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'Out of sight, out of mind'? Churches urged to highlight global need

Christian disability charity CBM is inviting churches to take part in Christian Blind Mission Sunday on 13 October, helping prevent childhood blindness and restore sight in the world’s poorest places.

The overseas charity is calling on churches to join in on Christian Blind Mission Sunday (the nearest Sunday to World Sight Day on 10 October) to learn, pray and give together to help to end the stigma of blindness in developing countries. Many who are living in poverty with blindness and other disabilities are the world’s forgotten people, without help many remain trapped in a cycle of poverty and live out of sight and out of mind.

CBM have produced a range of easy to use resources and compelling awareness-raising materials to enable churches to put on a special Sunday service or event, centred around Christian Blind Mission Sunday and avoidable blindness. The information provided includes prayer and worship resources, sermon ideas, a film, a PowerPoint presentation and children’s activities to help congregations to learn, pray and fundraise.

SHALOM'S STORY

Shalom was three when her mother, Fridah, noticed she was blinking and squinting a lot in the sun. Now aged five, Shalom can barely see and had to stop going to school. Other children have been cruel to her, calling her names and throwing her toy doll, knowing that she will struggle to find it and pick it up.

Her mother says, “Shalom also wakes up and asks me: ‘‘Mummy, am I also going to school today?‘‘ I tell her that she will go back to school when her sight is better.”

Shalom needs surgery to remove her cataracts but with no proper source of income Fridah feels it may never happen. Support from churches this Christian Blind Mission Sunday will give sight to children like Shalom, enabling them to go to school, play with their friends and be a part of their community.

The Christian Blind Mission Sunday activity will alert congregations to the fact that:

  • 253 million people worldwide are visually impaired
  • 89% of visually impaired people live in low and middle-income countries
  • Over 75% of visual impairment is avoidable

By celebrating Christian Blind Mission Sunday, churches can help to end the stigma of blindness in developing countries.

For more information or to order resources visit www.cbmuk.org.uk/sunday

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