Linda's Eyes

  • Jan. 25, 2016
  • #8801

Linda battles superstitious natives and her own glaucoma as she devotes her life to saving children with albinism.

Linda's Eyes

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a powerful missionary story.

My friend, Linda, (and I am changing her name to protect the work that she does in East Africa). Linda is an amazing servant of the Lord. Although she’s from England, Linda, when she was in her 60’s, moved to Tanzania, a country in East Africa known for its vast wilderness. It’s also known worldwide for the rampant killing of albino people. Albinism, a genetic disorder characterized by lack of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes, is considered a rare disorder in the United States. But in parts of Africa, the gene pool for albinism is much more concentrated, especially in Tanzania. And if you are born as an albino in Tanzania, your life is at risk. You see, witch doctors have convinced locals that there are “magical properties” in the pale skin, the blood and the bones of people with albinism. I know this sounds disgusting, but these witch doctors use the body parts of albinos in potions, assuring the user wealth and good luck. Sadly, this has created a terrible black-market, where a limb of an albino can bring up to $2000. And this is one of the main reasons Linda moved from England to Tanzania. She has devoted her life to rescuing children with disabilities, especially albino children.

Though Linda finds her work rewarding in the Lord, the truth is, life in Tanzania is not easy, especially as it concerns her own health. With all the many children and other things that concern her, Linda is battling glaucoma, an eye condition that can cause damage to the optic nerve; which, in turn, can cause blindness. Back in Great Britain, the medication for her glaucoma would be easy to get and affordable. But that’s not the case in Tanzania. Linda has struggled to find medication that is available at a reasonable cost. And so, she’s shared with us her prayer request for God to provide for her eyes.

Oh friend, it’s so disconcerting how disorders like albinism or glaucoma can have such a different impact on our lives, depending on where we live. Thankfully, organizations are working hard to tighten the laws protecting albinos in Tanzania. Now it’s unlikely that you could move to Tanzania to provide shelter for these children, and you cannot reduce the cost of glaucoma medications for people living in Africa, but I tell you what, you can pray – and a prayer made in faith can move mountains. So today, would you please join me in praying for Linda and the children she shelters and protects?

Oh, and there is something else you can do. Seeing that this is Glaucoma Awareness Month, you can be on guard against eye disease in your own family. Thankfully we live in the most developed nation in the world where access to health information is readily available, and so I’d like to provide you with a downloadable resource sheet on eye health, it’s so practical, even explaining in detail what you should expect out of an eye exam. Because our eyes are so precious, let’s take good care of them! So, download your free gift on eye health by visiting my radio page at joniandfriends.org (and if you’d like to learn more about the situation in East Africa for albinos, I’ve posted an insightful National Geographic article that tells more). While you are on my radio page, please let us know that you are praying for Linda and her extraordinary work among children with disabilities and those with albinism in Tanzania. She’d be so encouraged to learn that you care.

© Joni and Friends

 

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