From sighted to blind
My name is Dan Gurung and I am 32 years old. I was born a normal kid in a small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan in the early 1980s. In late 80s, I lost my vision completely on both eyes at the age of six due to high fever, glaucoma and negligence of doctors. The days of playing with friends and running around came to an end and the world became dark for me for the rest of my life. Everything changed suddenly; from seeing to touching, running to walking and no significant difference between day and night. It was not very easy to learn and adapt to the new way of life. My parents wept and did all they could to bring my eyesight back but nothing worked and I remained totally blind.
A year later, my parents accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal savior after attending Christian Church with one of our neighbors and hearing the gospel of salvation. They came home that Sunday afternoon and told us what happened in the Church. The neighbors and the others believers of the Church started visiting us, preached the gospel and prayed for us. I and my older brother also started going to the Sunday school where I learned all the interesting Bible stories of creation, patriarchs and heroes of faith. We heard of birth, death and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ for the sinners. I also learned Sunday school songs and Bible verses. When other kids did motion songs, I simply sat down and sang along with them. One of the Bible verses I learned that still sticks to my head and heart is 1 Peter 5:7 “cast all your anxiety on him for he cares for you”.
From Bhutan to Nepal
In early 1990s we all moved to Nepal and started living in eastern Nepal and there I accepted Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior. My parents had no idea at all on what would happen of my future. I was growing up with all kinds of confusions. I always wanted to go to school just as my own brother and other kids but I was confined at home. In 1993, I met a Christian brother (Ronny) from Mumbai India when he was visiting believers in Nepal. When he saw me, he sympathized om me and assured to help the best he could for my eyes. So, he took me to some of the renown hospitals in India. To my frustrations, the doctors said, my optic nerve and retina are both damaged and no treatment is possible. Now, there was no hope that I could get my vision back. He came up with another option of sending me to school for the blind. In 1995, I got admition in Mary Scott Home and School for The Blind in Kalimpong India and my academic as well as social journey began there. I was encouraged to meet so many blind and visually impaired friends there. I started to read and write in Braille the subjects and curriculum just as the other sighted students do in their school. I started from the very beginner stage and graduated from the high school successfully in 2006. I also learned to walk using white cane, handicraft, shopping, travelling, got involved in various school activities such as, plays, debate, sports and interaction with the people. Not only that, since the school was Christian missionary school (Salvation Army), they had Bibles in braille and I got opportunity to read Bible myself and I was so happy. Later, I went to Mumbai and added a few skills of living in my life. There I learned computer using Jaws which is a screen reader, Braille shorthand and also, I was able to work in a call center. This reminded me of the Scriptures, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11. I have experienced the work and goodness of God and the change He brought in my life by opening doors of opportunity. I am really thankful to Him.
To my new home (US)
Here comes another chapter of my life. In 2009, God opened another door for me and I got an opportunity to come to United States. In September 10, 2009, I arrived in San Antonio Texas along with my parents. Now the New place, new people, new culture, new system were the challenges before me. Being a totally blind, it was not very easy to familiarize myself in the various fields but I took advantage of English I learned in India and use of computer to get involved with the people and the system in this country. In January, 2010, I got a job and started working at San Antonio Lighthouse for The Blind. In 2012, I got married to Monica and now I have a beautiful wife and praying for kids. We both have job and I am US citizen now.
My Vision and Mission
Being a blind myself, I know and understand the difficulties, challenges and limitations of blinds around the globe. I was fortunate enough to have Bible in Braille in the school but many blind and visually impaired people in so many countries don’t even have Bible in their hand although they earnestly desire to have one. It is simply because of very limited publication of the Braille Bible.
So, here’s my vision and mission: I want to open up a small Braille press so that I can publish more Bibles in Braille and distribute to many blind and visually impaired people in the country and overseas. This way the word of God can reach the unsaved and many souls be saved before the Lord returns on the cloud. For this, I need a high-quality production Braille printer (Express 150_220V) which cost about $17,000, a good scanner with reading and file sharing capability which cost about $3,000, a computer with ample storage which cost about $1,000, A professional Jaws license (screen reader) which cost about $1,000, some furnitures, Braille papers and other binding materials estimating around $10,000-15,000. So, I am needing about $35,000 to start up this mission. I cannot do it all by myself. I need your support to make it happen. I humbly request all people of God to pray and support in whatever way you can and together we make a difference in people’s lives. As the Holy Scripture says in Luke 15:7, “There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent”. Please spread this message to your friends and families and be part of helping physically blind souls so their spiritual eyes may be opened and see the Lord of glory in their life. Your entire gift goes directly to this mission. No matter how small is your gift, every penny counts.
“God loves cheerful giver” 2 Corinthians 9:7.
Thank you all.
- Szymon Matusiak
- Martin Pavlik
- Martin Pavlik
- Sangita Monger
San Antonio, TX