New Vision News
September 1, 2018
Hello, and welcome to the newsletter of New Vision Ministries for the Blind and Challenged! My husband Timothy and I believe that even though we are all disabled by sin, Jesus Christ enables us to do anything according to His will. Thank you for reading our quarterly letter, and thank you so much for supporting us as we continue to reach out to others.
Of course, we want to thank all our new subscribers to this letter as well! We hope you'll enjoy reading it, and that you'll be inspired by the articles we're sharing with you.
We continue to add new devotions to our blog on www.mynvm.com every Saturday. We hope you'll be entertained and inspired by our website and our devotions.
Speaking of our website, we've added a new affiliate link to the bottom of our homepage. Do you know anyone who is blind or visually impaired, or are you blind yourself? Then you may want to buy some Braille books, gifts or supplies from the Braille Superstore. Besides a huge selection of books, they carry Braille games, watches, household items, t-shirts, and plenty of other interesting things. Don't hesitate to check them out and buy something using our affiliate link. We both highly recommend this store!
Remember our article about Joni Eareckson Tada we published in the previous newsletter? Well, we are in the process of becoming affiliated with her organization, Joni and Friends. We hope this affiliation will bring blind people together with people in wheelchairs, so that we can all help each other out and minister to hospital and nursing-home residents. We also hope to attend the annual meeting held in their Phoenix office, and possibly participate in one of their Christian retreats for disabled children.
Our nursing-home and care-center business, New Vision Entertainment, continues to go well. On several days each month, Timothy and I visit nursing homes in the Maricopa County, AZ area. I play piano, while Tim serves as my emcee. Tim will occasionally deliver a short Bible message, so that we can minister to the residents. Based on the reactions of residents and staff alike, we're doing a pretty good job! This Halloween we'll be holding a party and dressing up like Fred and Wilma Flintstone. We can't wait!
If you know about any nursing homes in Maricopa County which could use some great musical entertainment, please let us know about them. If not, we'd really appreciate your prayers for the continued success of New Vision Entertainment. Thank you!
Would you like to join one of our Bible studies? Each weekly study is conducted by telephone on a conference line. A new study takes place on Mondays at 5:30 PM Arizona Time. Our audience currently contains a few people from New York, and we go over what the Bible has to teach us about living the Christian life. Each study session lasts about 1 hour. We'll be taking Labor Day off, but on September 10 we're starting 1 John, Chapter 1.
Instead of a Bible study, would you rather participate in a prayer meeting? A couple months ago, Tim and I started just such a meeting, which is conducted on Tuesdays at the same time (5:30 Arizona time), using the same conference line. Tim will start off each meeting with a short scripture, and then we'll tell God what we're thankful for and bring our needs to Him in prayer. We hope you'll join us and add your own contributions to these meetings.
If you'd like to join either the Bible study or prayer meeting, please call our conference line number (712-432-6499). After the intro message plays, press 1 for live chat rooms and then press 31 to enter our room. We hope to see you there!
Would you like to become a prayer partner with us? If you'd like to help us pray for others, or you would like to involve your church or another Christian organization in New Vision Ministries, please send an email to email@example.com.
A Call to Prayer
Each quarter, we'll be featuring different people or things in this section, and we encourage you to pray for them.
First, we'd like you to pray for our good friends, Michael and Annie. They are a married couple who usually live in the assisted-living facility where we put on church services. Unfortunately, both of them are in poor health. Annie is in a rehab center for dialysis, and Michael is feeling rather lonely without her. Please pray that God will heal both of them, and that He will bring them back together soon.
Second, please pray for our ministry, and for our success with affiliate programs.
Finally, please pray that our website will keep growing, and that people will keep coming back to read more devotions.
The Online Chaplain
Along with our assisted-living and hospital outreaches, we started something new last quarter that I would like to ask you to pray about. It is called the Online Chaplain, and it is designed to reach out to those who might never darken the door of a church. People who have spiritual questions and those who are involved in crisis situations may benefit as well. The Online Chaplain is also meant to support the body of Christ in general.
If you have recently gone through the pain of a great loss, or you just need to talk with someone, I hope that you will feel free to let me know. People who contact me can give as much or as little information as they like. Everything that we discuss will remain confidential.
You can contact me by calling 507.369.6861, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
From Our Readers
In this new section of the newsletter, we'll be publishing stories and testimonies submitted by the wonderful readers of the New Vision News. Do you have a submission idea? If so, please send your document to email@example.com.
Our first testimony comes to us from our friend Mary. We hope you'll enjoy this inspiring story!!
I went to church as a child, but I did not understand just how much Jesus really loves me. I lumped Him in with "religion" and threw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. I allowed the "world" and "science" to steal my belief in God. I bought into all the lies about evolution, and I thought the Bible was full of made-up stories.
When I walked out into the world as a young woman, I fell into sin and hopelessness. I really thought that life was made up of pleasure-seeking, suffering and shattered dreams. I lived with that mindset for SO long. I chased after happiness with material things, one broken relationship after another, drinking, promiscuity, partying, etc. I made some very bad decisions, and I suffered loneliness and low self-esteem. I looked to others to validate me. I just could not fill the empty void in my life, no matter what I tried. I suffered from eating disorders, depression, anxiety, self-hatred--and the list goes on and on.
I had no idea Jesus was always there, longing for me to acknowledge Him. I just kept running down one dead-end road after another, trying to find true happiness, but it always eluded me. I thought that was all there was to life.
Once I finally managed to get my life partially together, I got married and had a baby. Things got a little better as I immersed myself in the trials and tribulations of motherhood. But there was still that void, that emptiness which nothing could fill. I dreaded the future, and I was filled with so much fear. I was afraid my daughter would suffer an even worse life than I had suffered, because the world was becoming so dark and evil. I just did not know what to do.
Then one day, I was watching a TV program where they were talking about how bad the world was getting. The narrator said that we are living in the "end times". All the wars and natural disasters that are happening in the world are fulfilled prophecies which were written about thousands of years ago in the Bible. I realized that the Bible is true, and that I had been deceived.
The man on the show was a Christian, and he said something that really struck me. He said that the most important thing anybody could do right now to prepare for the things to come was to get right with God. Wow!
I realized that I was NOT right with God at all, and that I was in big trouble. If I died today and had to face God, it would not be a good situation. I had been lurching from one sin to another my whole life, without thinking at all about having to answer to God for my behavior. I knew I had to get right with God. It really bothered me, and I couldn't stop thinking about it.
Once I'd made that momentous decision, I realized I didn't know how to go about it. I think I even Googled "how to get right with God", because I didn't know how someone who had sinned so much in their life would accomplish that.
I finally stumbled upon a website that answered questions about Christianity, and I came across a sinner's prayer. I said the prayer, which basically said that I knew I was a sinner who needed a savior. I said that I was sorry for my sins, and I asked Jesus to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. I didn't know if saying this prayer would do any good, but I figured it might help.
Well, that was all Jesus needed to hear. He had to be asked, sincerely, but once I talked to Him, He rushed to me. Within seconds, the Holy Spirit came upon me and convicted me of all my past sins. I instantly knew that I was a sinner who needed to repent. It was like a fire went through my body, burning away years and years of sin. I wept and wept as I repented.
I was flooded with a wonderful feeling of intense love, forgiveness and peace. I had never experienced such a great sense of peace in my entire life.
After it was over, I felt like a million pounds had been lifted off my shoulders. I realized that Jesus was real, and that His Holy Spirit had just come to me. He made me understand not only the reality of God, but also His amazing love and forgiveness!
I slept like a baby that night. All of the sins and bad decisions of the past had been wiped away, and I was made new. It was the most amazing, wonderful thing that has EVER happened to me!
I want to share my testimony and help others who don't know God, along with those who feel hopeless and inadequate. God is wonderful, and He can totally change your life if you will just let Him in. I know that I am going to heaven someday, and that I have been made a new creature in Christ. I want everyone who doesn't have this peace and security to know that He is only a prayer away.
Finally, here's our feature article by Timothy Burdick!
Movers and Shakers
Do you ever take the gift of sight for granted? Or, if you are blind, do you take assistive technology for granted?
In either case, one device that is indispensable for a blind person is the white cane, as it makes independent travel possible. But millions of blind people in third-world countries are needlessly home-bound, because they don’t have access to this kind of device.
That is beginning to change, however, because of a group called Global Cane Outreach. GCO is a ministry to blind people in the third world, helping them obtain the independence that most of us take for granted.
I was proud to interview Beverly Cook, the founder of GCO, who is blind herself. In her own words, she described how God inspired her to begin this ministry.
"When sitting in church, every time they talked about missions work, I really had a call, but had no idea what I could do."
Feeling this tug on her heart, she made a call to the secretary of her church. From there, she was directed to speak to the person who coordinated the missions department.
The next morning, a missionary who was traveling to Ethiopia called her. Because of the vast number of blind people in that country, he requested Beverly's help.
"In the government," she explains, "they employed a person who was blind, and (they) kept asking this man, “What are you going to do for the blind people?”"
Faced with that question, Beverly told me, "I raised enough money to buy 50 canes and travel to Ethiopia, which was an amazing experience. But being my first time out of the country, it was also hard."
She traveled to four different villages, where she gave away all of the canes she purchased, as well as one of her own canes.
"Because of the experience I had," she says, "I knew that God sent me, and meant me to continue."
Beverly also traveld to South Africa, and gave a cane to the person she called their poster man. His story is quite intriguing, and I would like to share it with you.
Thokosani had lost his sight and some of his hearing. According to Beverly, "he just sat in his hut and did nothing, having to be led everywhere he went." He couldn't even take care of his personal needs by himself.
Luckily, Thokosani was taught independent living skills and given one of Beverly's white canes. His progress was phenomenal, and he continued to amaze those around him.
The proof is in an email that Beverly received from a fellow missionary. It stated that Thokosani was now able to do many tasks by himself that had formerly been impossible for him to accomplish alone.
But even more importantly, Thokosani has become a Christian. This was a huge step in his life. Unlike our situation in the western world, Thokosani will face rejection that most of us know nothing about. He was given his first audio Bible along with his cane.
Beverly related the details of a fascinating dream which the new Christian had had the night before, which could very well have come out of a Biblical narrative. In this dream, he was shown that someone would come to see him with a present. He wasn't lucky enough to own any of the things that seem commonplace to us, so his response upon receiving his new gifts was classic. Overjoyed, he told Beverly, "It’s not even my birthday!"
Thokosani was given the above gifts, but the best gifts were the audio Bible, and Beverly’s testimony. He has accepted Christ, and Beverly herself baptized him at the village's first baptism.
Having distributed canes in 11 countries, GCO is now looking towards Kenya. When I asked her what the future holds for GCO, Beverly elaborated on it in these words: "The future is like putting one foot in front of the other, and as long as God wants us to continue, we will continue."
For more info about Global Cane Outreach, you will find a link to their homepage on our website, in the Spiritual Study Aides section.
Please keep both GCO and New Vision Ministries in your prayers, for our brothers and sisters are true pioneers, and it is an honor to stand with them.
Sharing Christ’s message of love in nursing homes and hospitals in the US and abroad is an honor, but we also need you to stand beside us. If God puts it on your heart, please review the prayers and financial needs of both organizations. At the same time, let us know how we can pray for you.
And on that note, our latest newsletter comes to a close. Once again, don't forget to check out our devotions at www.mynvm.com whenever you need some spiritual encouragement.
We would love to hear from you. This is your ministry, and we want you to share with us how we can improve. If you have any questions, please call 507-369-6861, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org (my email) or email@example.com (Timothy's email).
Thank you for reading this!
Stephanie and Timothy Burdick