Eye On Central Minnesota

Eye On Central Minnesota

By Lori Peglow

Message from the CMC President


I would like to share with you an analogy/illustration that may be very apropos for many of us.  First, however, let me share a portion of Old Testament history with you.  The Children of Israel were in Babylon.  They thought their nation of Israel was gone.  They saw themselves as merely existing, and felt little hope.

The prophet Ezekiel, in chapter 37:1-14 shared a vision with them.  The vision was of a valley of dry bones.  As the vision continued, the dry bones were connected; they were fleshed out with muscle, tendons, and covered with skin.  Finally, the Lord breathed life into them.  In this message from Ezekiel, the people were reassured that the nation of Israel would be re-established.  They would again be a people with a mission, and God’s Spirit would again rest upon them (37:10, 14).  In and with the power of God’s Word, and once again recognizing and acknowledging God’s presence they would find life and hope.  And that dear friends is what we need to do as well; to look to God’s Word and there find life and hope.  God’s powerful Word is able to accomplish the miracle of giving life to dead, dry bones!  He does not leave us to fend for ourselves, or devise our own strategies. 

A friend of mine, the other day shared a story that I feel is very fitting for us as blind people.  He was moving a rather heavy box in his garage and underneath it was a small squashed dry sponge, hard and brittle.  Amazingly, when he placed it in a pail and began to add some water, the sponge began to soak up that needed moisture and began to expand and “come alive again.”  Sometimes when we are experiencing life’s problems, like blindness, we might feel like that sponge, all squashed and dry — hard and brittle.  But when God splashes on us the water of life, we can again feel wet and alive! 

Sometimes, when you and I hear the pronouncement of blindness, we feel that meaningful life is gone.  We exist and lack hope for the future.  It is in those times we need to be reassured of God’s presence.  We need to direct our energies towards what we can do, rather than focus on what we cannot do.  With God’s help, and with the support and encouragement of others, we again can see life, and feel alive.  There are many resources out there, such as the NFB, State Services for the Blind and St. Cloud Workforces to help us in that journey.  We can learn new skills, develop our talents and abilities, and life can be meaningful for us again.


The journey is a process, but each step on that journey is a step towards our development and growth.  May God be with each one of us, as we work with the persons and resources He provides for us.  God Bless!

CMC President

Rev. Ron Mahnke

Meet Members of the CMCNFB

Bev Stavrum

Bev Stavrum has been a member of the CMNFB for over three years.  She is also the secretary for the chapter.  Bev and her husband Bob live in the Clearwater area.  They have a son, Robert Jr. and a daughter, Isabella.  Bev and Bob have also been raising foster children for over seven years. 

Bev and her family attend St. Luke’s church in Clearwater.  Bev is also a member on the NFB of Minnesota board of directors.  She attends the State annual, semi-annual and the National NFB conventions.  Bev and her family have been instrumental in organizing and working the annual brat sales in the St. Cloud and Clearwater area that raise funds for the CMNFB chapter.

In 1997, Bev was diagnosed with a rare eye disease called angloid streaks, and was declared legally blind.  Bev and her family enjoy camping and raising foster kids.  Another of her hobbies is that Bev loves to read.  Bev gets many books each month from the Braille and Talking Book Library in Faribault.  She also has both the audio and the CD players from the Library that help her with her reading.  Bev also uses JAWS and Zoom Text on her computer.  She uses a CCTV for magnifying print.  

Bev’s advice for people who are sight impaired is to get connected with a support system.  There are a number of agencies and avenues of support such as the State Services for the Blind and the NFB, including your local chapters of the NFB. 

These organizations help blind people connect with other blind people.

Ron Mahnke

We want to ask that you remember Ron Mahnke over the next few weeks.  Ron suffered a fall early in the summer.  He has had surgery and has been at Good Samaritan recovering and having physical therapy.  Ron hopes to be discharged soon.

Virden Memorial Scholarship

We want to remind you that the Andy Virden Memorial Scholarship is available.  A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student attending St. Cloud State University who is involved in community service and is visually impaired or the child of a visually impaired parent.  To inquire about the scholarship, please contact Robert Beumer at SCSU at 320-308-3716.

To make a contribution to the scholarship fund visit www.stcloudstate.edu/foundation/waystogive.