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Blind Man Ministered to Thousands

My Uncle Greig suffered from diabetes. Diagnosed as a youngster, the disease progressively worsened until he lost his sight as an adult. At the time he became blind, Greig had been married eight years and had two daughters. He had been working as a nurse, but his blindness cost him the job. Although his wife, Sondra, worked as an elementary teacher, they still lost their house and car.

The couple had confessed faith in Christ as young people, but they had been far from God for years. The loss of Greig's sight only seemed to distance them further from God and one another. Greig went into a deep depression. He abused prescription drugs. He tried to commit suicide four times.

In 1976, he finally hit bottom. As a result, Greig renewed his relationship with God and promised to follow him. Shortly after, Greig accepted an invitation to sing at a Christian conference. He had to coax Sondra into driving him there. He then convinced her to sing with him. Sondra was afraid they would be struck dead for hypocrisy; they'd been living for themselves and apart from God for so long. But that night, Greig told the truth about his life: this blind man told everyone that now he could see. Sondra and the audience were amazed. People came forward to commit their lives to Christ.

The Beukema Family music ministry was born. They traveled all over the United States and Europe singing of God's love. They did TV and radio broadcasts and recorded albums in Nashville, Tennessee. Over the years, they worked and became friends with some of the top Christian and country music stars of the day. Greig's theme song was "He's Changing Me." Everywhere he went, Greig told the story of God's transforming grace and redeeming love. His was not the greatest voice, but God used him to touch thousands of lives.

In 1987, still in his mid-40s, the illness took its toll on Greig. He suffered three heart attacks, a stroke, and kidney failure in his last few months of life. Struggling with intense pain and no longer able to sing, Greig finally died. But not before he spent 11 years testifying of the God who had changed him. As Greig loved to sing, "Once I was blind, but now I see."

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