We met Matt* during our first day of work on Long Island, an isolated region of Papua New Guinea.

He travelled from another village needing eye surgery as he had cataracts on both eyes and had been blind for 3-4 years.

He seemed weak and was always hunched over. I went with him to the M/V Pacific Link where he received surgery on the first eye. He was a bit nervous but everything went well. When he returned the next day for his post-op check-up and the surgery on his other eye, he was not feeling well at all. The surgeon decided it wouldn’t be wise to perform the operation and informed me that as Matt was now able to see from one eye, he would be ok. I felt confused and powerless. The ship would be moving to the next location soon, and if Matt didn’t recover in time he would miss the opportunity to have the second surgery.

I should be rejoicing at his new-found sight however, I had fully expected both eyes to be healed.

I had to let go and trust that the surgeon knew best.

A few days later, we sailed to our second location on Long Island, arriving at a small village on the opposite side of the island. I was so surprised to see Matt again!  He already seemed to be better, he was not as weak anymore and was able to stand and walk with energy now that he was able to see. We both enjoyed seeing each other again and were able to spend some time simply hanging out. I felt at peace with the situation.

However, Matt’s story didn’t end there. He had recovered enough that he was able to go in for the second surgery and returned home completely healed! Later, we were able to see him one last time in his own village.

“I can see you with both my eyes now!” he exclaimed.

It was an incredible thing to witness, he was a whole new man. So bright, proud, joyful and full of thanks.

by Elsa Jeanprêtre
YWAM Newcastle Media DTS student


*Name has been changed for privacy reasons.