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CBN.com Roy Sasscer was going blind. His wife Melanie was the first to notice his declining vision.
“He would bump his head on something very often like kitchen cabinets -- something anybody could see is open,” she says. “To me that said there is a problem here, but Roy lived in denial for a long time.”
Soon the grim reality would be undeniable, even to Roy. After an accident on his job as an aviation mechanic, Roy’s supervisor demanded that he see a doctor. The diagnosis was devastating.
“He said, ‘You don’t just have a mild case. You have an extreme case of retinitis pignentosa,’” recalls Roy.
Retinitis pigmentosa – a progressive deterioration of retinal rods that leads to complete blindness. Roy had long feared this incurable genetic disease that had taken his mother’s sight.
“What happens is you start to lose your peripheral vision to the point that you have tunnel vision,” says Roy. “When the tunnel gets so fine, you start to lose your central vision as well. The prognosis wasn’t good.”
“There’s no cure. There’s no treatment. There’s no magic surgery,” says Melanie. “There’s nothing that can be done for this.”
As Roy’s vision worsened, he lost the ability to do even the simplest things.
“I couldn’t drive anymore,” says Roy. “I was losing my vision so quick [that] I was having problems with just about everything in my life.”
Roy’s son, Josh, remembers what else Daddy couldn’t do.
“He couldn’t play football, because he couldn’t see the ball to catch it,” says Josh.
Melanie remembers, “Josh would ask, ‘Daddy, can you come play catch with me? Can you play football with me?’ He couldn’t, and it would just make me cry.”
As the months passed, Roy’s hope dimmed with his eyesight.
“I was seeking the Lord’s guidance, just saying, ‘Lord, if this is my lot, if this is what I am to deal with, just show me what You want me to do.’”
Roy could no longer work so he returned to college with plans to attend seminary. Church members drove him to and from school. Some church friends were praying for a miracle.
Lynn, a friend of the family, recalls, “I was praying for healing. I just believe that God does miracles, and I was praying for a miracle for him.”
Roy says, “I still felt very out of control, but I felt God was saying, ‘I’ve got you, I’ve got you under control. Don’t worry.’”
Melanie also pressed through her own discouragement.
“We had to go through some counseling just to cope emotionally, to learn how to deal with this because it’s a loss,” she says. “You have a loss, and you are grieving for what you don’t have anymore.”
But Melanie distinctly remembers the day she received new hope. It was during her daily devotions as she prayed about taking a missions trip to Africa.
“I just opened up my Bible where my bookmark happened to be for that day, and it was in John 9 where Jesus healed the blind man,” says Melanie. “Jesus put the mud on his eyes, and He said, ‘Go wash this off, and he was healed.’ As I read those words, God just spoke to me, ‘Today, you do this with Roy, and I will heal him. This will be your confirmation that I have a mighty work to do in Africa.”
But how could she convince Roy to let her put mud in his eyes?
She recalls, “He laughed out loud and said, ‘Not the mud on the eyes thing. Can’t we do it tomorrow? I’m so tired.’”
Melanie was adamant and in spite of his initial protests, Roy eventually agreed.
“So I got the dirt, and when Roy wasn’t looking, I spat in it," Melanie says. "We didn’t have a pool, so I said, ‘We’ll get some water from our fountain here too and mix it in.’ We prayed, and I knew that God was going to do this.”
When Melanie rinsed the mud from Roy’s eyes…
“I saw something,” says Roy. “I saw her, and I saw things. I was in disbelief. She said, ‘What do you see different?’ I said, ‘Let’s go inside. I think something is going on.’
“We walked inside, and I was just ecstatic. I could see two walls at one time. I could see her and the ceiling. I had it all. Just like that. We were laughing and crying and screaming and dancing. It was incredible.”
Melanie says, “You’ve been healed. God has done a miracle. We called everybody."
One of those people was Dee, a family friend. She says, “You almost can’t believe it. You’ve been praying for this. You trust God for things, but yet when He answers, why are we so stunned?”
Lynn recalls, “It’s just awesome. I love it when God does something really great. It cannot be denied. Nobody can deny this healing.”
The next morning, Roy shared the news with his children. “My son Josh just couldn’t control it. He was bouncing, saying, ‘Daddy can drive! Daddy can drive!’”
Tests to measure Roy’s field of vision done before and after that night show that Roy did indeed recover his sight. But the real proof? Well, just watch Roy get around today. You’ll probably find him playing a game of catch with his son or driving. He had to play Mr. Mom when Melanie left for that missions trip to Africa.
Their pastor says, “There is something kind of surreal about it, because he looked like the same person. Here’s this guy who has been medically diagnosed with an incurable eye disease, and now all of a sudden he’s just going about his business like you and me.”
Along the way to his healing, Roy says he discovered his real life’s calling. “God's saying, ‘I want you to be a pastor. I want you to affect people’s lives.’”
But Roy says he’s just an ordinary guy with an extraordinary God.
“There is nothing that God cannot do," says Roy. “Whatever the problem is, don’t limit God.”
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