Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A word from Shawn

"I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done." -Hudson Taylor

Ears To Hear

... eyes to see.

"I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize the Lord is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest positions He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult, His grace is sufficient." - Hudson Taylor

Ears To Hear

In 2008 I remember walking up the rocky terrain with a backpack full of Bibles in Spanish like it was yesterday. I saw an older gentlemen sitting in a "Walmart-like" plastic chair under a tree. This man was sitting beside a house made out of tree branches wrapped with sheets of tin. This house could not have been more than 12' x 14' in size.  I remember taking delivery on a new shed at my house near Bethany Beach, DE just a few months prior that seemed ginormous in comparison to this house. So I called out to this man to see if he had a few minutes that we may be able to speak with him about Jesus and His love for him. He smiled and said "of course".82 year old blind man in 2009 Barahona, Dominican Republic

After we approached him he made a distinct noise that summoned the rest of his family from the small house and yard. As the other 6-7 members made their way to the meeting place, I noticed each of them were carrying the same type of plastic chair, some that were "sewn" back together with some sort of plastic thread and home-made wire resembling that of stitching you would see on a new baseball.
As his family approached and after offering us a place to sit, they formed a semi-circle with the chairs so we could begin our talk. We shared about God's goodnaess, our sin and need of a Savior, the need of repentance and God's plan for each of our lives. The family gladly received the word and several made a new commitment to follow Christ. I began to give out the Bibles we had brought and as I got to my elder friend, he claimed " I can not read. I can not see. I have been blind since I was a youth." I felt very sad for him. He then said, "I dreamed that one day I would hear God's word... through the air". I was immediately reminded of Romans 10:17 NKJV that says "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God". This is when God began to confirm in my own heart the need to reach those who could not read, either because of blindness or because of illiteracy and that Radio (through the air) would be a great rescource to reach the masses with the gospel message of Jesus. It was not long after, that  God had brought together the other men who shared the same vision for the same area,  some having the Radio vision even before this time frame to eventually form Ears To Hear Radio Ministries.

Eyes To See

When my doctor (opthalmologist) told me today that I "was the first case of TRACHOMA  that he had seen in the United States in 25 years" I somehow felt as though it were not something to celebrate. "Your vision has degraded from your last record with corrective lenses by 20% in just one year."  He declared, "you have scarring as a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10."  He added, "This disease was endemic in the United States at one time, but with increased quality of living even before antibiotics, the disease has been wiped out here.  However, you have contracted it with the use of your contact lenses and the living conditions in the Dominican Republic where you live.  It is known to effect the poorest of the poor and those who have little or no access to proper sanitation and clean water.  Trachoma causes blindness, over time, if left untreated." he claimed.   "In your case you will be OK if you take your antibiotic."  He began speaking again as the room filled with every other staff member itching to get a look first hand at the freak show, that is Shawn Rineholt.  "This man has a rare eye disease."  Trachoma is the world's leading cause of preventable blindness.  As I, for a moment thought about myself and how much I enjoy reading, watching a movie, looking at my beautiful wife, seeing my kids smile and laugh and how if I had not been diagnosed I would within 8 more years possibly never be able to do any of these things again, I choked back a tear or two, so as to allow everyone ample time to examine my eyes.
God has a way of using physical things in our life to parallel the spiritual. He uses the physical need sometimes to show us the spiritual need. I began to pray for the Radio project as I shared the story of the blind man in Barahona with my captive audience inside the examining room. When I was finished Dr.Pathick said,  "You may now share from experience this story".
Trachoma is a curable physical disease that causes physical blindness. It effects millions of people in developing nations.
Sin is a curable disease. Jesus has paid the price. The Great Physician has not only diagnosed our problem but He has given Himself as THE Cure.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”” Matthew 28:18-20 NIV
At times the task God has called us to has seemed impossible, and we have experienced some difficulty along the way. Hudson Taylor says it best "I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done."

Please pray,  as I have taken my antibiotics needed but they no longer manufacture the salve that was prescribed me so I am waiting to see if my Insurance will approve the fee for a local Pharmacy here to make a batch for me.
Please also pray that if it is the Lord's will for me that I may be able to have eye surgery to no longer need contacts to reduce the risk of further infections down the road for me

God Bless you!

Shawn Rineholt
Ears To Hear Radio Ministries
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