The Amazing Dr. Youngerman

For many years I took 60+ member medical teams down to very remote parts of Honduras……..doctors, nurses, dentists, optometrists, pharmacists and just willing volunteers.  We treated multitudes of people who had never seen a doctor or dentist or had access to a pharmacist or optometrist and probably never would for the rest of their life.  We would usually set-up in a school that would let-out for the one or two days that we were there.  Many times, out in the jungle, it would only have a dirt floor.

Crowds Waiting to See Dr. Youngerman

This old optometrist went with us on every group that I took down there. He was very competent and extremely effective. Among his clientele in the Dallas area was a large group of airline pilots. He would give them eye exercises to strengthen and adjust their vision so that they would be able to keep flying without needing glasses. In his office he had all the optometrist’s lenses and instruments, but he really did not need them. He could write a very accurate prescription for glasses without having to use all those instruments.

Dr. Youngerman looked just like his name sounds, very German, fairly short, even down to the little goatee.  Most times he was my only optometrist. He was just incredible under all manner of hardships and circumstances.

I had an engineer friend who worked at Bell Helicopter. He had an instrument that could read the prescription in any pair of donated glasses. He would spend all year going through thousands of pairs of donated glasses and affixing their prescriptions to each one. I don’t think he ever went with us on the trips, but he was so very helpful.

We would take the glasses down in suitcases on the plane and wherever the eye clinic was, a group of lady volunteers would open the suitcases in a room next to where Dr. Youngerman was doing his work in his cubical that we would make for him. He would have each patient take the prescription that he wrote for them in to the ladies and they would search until they found the right prescription. Then before the patient left, we had a lady with a device for heating the plastic frames of the glasses to fit them properly to the patient’s head. If the glasses were wire frames the lady could just bend them to a proper fit.

But here is what I want to tell you about.  On the very first trip down there, after working is some very remote spots, we did our clinic in a school in the central area of the town of Tela.  It is the port from which United Fruit ships its bananas out to all over the world.  At Tela and its whole surrounding area there is only one doctor.  He has one little hospital, but is not set-up to do operations or even close to any kind of sophisticated medical work…..not even one real Registered Nurse.

However, as we ended that trip in Tela, we ran out of reading glasses, completely. And you know that is what most patients need. Later, we learned to buy enough reading glasses so that we would never run out again. We brought plenty of reading glasses, but that did not help us at that moment on that first trip.

I never knew how religious Dr. Youngeman was. I never knew what church he went to or if he ever went at all, but here is what he did. After they ran out, he went into the room with the suitcases of glasses and called all the lady volunteers together. He did not have any prayer with them. He just told them: “Ladies, I am going to keep writing prescriptions for reading glasses, and I want you to search in all these suitcases of glasses and see if you can find just one more pair.” And he just waked out.

Well, the rest of that day and for the next two days, each time, they kept finding just one more pair, all day long…..for real. It got so “spooky” for the ladies that they would not even talk about it. Folks, I consider that a real, tangible manifestation of God’s power and intervention.

But that is not the end of that story. Dr. Youngerman was a member of a men’s service club that met every month in downtown Dallas. As you know, they usually have speakers at those meetings.

A few years later, as program chairman, Dr. Youngerman asked me to come be the speaker for one of their meetings. Of course, I told those men about the reading glasses and what happened, and they were very amazed.

However, after the meeting, Dr. Youngerman took me aside after everyone else had left and said: “That is not the most amazing thing that happened that day on that trip.” So, after saying “really”, I asked him to explain. He related how that morning the mayor of that town had come in to get his eyes checked. Dr. Youngerman wanted to make a good impression on the mayor, for he knew that we needed permission to show the Jesus Film on the main square in that town, and that we also wanted permission to show it in their high school one night, also.

So, Dr. Youngeman related how he proceeded to check the Mayor’s eyes.  And he said that in his whole career he could not remember ever having a patient with so many unusual and difficult problems with their eyes……just a mass of problems. He told the Mayor that he was going to go ahead and write him a prescription, but that he doubted that he could get such a prescription filled anywhere in Honduras, that he would probably have to go somewhere like Miami, Florida. The Mayor thanked him and went out. So, I asked what was so spectacular about that.

Then Dr. Youngerman related how after lunch he was walking through the room with all the suitcases of glasses and happened to glance over at one suitcase with a very long strip of paper attached to one of the glasses. It was the long prescription that the Bell Helicopter engineer had written for it. Dr. Youngerman said that when he read down it, every single item, verbatim, was exactly the prescription that he had written for the Mayor. He had them call the Mayor to come back. He put the glasses on the Mayor, and he could see perfectly. He went out praising those amazing Americans.

Dr. Youngerman said: “Ronald, you would have to be in my business to realize the sheer, almost impossible mathematical possibility of that ever happening by accident.”  So, I found out how what I considered God’s spirit power was once again manifested in actual, tangible form when it was needed in that remote place. 

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