoli and his description, she was so thankful.
Ashtin and Adoli may never meet in person, but will always be connected in a very special way.
When asked why she gives monthly to Sight.org, this was Ashtin’s response:
“It is very easy for all of us to take for granted our health and access to healthcare here in the United States. People can come up to me any day of the week and ask for help with their healthcare and have easy access to the medications or treatments they need to remedy their problem. Not everyone in the world has this luxury and it’s easy to forget that. It takes very little time, effort and resources from me to make a very large impact on those who receive care from the Sight.org team. Also, I believe that it is very important that those of us who may not be able or called to go and do, support those who can. So it is important to be to be able to use the resources God has given me to help support those that are doing what He has called them to do out in the field.”
We are beyond thankful for each one of our Visionaries.
Their monthly support keeps eye surgeries going.
They open a door for the gospel to be shared with each patient.
Will you open a door too?
Join Visionaries today!
Watch the video below to find out more.
Meheza: “I am free”
You have probably heard us talk a lot about a woman named Meheza (or Meza for short). You may have wondered who she is. Simply put, Meza is the backbone of our Togo team.
Meza is the Togo National Director of Sight.org.
Back in 2010, Meza was working on Mercy Ships with Lewis Swann (founder of Sight.org) and they became good friends while working together.
In 2012, Lewis left Mercy Ships to start Sight.org and Meza went back to Togo, her home country. Lewis begged Meza to work for him at Sight.org.
He knew that she had everything needed to be a great National Director. She grew up in Togo, she had experience in nonprofit work, and she came from a long line of strong Christian leaders.
Lewis knew that Meza was perfect for the job, but she turned him down. She already had a job and wasn’t quite sure that this new nonprofit that Lewis had started would actually pan out.
She kept an eye on Lewis and Sight.org though. She knew everything that his team was doing in Togo. She started realizing that God was really working though Sight.org
Lewis asked Meza a second time to join him. She still said no.
Then one day, Lewis and his team (which at that point, was just three people in Togo) got themselves into a bind. They needed help and Meza was the only one who could help them. She joined them on the field and saw the work first hand. She fell in love with the mission of Sight.org.
Lewis asked Meza a third time to join him. This time, she said yes.
Meza truly is a perfect fit for the National Director job at Sight.org. When Meza is leading the Togo team, she is in her element. It all comes so naturally to her.
However, everything has not always been easy for her.
Meza’s husband works in France, so they have a long-distance marriage, which is not easy.
Two years ago, Meza was pregnant with their first child. She had several complications during her pregnancy. She was put on bed rest for the last few months of her pregnancy.
Obviously, this put a halt on her job duties with Sight.org. Thankfully, her beautiful baby girl, Flavia, was born healthy and happy.
Flavia is now a part of the Sight.org team. She goes everywhere with Meza, even into the field with the medical team. She has inherited the entire Sight.org team as her “aunts and uncles.”
As any mother knows, carrying a baby to work with you is not exactly easy or fun, but Meza does it all without any complaints.
During my last trip to Togo, I had the privilege of traveling all over Togo with Meza. She stayed with me every minute of every day. She didn’t bat an eye when I forgot my extra photos for my visa.
She took two weeks out of her busy schedule to be my tour guide. She listened to my constant questions and answered every single one of them patiently. She laughed at all my silly quirks.
She shared a room or tent with me every night and cooked for me. She left her daughter for days at a time just to join me with the ministry team (which she usually doesn’t have to do).
She went out of her way to find new flip flops for me when mine broke. She took pictures of me when I wasn’t looking, to help me commemorate the trip. She helped me process everything I was seeing.
She even let me carry around her daughter on my back as I pretended to be an African momma.
She was extremely patient with me, and I got to see that same patience with the Togo team. She is constantly dealing with difficult situations that come from working in a third world country, but she always stays so calm through it all.
Being a woman in leadership is not common in Togo, but this doesn’t stop Meza. She can walk into any government or business office and immediately command the room. She has accomplished more than most women have in her country.
There has only been one time that I’ve seen Meza get shaken. That was when sweet baby Natalie died.
Meza put all her energy and thoughts into keeping that baby alive. Meza was the first person to find Natalie and her family. She stopped at nothing to help that family.
I saw the true essence of her servant heart come out when we were helping Natalie and her parents. Naturally, her heart broke when Natalie died. But I also saw her strong faith in the midst of it all.
I have observed her strength all over again in the last few weeks. Last month, Meza got to go to France to see her husband.
She started getting headaches and feeling tired and fatigued.
When she went to the doctor, she found out that she has diabetes.
Diabetes is no laughing matter, but having to deal with it in a third world country just makes it even more difficult. Every time I talk to Meza about her diagnosis, she calmly tells me the facts and moves on to the next subject.
Her faith is strong and she knows God is still taking care of her.
Please pray for Meza as she learns to treat her diabetes.
Thankfully, she lives in the capitol city of Togo, so she has access to the treatment she needs. We also have three American nurses who will be in Togo with Sight.org this month, so they will be able to encourage her and give her advice.
It is no coincidence that the name Meheza means “I am free, I am good, I am ok.” God’s hand is on Meza’s life. No matter what she goes through, she is free and ok because God is taking care of her.
P.S. Meheza will be in the United States very soon! She will be at Sight Night: The Joy of Sight and would love to meet you if you are in Tyler!
Get ready to fall in love with a group of people you have never met before!
During the month of July, there will be several volunteers traveling from Texas to Togo with Sight.org. We want to introduce them to you so that you can pray for them and follow along with their trip.
Steve and Helen Clark
The Clarks got connected to Sight.org last year when Wayne and Elaine Riley became missionaries in Togo. The Clarks and the Rileys have gone to church together for about thirteen years. The Clarks have been married for 34 years, and they are so cute together! They have four children and three grandchildren.
Steve started volunteering in the Sight.org office last year, and he has become our most beloved volunteer. He is a hard worker with a servant’s heart. He is a former fighter pilot, civil engineer, and public school counselor and administrator.
Helen is originally from England and was a British Registered Nurse. She now works in Tyler as a physical therapy assistant.
Helen will be assisting with medical clinics while Steve encourages our medical team and helps with the house churches.
This is what Steve says about their trip to Togo.
I want to go to Togo to serve but I also want to learn. I want to learn more about the people and the team so that I can serve them better here in Tyler. Since I am volunteering in the Sight.org office every week, I want to learn as much as I can about the ministry so that I can serve them better. Helen has a medical background, so she feels that she can easily walk alongside the medical team while they are there.
Joe and Becky Canal
The Canals also got connected with Sight.org through Wayne and Elaine Riley. The Riley’s go to church where Joe pastors. Joe has been the pastor of Tyler Christian Fellowship (TCF) for twenty-eight years. TCF is a tight nit community, so when the Riley’s became missionaries with Sight.org, the entire church became Sight.org supporters in one way or another.
This is what Joe has to say about their trip to Togo.
In April of this year Lewis Swann, Sight.org’s founder and president, invited me to become a member of their board of directors. Lewis felt that I would be a strength to the organization, based on my years of experience as a senior pastor. He saw great opportunity for me to encourage and disciple members of the Sight.org team as well as minister to the many individuals whose lives are being transformed through the work that they are doing in Togo. That’s why Becky and I are planning a short-term mission trip this summer to Togo, West Africa.
The main purpose of our trip is to minister to the spiritual needs of the leaders and full time workers on the ground. As the work is expanding the need for encouragement and discipleship is increasing for the team as well as those that they are reaching every month. We’re excited to help train and equip these dedicated people who are doing such amazing work among the poor.
Rachel is a Registered Nurse who went to Togo last year. She will be doing more medical clinics like she did last year. You can read more about Rachel and her last trip here.
Rachel has a huge heart for missions. She uses the gifts God has given her to serve everyone around her. She blew us away last year with her loving spirit when she went to Togo. We are beyond excited that she is joining our team again. The Togolese medical team can’t wait to see her again!
Lewis and Naomi Swann
The Swanns are the founders of Sight.org. They will be there alongside the rest of the team. You can read their story here.
Over the next month, we will be relaying stories from each member of this team as they serve alongside our Togolese team members. We are all excited about what God will be doing in and through them.
We ask for your prayers over each team member. We have developed a prayer calendar with helpful suggestions on how to pray.
Lewis arrived in Togo a few days ago, and he and the Togolese team are already facing spiritual warfare. The enemy does not like what God is doing through Sight.org and he is trying to stop it any way that he can. Please pray that everyone involved will have their spiritual armor on daily so that they can move forward in what God wants them to do.