"Whatever you do for the least of these, you do unto Me." Matthew 25:18
For many years, St. Matthew Lutheran Church has supported MOST Ministries, a non-profit Christian agency that sponsors short-term mission trips across the world by sending funds as well as volunteers. Dramatically affected by COVID for the past 18 months, MOST is thrilled to have seven teams deploying before this year ends.
Previously, during a 2017 MOST mission trip to India, six members of St. Matthew Lutheran Church had the joy in serving God by running an eyeglass clinic in a very poor village called Dasuya. During one of the Eye Glass Clinic sessions, a little boy with a significant visual deficit of -4 was seen by the team and fitted for his very first pair of glasses. When the fitting concluded and his new glasses were placed on his face, his visual expressions of awe and joy broke all of the language barriers between the Americans and the citizens of Dasuya. After taking a few minutes to look around the room and soak in the beauty of his new and clear vision, he reached down and touched the feet of the St. Matthew woman who presented him with his glasses. The translator quickly explained that in this village’s culture, this gesture was seen as the highest display of gratitude, and all of the volunteers who witnesses this tender gesture were humbled by his appreciation and reminded of the joy received when you follow God's directives to be His Light and share HIs love with others.
The gift of sight is such a blessing. Yet, one million children each year suffer from poor vision. In addition, in developing third world countries, for a family of four making an average of $4.00 a day, a pair of eyeglasses can be the equivalent of a year's salary. As a result, large segments of this population live with vision deficits that adversely impact their education, employability, and quality of life.
MOST Ministries seeks donations of used eyeglasses. Then after cleaning and assessing prescription strength, they send missionary teams to some of the poorest countries in the world operate "Eyeglass Clinics" where members of communities and villages can be fitted for corrective lenses. St. Matthew Lutheran Church has sent numerous ministry teams that have served on MOST eyeglass teams. In fact, two of our teachers, Mr. and Mrs. Topel, traveled to India six years ago to serve on a team!
Last year, MOST Ministries dispensed more than 10,000 pairs of eyeglasses through its short-term mission teams. In addition, and, most importantly, MOST Ministries provides all eyeglass recipients the opportunity to hear the Gospel message while they are being fitted for their glasses.
Furthermore, for the past ten years, St. Matthew Lutheran School has hosted a "Turkey Trot" to allow all students an opportunity to help those who are in need. This year's Student Council has selected to help children who are suffering with poor vision by supporting MOST Ministry. With the theme of "Fix My Eyes On You", the Student Council will host our 11th Annual St. Matthew Lutheran School Turkey Trot on Friday, November 12.
Students in Preschool through Grade 8 are encouraged to collect pledges from family and friends for the number of laps or time that they will run during the Trot. Then, on November 12, all students will run (Trot) around our school soccer field during a designated time of the school day. All proceeds collected will be given to MOST Ministries to be used for deploying future eyeglass teams.
In addition, MOST Ministries also accepts used eyeglasses, so we will collect used those as well. (Please know that we are instructing children that they must ask parental permission before donating any eyeglasses!) The Student Council will also track the number of pairs of glasses our student body can collect! Please send in any old adult or child eye glasses in a Ziplock bag marked "Turkey Trot". Donations will be accepted until November 30th.
Let's help MOST Ministries with their mission to help children around the world “Fix Their Eyes On Jesus” and see things more clearly! To begin this process, students can start by collecting pledges. To obtain a new pledge sheet, please click HERE.
As a special bonus, anyone raising over $50 will receive a free T-shirt with this year's Turkey Trot logo on it. (Please know that these shirts will be delivered two weeks after the Turkey Trot). We are asking that students please bring their completed pledge sheets and collected funds to school on Friday, November 12. In addition, those students who run the most laps and the student that earns the most money will have the fun of turning a Student Council member into a human Thanksgiving dinner! What does this mean? Stay tuned for details but it may involve mashed potatoes and gravy!
So, “We Are On Our Way” to asking God to help us accomplish great things in His name, and we look forward to God blessing this effort to help us encourage others to "Fix Our Eyes On Jesus"!
In His Love,