Saturday, February 23, 2008


I guess it's still a big deal to this island boy (who, by the way, is really missing the beach right now!), but it snowed a lot last night and today. Look how far up the snow is on the wheel of the RAV 4 in this picture.
This is the path on the way to the house where Mike and Jane (see post below) live. You can see their house in the center of the background. It's right next to the post office, where I was going to see if anyone sent me a letter. You know, with email I hardly get anything in the mailbox any more.
I've been working inside on my next course. I only have to write eight papers! I got the second one done this afternoon. Six more to go!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Day in the Life of a SynergEyes Contact Lens Wearer

So I was talking with Mike Galley today. I talk with him and his wife, Jane, most days. They keep everything running in the Global Missions Office here at the Liebenzell
headquarters. So today he was asking and I was telling him about the 17 different small pieces of equipment and solutions I use everyday just to be able to wear this SynergEyes contact lens so I can see, not to mention the limitations and cautions I have to consider. He suggested I let you know that it's not just a matter of waking up every morning, sticking the lens in my eye and then going about my daily business, and then when I'm done for the day, taking it out and going to sleep. It's a little more complicated than that. Pictured below are the 17 small pieces of equipment and solutions I handle everyday. All the stuff you see lasts approximately for one month and costs about $120.
I won't bore you with ALL the details, but just for example, since I can only wear the lens for 12 hours a day, I have to plan which 12 hours that's going to be. If I'm going to have a day that begins early, say from 7AM to 7PM, that means whatever I want to do after 7PM, it's got to be inside and at home where seeing is not so important. So I'm a little bit limited that way. You get the picture.

Now, to the stuff. Did you know that before I put the lens into my eye, I use 3 different kinds of soap? One soap is to clean my hands, one soap is to clean dust from my eyelashes, and one soap is to clean off the lanolin and fragrance from the soap I just used. Crazy.

Another example, just before I take the lens out, besides repeating the "soap procedure" I just described, I have to fill one of those cylinders with a disinfecting solution, drop a little tablet in there called a neutralizer, put my lens in one of those baskets, screw the basket in the cylinder, and wait 6 hours. And once a week, I use a second little tablet, too.

One last example. Now the doctor said I CANNOT sleep with one of those lenses in my eye. So one of the first questions I asked her was, "What if I need to take a nap during the day? When I take the lens out, do I have to wait 6 hours before I can put it back in?" No, if I need a nap, I simply use a DIFFERENT solution, and a DIFFERENT cylinder, and a DIFFERENT basket!

And I can't wear it on plane rides over 1 1/2 hours, and I must use eye drops at least 4 times a day, and I must avoid at all costs getting even the tiniest speck of dust between the lens and my eye, and, and, and...THEN THERE IS THE OTHER LENS - which is totally different FROM THE SynergEyes lens and uses totally different equipment and solutions and procedures and eye drops! BUT I CAN USE THE SAME 3 SOAPS!

Well, this is what I'm learning so far. Is it worth it? You might think handling 17 different items every day multiple times might get a little tedious and frustrating, and it might become that way - someday. But for now, I praise God, and even now do so with tears in my eyes, because I can see. And if that's what it takes to see, then it's worth it! Every bit of it.

I just thought I'd let you know. And to those of you who gave me your prayers and finances, I thank you with my whole heart.

It might slow me down a little bit when I get back to the field, but I'll just have to work and plan smarter.

Providence Missions Festival

Friday night at the Providence Mission Festival there was a banquet for the 59 missionary families who happened to be in the area and could come, and for Providence church members. We sat at different tables to get to know as many church members as we could. There was an encouraging program highlighting what God is doing around the world in and through the lives of some of the missionaries.
Saturday there was a luncheon for the missionaries. We sat at a table with Crystal Dabney, the young woman in a black teeshirt to Anne's left, who had just come back from Botswana. To Crystal's left, out of the picture, was another young woman on her way to an undisclosed country in Central Asia. We enjoyed a time of worship, more sharing from some other missionaries, and a message from the pastor, David Horner.
Sunday morning we spoke in a class about the need for more laborers at PIBC. Afterwards, and in the afternoon, we manned our booth featuring Liebenzell Mission's history and the ministry in Micronesia at PIBC. Here Anne is speaking with one of our friends who came to visit our display.
Stephanie Cooper, a Liebenzell missionary who is still raising her support to come to Guam, came over from Winston Salem on Saturday afternoon, with Sonia Talato, who has been featured in past posts. We spent some time together encouraging one another. Pray for the Lord to bring in Stephanie's support soon. I think we need her in Guam soon.

We had a great time at the Mission Festival, were greatly encouraged, and made a lot of contacts. Pray that those whom the Lord is calling to come to Micronesia would take that step of faith and begin the process to come.

We arrived back at Schooley's Monday afternoon, and the next day, Tuesday, it started snowing.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Preparing for a Missions Festival

Anne and I have also been preparing a display outlining our ministry at PIBC, emphasizing the needs we have for teachers and staff at each of our five sites. We're on our way to Providence Baptist Church this weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina, for their annual Missions Festival. We'll be speaking in a class, showing our Liebenzell Mission/PIBC display, and informing a lot of interested people (we hope) about the needs at PIBC. You could pray that God speaks to those whom He is calling to come join us out there in the Pacific. The sooner the better!

Here are a couple of pictures of Anne working on the display in one of the rooms in our nice, warm apartment. We'll take more pictures once it's done and also some pictures of the Missions festival itself when we get back next week.

Exam Time

Today I took the final exam for the "Human and Organizational Development" course I've been working on for almost a year. When I began this course last March, my intention was to complete it by summer's end. But I wasn't to know that about a week after I started, my keratoconus flared up in my left eye. Then began all the adventures of trying to do my ministry and fulfill all the course requirements with extreme vision difficulties. No wonder it took me 11 months. So here I am, sitting in the office of our Global Missions Director, Bill Shuit, taking my test. Bill and Barb are moving to Schooley's Mountain at the end of this month. Notice how good I'm looking! I mean with my eyes! It's different than looking good.

Now this fella' is Norm Dietsch, a retired Liebenzell missionary living on Schooley's Mountain. He was my proctor. He and his wife, Hilda, are our next door neighbors. It was a long commute of about 100 yards to the office for the both of us for me to take the test.