Monday, May 9, 2011

Vision 20-20... or 2025?

There was a moose next to the sunglasses.

I stopped and stared. After all, it’s not every day that you walk into an eye clinic and encounter a 5-foot tall resin bull moose with an antler rack worthy of any Alaskan big-game hunter, standing nonchalantly between lenses rated for extra UV protection.

But there could be no doubt about it. He was definitely a moose. And he was only the beginning.

I filled out paperwork at a receptionist counter built with fieldstones and great wooden beams, wielding a slab of wood as my clipboard and a fish for a pen. “Come this way,” the optometrist beckoned—or was she a wilderness guide?—as I ducked through a doorway of tree branches, leaves brushing my hair. She led me down a stone path toward the examination room, beneath flying geese and past a life-size beaver cocked on his haunches, sporting his own pair of frames. A canoe leaned in the corner. Sticks served as drawer handles.

The bear cave in the waiting room clinched it. This was definitely the coolest eye-doctor that I had ever encountered.

Here you see me (with the infamous patch) and my sister. We're cute!
I actually have had quite a few office experiences to compare to last weeks' adventure. When I was about 5 years old, preschool screening discovered that I had amblyoplia, or “lazy eye.” It meant that my right eye was so significantly dominant that it was taking over the functions of my left eye. Without treatment, I would lose the ability to have depth perception, so my family embarked on an aggressive period of patching my right eye, such that my left was forced to work.

Hundreds of hours, eye-drops, charts, little depth-perception bubbles and questions asking “is one or two clearer?” later, and the eye-doctor became as comfortable as the neighborhood grocery store. For about two years, I wore a patch that adhered to my glasses (the adhesive patch lasted only long enough for me to blink…and realize the absolute torture that resulted from having eyelashes so long they scraped the inside of the patch every time my eyelid twitched) and experienced one-eye pirate life firsthand in order to regain that perfect 20-20 vision.

But for Wycliffe, the vision is for 2025—the year, not the prescription. In 1999, Wycliffe realized that translation projects were starting at a rate of one every 18 days—a pace that would take until the year 2150 before the last translation project was even begun! Out of a desire to see the Word of God come more quickly to the still-waiting people of the world, Wycliffe threw out the challenge of Vision 2025. The goal? To see a Bible translation project started in every language still needing one by the year 2025. Since then, with changes in tactics and the urgency of the new goal, projects have accelerated to starting one every five days, placing the last project to start in the year 2038.

It’s a giant task. But we have an even bigger God who can do more than we can ask or imagine. Thousands of workers are still needed, and I’m eager to be a part of this journey in Papua New Guinea.

Vision 2025 is 20-20 vision. And they don’t even need a moose to prove it.