Sometimes serendipitous moments occur. Although the m/v PACIFIC LINK was scheduled to call into the Island of Bali, in the Province of West New Britain, rough seas diverted the ship to the coastal village of Sassavoru instead. This change in direction would prove to alter the life of one woman forever.
Agnes had traveled from a smaller village to Sassavoru when she heard one of the YWAM Medical Ships was in the area. Screened by the ship’s eye surgeon on shore, the next Monday morning Agnes held tightly to the shoulders of her family as she was led up the stairs to the aft deck of the m/v PACIFIC LINK to await surgery.
Agnes had been completely blind for almost five years. She’d lost hope of ever seeing again. Where she lives, eye surgery is next to impossible to obtain and travel to the nearest hospital was out of the question due to a lack of money.
Agnes received surgery on her left eye. As she came out of the onboard surgical room, she was asked, “Mama, yu hamamas?” which translates, “Mama, are you happy?” With a big smile on her face, Agnes replied, “Yes!”
The next morning, Agnes, along with many of her family members, arrived in their canoe. She sat patiently as the medical team removed the eyepatch and cleaned her eye. The moment everyone was waiting for arrived. The eye surgeon said to her, “Mama, open!” Agnes opened her eyes. The smile we’d seen the day before changed from hope to one of complete and overwhelming joy.
Agnes looked at her family, whom she hadn’t seen for almost five years, and began laughing and crying at the same time. She held the hand of the eye surgeon tightly and thanked him. She then lifted her hands up to the skies and praised God in her native tongue of Tok Pisin.
I wish you could have been there to see the dramatic change to Agnes’ life, and all because of a thirty-minute surgery in the hands of skilled volunteers. This story repeats itself sometimes up to twenty-five times a day onboard our ships.
Our plan had changed unexpectedly, but for one beautiful lady from the Kove Coast, her life was drastically changed that day with her eyesight restored, and her dignity regained.
By Emily West
Port YWAM Kona DTS Student