Dr. Leo Garcia checks Ismael in a follow-up visit. His eyes are healing well. (Photo: Dominga Sebastião)

By Leonardo Garcia
April 6, 2023 | QUÉSSUA, ANGOLA

Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you;” and their sight was restored.

Matthew 9: 29-30ª (NVI)

You are my God – I will give thanks to you!
You are my God – I will lift you up high!
Give thanks to the Lord because he is good,
Because his faithful love lasts forever.

Psalm 188:28-29

Last fall, United Methodists of Quéssua mission in the province of Malanje, located in Eastern Angola, waited with great anticipation the arrival of a medical volunteer mission team from the Florida Annual Conference.

Dr. Russ Montgomery, from Florida, takes the bandages off the eyes of patients the day after surgery. Photo: Leo Garcia

After several months of organizing and presenting an ophthalmological surgery project to the Angolan health authorities, the day came when 43 patients diagnosed with cataracts and other eye diseases, who were blind, would see the light of the sun again.

It was an intense activity in which the team worked up to 18 hours a day. In the preoperative consultation, each patient was screened for the diagnosis, control and treatment of chronic noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes and arterial hypertension.

It was necessary to carry out other tests to investigate malaria and HIV and AIDS because they are endemic diseases of the geographical area where we live.

The most frequent cause of cataracts is the aging of the lens in patients of advanced age. The natural lens of the eyes loses its transparency and vision, becomes cloudy and can be lost.

Ismael’s miracle

Ismael’s medical diagnosis was bilateral cataracts. He also has uncontrolled diabetes mellitus. One day before the operation, Ismael had very high blood glucose levels. Medically, everything seemed impossible for the surgery to be performed successfully.

Dr. Garcia and Dr. Montgomery conduct Ismael’s cataract surgery. Photo: Dominga Sebastião

An act of faith made Ismael, along with his mother Francisca, ask me several times: “Doctor, please leave a space for the Lord Jesus to be the one to perform the miracle through the operation.”

The request of a desperate mother and the faith of her blind son inspired me, as a doctor and pastor, to give Jesus that opportunity so that we all could see his glory. Because of faith in Jesus, we decided to hospitalize Ismael. During the night before his operation, we accompanied him and gave him a rigorous treatment to control diabetes.

The next day, miraculously, Ismael’s underlying illness was under control. His glucose levels were acceptable for the operation.

Finally, Ismael underwent surgery and when the bandages were removed from his eye, his vision was recovered. Ismael’s mother cried out, “A space was given for Jesus and my son Ismael can now see.”

All the people present in the medical room, along with Ismael’s family, joined in a prayer of thanksgiving to God that came from my heart. Together, we all gave the glory to God.

Dr. Leonardo (Leo) Garcia, (Advance #3022182), a Global Ministries’ missionary from the Caribbean region, serves as a clinical advisor with the United Methodist Church in the East Angola Annual Conference at the Quéssua Mission Station. He is a medical doctor as well as ordained clergy, and in addition to his medical duties, he pastors Central Methodist Church in Quéssua.

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