Story by Theresa Wilson and Karen Weaver, 1st photo by Theresa Wilson, 2nd by Beata Wozna
Prisila was born into a world of colour. She could gaze at the Pacific waters surrounding her small island home of Patexux and see the coconut palms swaying against the vibrant blue or cloudy skies. She could watch stunning sunsets on the horizon and sailing canoes as they pushed over the breaking waves of the reef edges.
However, through her growing years an undiagnosed eye condition robbed her of this colourful world and eventually Prisila was forced to drop out of school.
Things began to change for her when translation and literacy workshops were started by Beata Wozna and Theresa Wilson. When others attended, Prisila came and listened. As the group was divided up to play literacy games, individuals would say to Theresa, “I malang, i pulaxa,” which means “She can’t, she’s blind.”
With Theresa’s previous experience teaching the visually impaired, she knew that Prisila could in fact do a huge amount and should not be pushed aside. She invited Prisila to participate and encouraged the others to help her participate too. Prisila’s involvement and learning with the group soon brought back her beautiful smile and her lost confidence.
Prisila quickly found ways to help others in spite of her loss of vision. She encouraged primary school children in reading, contributed stories about village life to make new reading books, and blended her beautiful singing voice in the wonderful harmonies of Seimat Scripture songs composed in recent years. In addition, she rose to the challenge of joining in a puppet drama for Sunday school children.
On the day of the dedication of the Seimat New Testament, Prisila was one of two young people chosen to open the boxes of New Testaments. She wouldn’t be able to remember the sight of the event, but she would remember opening and holding up God’s book.
In the months and years after the dedication, Priscilla listened attentively while adults and school children held reading competitions and while the Scriptures were read aloud during weekly church services. One Sunday she astounded all the listeners as she clearly and fluently recited a long passage of Scripture from memory.
Undeterred by her loss of sight, Prisila continues to show her concern for others and to use her keen mind and musical talent to bring colour to her island community today.