The Blind Receives Sight through LDS Charities


The Free Eye Expedition held in July 2017 in Benin City (Nigeria) by the LDS Charities, might pass, but it left behind a legacy of restored sight and the conversion of Brother Solomon Agbonkoko, a widower, and retired civil servant.

“I have been living in total darkness.  I had forgotten what light looked like.  It was pure darkness for several years until now.  I did not even know some of my grandchildren by their faces.  It was very bad.   But I thank God for the LDS Church, I can see again.” said Brother Agbonkoko.

According to Dr. Rita Momoh, president of the Benin City branch of the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria, Brother Agbonkoko developed cataracts on his eyes which could have led to absolute blindness.

Brother Solomon believed that God wanted him to see again.  His friends knew that he had lost his sight and that had affected him badly.  When the announcement was made in wards about the free eye clinic, he was informed by his LDS friend.  He reluctantly went to the venue and was surprised at the immediate attention he received, which culminated in the surgery. The LDS charity team brought him home. .

“After the surgery, the church [members] brought me home, blindfolded, in an official bus.  The pain was much, but I prayed to God for comfort.  I slept very well that night. And in the morning when I woke up, I noticed light filtering through the blindfold.  I could not believe it but God had blessed me with my sight again.”

Subsequently, Brother Solomon began to find out more about how the LDS Church could venture into such humanitarian aid to the poor and the needy. He decided to show gratitude by giving members some temporal items. To his amazement, the bishop invited him to meet with the missionaries for gospel discussion and was asked to return home with his items.

“I didn’t know how to thank the [LDS Church] because I stopped going to [my] church long ago. I went to the unit close by to seek advice about what to bring for Thanksgiving, but I was advised by the leader (Bishop) to receive the missionaries instead.  I am now a baptized member of the LDS Church and I feel so happy”.

“Now I read a lot. Among the first things I read after my sight was restored was a pamphlet from the missionaries, who have been visiting me regularly.  I am also reading the Book of Mormon now.”