A Heart for Africa

Dr. Deborah Sherman first visited Sierra Leone, West Africa, in the summer of 1983. During this first visit, she worked in the Baptist Eye Hospital in Sierra Leone, where they have a large number of cataracts and blinding eye diseases due to onchocerciasis, an infectious disease endemic to the area.

Dr Sherman in stairwell

Rebuilding Hope

Many years later, she and her husband, Tim Siktberg, returned to the area to help support the Lunsar Eye Hospital and the Christian Education Center in Lunsar. Her husband worked with a team of Americans and Africans to rebuild the Christian Education Center previously destroyed in the Civil War. Tim has also been instrumental in implementing a new generator for the hospital so that more patients can receive eye surgery.

The Miracles of Vision Care

Because of the prevalence of blindness in the area, there are two eye hospitals, the United Methodist Eye Hospital in Kissy, Sierra Leone, and the Lunsar Eye Hospital in nearby Lunsar, Sierra Leone. Dr. Sherman has examined patients and performed surgeries with the staff surgeons. Collaborating with a local missionary surgeon, Dr. Sherman successfully restored a man's vision by lifting his upper eyelids. Another man is overjoyed as he sees his hands for the very first time, thanks to a successful cataract surgery.

Donations of Medical Supplies

Medical supplies such as eye drops, ointments, and ophthalmic examining equipment are essential for sight-saving eye care. In many cases, patients lose their eyes to disease and do not have access to an artificial eye to make them look more acceptable to the other members of their community. Dr. Sherman has helped organize donations of medical supplies in order to help the medical staff better care for the eye patients in Lunsar, Sierra Leone, Africa. This includes a donated focometer, a device that allows the examiner to calculate the correct prescription of glasses for the patient. A single focometer allows for thousands to be examined and given glasses, which can improve their vision immeasurably.

artistic ceiling light

Help for the Orphans of Africa

In Sierra Leone, there are a tremendous number of African children who were orphaned in the brutal civil war and, therefore, do not have opportunities for education. Some of these orphans are being sponsored to receive education, thanks to a partnership between Nashville’s Woodmont Baptist Church and the Cotton Tree Foundation, an African non-profit charitable organization dedicated to helping educate needy children in the West African nation of Sierra Leone.

While in Sierra Leone, Dr. Sherman, her husband Tim, and their son Jackson helped deliver educational supplies, such as backpacks, to the local school children by participating in Nashville’s Woodmont Baptist Church’s mission program “Diamonds in the Rough.” This is a charitable program through which orphans in Sierra Leone are sponsored to receive educational scholarships so that they can go to school to gain an education and skills for independent living.

Mission Opportunities in Sierra Leone

Click here to learn more about mission opportunities in Sierra Leone. Discover how you can contribute to vision-saving services and bring educational resources, making a meaningful impact on the community's well-being and development.

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