Mexican Prisoners

  • Jan. 27, 2016
  • #8803

Lisa’s ministry provides eye exams and eyeglasses to Mexican prisoners who lack basic medical and vision care.

Mexican Prisoners

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to Joni and Friends.

Just recently I was reading an article that stated how the U.S. prison population has recently quadrupled. And with it, has surfaced issues regarding prison health care. Now, we all have differing opinions on where our tax dollars should go and whether a person who has committed a crime should have access to health care, but regardless of where we stand, we should be proud that we live in a nation that does have a pretty good prison medical system. But not all nations are the same.

Take Mexico. Although there is a prison medical system in that country, health services in Mexican prisons are woefully lacking. A publication by the Human Rights Watch explains that part of the problem is related to sanitation problems in prisons. Often, Mexican prisons simply do not have the staff to provide proper patient care. Now normally, such an issue would not interest me. But my good friend and coworker Lisa, has visited many Mexican prisons on church mission trips; she gives medical support and share God’s word. Lisa and her team from church do eye exams on qualified prisoners and provide custom-fitted eye-glasses to the prisoners in need. Believe me, she has seen a lot of inmates with eye problems. She has also seen firsthand how many Mexican prisoners go without medical care. But what was most astonishing to her were the extraordinary number of prisoners in Mexico who are blind, far more many than in the U.S. The blindness is most often due to glaucoma or cataracts, eye conditions that in the United States can be easily treated. But in Mexican prisons, there are no regular eye exams. There isn’t treatment or medication readily available. As a result, thousands of prisoners are blind, mostly due to a lack of basic (and I mean really basic) care. What’s more, many of these inmates don’t even have access to eyeglasses, which, of course, Lisa and her team are happy to provide. Once prisoners can read, they readily receive the Good News of Jesus.

Shortly after Lisa returned home from one of her mission trips to Mexico, she shared Luke chapter 4 with me. There, Jesus says, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind.” Wow! Right there, Jesus makes much of the poor, those who are prisoners, and those who are blind. And although Jesus is drawing a spiritual analogy, this passage really means something personal to Lisa. I think this is why she is so dedicated to her church’s mission to provide good eye care to prisoners in poor countries. Yes, these men are incarcerated and yes, many of them have sinned greatly, but to Lisa, the prisoners are no different from you or me when it comes down to our desperate need of Jesus. We are all poor and blind and imprisoned without Him.

Thankfully, we live in the most developed nation in the world where access to good eye care is readily available, and so on this being Glaucoma Awareness Month, I want 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 a good eye exam. So, download your free gift on eye health by visiting my radio page at And pray for prisoners everywhere who need to have their eyes opened to the glories of the Gospel.


© Joni and Friends


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