The Roundup (Mont.) Church was blessed to once again host a free vision clinic for its community, this time on May 17, 2019.
Under the auspices of AMEN (Adventist Medical Evangelistic Network) and Better Vision Better Hope – Daniel Migael Foundation, the clinic was led by volunteers Andrea Schellenberg of Better Vision Better Hope of Fort Worth, Texas, and Becca Suggs of Dean McGee Eye Institute, Oklahoma City, Okla. Other volunteers included Billings, Mont., ophthalmologists Oswald Rondon and Larry Erpenbach, plus Suzanne Erpenbach. Rudy Fallang, Roundup Church elder, and Chris Barr, of Billings, served as pastoral support for this event. Deanna Harris again this year was the go-to lady who handled all the appointments for the exams. Local church members rounded out the volunteer roster.
The free vision clinic was held in the recently renovated historic Central School. The original Central School building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Currently part of the building has been repurposed as the Musselshell County Central Commons. It houses a food bank, the Golden Thimble (a local thrift store), the Council on Aging, congregate senior meals three times a week in the old cafeteria space (where the eye exams were held) and a Meals on Wheels program partnered with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. The balance of the old school is now in private ownership and is scheduled to be renovated.
We were able to help 80 people with free eye exams. The ages ranged from nine to 96. The counties we serviced were Musselshell and Fergus. The majority of folks were from Roundup proper, but we did get some folks from as far away as the tiny towns of Musselshell and Melstone to the east and Grass Range to the north. This part of Montana has the working rural poor, as well as a large Medicare and Medicaid population and those without vision insurance.
We advertised through town newspapers and flyers posted in the grocery stores, the drug store, the post offices and anywhere else we could post a piece of paper. We also used modern media like Facebook classifieds, our KQLJ-FM Christian radio page and the KQLJ live Facebook feed on Monday afternoon during our live Bible study time, plus the local commercial radio station. The upcoming clinic was also announced during the senior meals in the Musselshell County Central Commons.
As the word spread, the appointments filled and the waiting list grew. We were sad more could not be helped. With God’s help, we pray we can be of service again in the future here in south-central Montana. We want to light up our local community: “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those that come in may see the light. The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light” (Luke 11:34, NKJV).