From Deacon Don Grossnickle, recently back from a mission trip to Uganda:
Truck driver, Rick Swope in 1990, heroically jumped in a moat in a Detroit zoo bent on saving a chimp he observed drowning. (Chimps cannot swim) Afterwards, Swope) was asked, “ what made you do it?’ And Rick replied, ‘Well, you see, I happened to look into his eyes, and it was like looking into the eyes of a man, and the message was, ‘Won’t anybody help me?'”
Reflecting on the incident, Jane Goodall had a personal comment and interpretation “If you see that look with your eyes, and you feel it in your heart, you have to jump in and try to help.”
In my work in the parish, larger diocese and community and often these days in ministry in Uganda I make a point of peering into the eyes of those I meet. I pause and stop for a moment to get a sense, a message revealed.
I am more and more aware of the gift that we deacons have as we are immersed in the life of community in such many and varied situations. Times of joy, sparking eyes of babies at baptism. Hopeful eyes preparing a couple for marriage. Fearful eyes of those facing surgery, cancer. Painful eyes for loss and grief. Eyes of a bewildered person dealing with memory loss. Regretful eyes of those who made a mistake. Peaceful eyes at communion. Eyes seeking help in desperation. Won’t anybody help me?
My ministry alongside midwives, doctors and nurses has awakened a deeper connection to the gift that is to be appreciated among the healing community. The eyes, the hand-holding of babies and moms dying and being cured of malaria fever present moments of life and death bonding with placing ourselves in God’s light. In God’s light the eyes see the questions on the lips of a person who does not have to utter a word. Won’t anybody help me?
“If you see that look with your eyes, and you feel it in your heart, you have to jump in and try to help.”
Deacon Don is seeking to raise money for hospital beds in Uganda. As he wrote:
Kasese Diocese Uganda Bishop Francis Kibira’s eyes spoke to me when I saw the only hospital in his diocese washed away in a flood. Right now, he needs 200 hospital beds ($22,000) His eyes said: “Won’t anyone help me? Can someone jump in with me to help?
Contact for donations: Deacon Don Grossnickle Microfinance Alliance Africa Project Foundation (MAAPF) MAAPF.ORG
You can read more about his remarkable ministry here.
For more, check out this link. Please be as generous as you can!