Christian Record Services
omeone once said, “Statistics are human beings with the tears dried off.”
But this report isn’t focusing on statistics. It’s the story of individuals whose physical eyes don’t see the way yours do.
“I love the magazine, but more important, I love Jesus,” Mike wrote.
Mike loves Vantage Point, a magazine produced by Christian Record Services. It’s an audio magazine, and Mike needs it because he is totally blind.
Born prematurely in Plattsburgh, New York, Mike lived close to the Canadian border. Doctors originally diagnosed him with retrolental fibroplasia (RLF). At age 6, he journeyed 350 miles from home to attend the New York State School for the Blind. And following graduation, he found employment at the state capitol in Albany. Mike finally retired after 30 years of working with New York state agencies as a trainer and Braille transcriptionist.
“God got me through a lonely life in a strange city and a turbulent government career,” Mike recalls. “Throughout that time, I thrived on the magazine.”
“I met Christ through the pages of your wonderful magazine,” Mike told Bert Williams, Christian Record’s magazine editor.
• • •
Carly is a 17-year-old typical high school senior in many ways. But Carly is blind.
“I was born with a brain tumor,” she says. “They found it when I was 4 years old and removed it. But my left optic nerve was destroyed and the right one was damaged.” So now, Carly can still see a little with her right eye.
Carly first attended Timber Ridge Camp in Indiana as a 10-year-old for a National Camp for Blind Children provided by Christian Record. “I’m thinking about camp all year,” she says. Carly fell in love with horses at camp, and one of the camp wranglers let her groom the horse and bring it a snack.
Carly discovered God at camp too. “I’ve learned a lot about God here . . . like always to trust in Him.”
• • •
Gail, a Michigan woman in her mid-60s, is legally blind.
A couple of years ago she was in a nursing home recovering from an illness and saw an issue of Lifeglow, Christian Record’s bimonthly large-print magazine, in the lobby. She began reading it and liked it so much she asked if she could keep it. When she returned home, she called Christian Record’s office in Lincoln, Nebraska, and began receiving Lifeglow on a regular basis.
Ruth's (right) life is blessed through having quality spiritual reading materials available to here in Braille
Not long after this, Tim Higgins, an Adventist living nearby, joined Missionaries of the Blind, or MOB. MOB is an outreach initiative that connects church members with blind individuals in their own communities. Tim invited a woman from his church to join him in visiting Gail and giving her Bible studies. She completed the large-print “Come Alive With Jesus” Bible correspondence course and studied Amazing Facts lessons.
“When I invited Gail to visit the Midland Adventist Church for the first time, she fell in love with it,” reports Tim. She was baptized September 12.
Many Christian Record clients touched by MOB volunteers have enjoyed audiobooks from our lending library for years. At the age of 89, Hap, a woman in Minnesota with macular degeneration, can’t read anymore. Yet her handwriting memory is so sharp her letter was clearly written: “I appreciate these talking books more than I can tell you. I praise our loving heavenly Father for your love and kindness in sending the talking books. They bring a lot of joy into my life. Please pray for me. It’s not easy to lose one’s eyes.”
Currently Christian Record is working on the digitization of 2,000 books in the lending library. This will keep them accessible to the blind adults, youth, and children who will be using the newly developed digital talking book (DTB) player in the future.
Another initiative bearing fruit is a new audio digest edition of El Centinela. Juan, a young Guatemalan man blinded in a car accident, came to the United States (Chicago) looking for medical intervention to restore
his sight. Instead, he found Jesus through meeting an Adventist couple at a car wash. Now baptized, he says, “I don’t know what I would do without El Centinela. I don’t have any other way to hear the Bible studies and good articles. I appreciate Christian Record for sending El Centinela.”
“We sent out the first copies in the third quarter of 2009. By the first quarter of 2010, subscriptions had doubled from 60 to 120,” comments Williams.
• • •
Aunya loves having her own Sabbath School quarterly and is so pleased to be able to read her memory verse all by herself.
We can’t forget our children, of course. Christian Record has begun to produce the Primary Bible Study Guide in Braille. It’s also available at http://services.christianrecord.org in a Braille reading format blind individuals can use with special software.
“I love having my own quarterly,” 5-year-old Aunya told her mother. “Now I can read my memory verse myself. I can’t wait to be able to read the whole quarterly!”
Full-Vision children’s books bring little ones closer to Jesus. Francine, a blind grandmother, reads them to her grandchildren. Kandie uses them to teach her Sunday school class, and Susan—who is sighted—uses them to help her son learn and practice Braille.
The second Full-Vision book in the 12-volume set, A Child’s Steps to Jesus, is in production. This innovative edition will combine Braille, regular print, colorful illustrations, and an audio CD.
Can you imagine the joy when Jesus comes? Blind children, teens, and adults touched by the ministry of Christian Record will finally see Jesus—along with the rest of us who now “see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12, KJV).
1899—First Braille magazine, The Christian Record, launched by the General Conference in Battle Creek, Michigan
1.1 million—Copies of 10 different adult and children’s magazines in Braille, large-print, and audio (English and Spanish) formats mailed worldwide in five years
50,000—Blind campers blessed by 944 special camps in the U.S. and Canada since 1967
340—Missionaries Of the Blind volunteers making friends for Jesus in five countries
2,182—Braille, large-print, and audio Bibles given away in five years to help blind individuals see Jesus
65—Countries with blind clients currently receiving CRS services
2,200—Average number of recorded books sent weekly from lending library to share inspiration and hope
This article was published June 24, 2010.