Recently, from Nov. 15 to Dec. 13, 2022, I visited Vietnam with the purpose of engaging directly with the Retinopathy of Prematurity Vietnam (ROPVN) team and assessing the situation in the aftermath of the Covid-19 epidemic.
I felt God’s divine grace come upon me as my “Masters of Managing Blindness,” Nguyen Quoc Phong and Tran Ba Thien, sat at the table with me, enjoying Vietnamese coffee.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Dec. 10, 2015: Global Mission and Service worker Grace Mishler receives an urgent email from the American Eye Center medical director: “We need your help to find donors…. Within 10 days Baby Hoa will go blind with Retinopathy of Prematurity. Baby needs immediate surgery.”
On Nov. 18, 2015, Thien An Blind School of Ho Chi Minn City, Vietnam, hosted a one-day training for 30 sociology students as a part of Service Learning at the University of Humanities and Social Sciences. Participating in this training day were Grace Mishler, a Church of the Brethren member who serves in Vietnam with Global Mission and Service; her program assistant Nguyen Xuan; and program trainee Nguyen Thi My Huyen.
On Nov. 8, 2015, Grace Mishler, a Church of the Brethren member and a Global Mission and Service worker in Ho Chi Minh City, was honored for her work with disabled persons by Vietnamese government officials. Selected individuals from the southern region of Vietnam were recognized for their contributions to the disabled community including blind and partially sighted persons, the area of Mishler’s expertise.
Nguyen Thi Thu Thao, age 24, died Easter morning, April 5. She held a degree from Ho Chi Minh City University of Agriculture and Forestry. She battled for seven years with thyroid cancer, kidney disease, and eye pain.
On Friday, Jan. 30, the English Communication Skills Class at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, had the pleasure of celebrating Ms. Grace Mishler’s and Miss Lan’s birthdays in the classroom. Our guest, Grace Mishler, took center stage as the 12 students in attendance introduced themselves. She is a Social Work Project Developer at the university.
Nam is one of the amazing blind students at Thien An Blind School. He is easy going and optimistic. He was awarded as an excellent student in the first semester of this school year. Every day, he goes to school together with other students and he is a group leader.
The first event of International Cane Awareness Day in Vietnam occurred in October 2011, at Nguyen Dinh Chieu Blind School, Ho Chi Minh City. An overall theme was chosen for this event: “The white-tipped cane is an adaptive, functional cane used by blind persons, which alerts people to give priority to the person using the cane.”
On Sept. 3, 2013, the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH) Faculty of Social Work received boxes containing the first 1,000 copies of the Vietnamese translation of “Coping with Physical Loss and Disability Workbook,” written by Rick Ritter, M.S.W., who has been part of Lincolnshire Church of the Brethren in Indiana. The book was published by Youth Publisher, Ho Chi Minh City.