Connections Through Braille3 min read

“I want people to learn about Jesus even if they can’t see,” said a preschool student at St. John’s Lutheran School in Rochester, Mich., as he pushed a sheet of paper through a Braille press.

Surrounded by his peers in a bustling room in St. John’s basement, this student and over 300 hundred others spent Thursday of National Lutheran Schools week in January learning about and making Christian materials in Braille and Specialized Large Print with staff members from Lutheran Braille Workers.

There are 338 million people throughout the world who are blind or visually impaired. Lutheran Braille Workers, an organization based in California, brings the Word of God in Braille and Specialized Large Print to these people, completely free of charge. LBW partnered with St. John Rochester for a day-long servant event focused on producing Christian materials and raising awareness of visual impairment.

“I didn’t know that Braille is really words you touch,” commented a third grader. Students from preschool to eighth grade colored, printed, typed, or pressed Braille sheets and books and visited stations with a variety of fun activities. Younger students made Braille words with tennis balls and stickers, used slates and styluses to hand punch Braille, and typed on Perkins Braillers. Older students set and pressed the LWML’s devotional book The Mustard Seed, and assembled Specialized Large Print sermons and books. All of the students wrote thank you notes to the hundreds of volunteers at LBW’s Ministry Production Centers throughout the country, where most of the Braille and Large Print materials are made. Students of all ages also “Snacked in the Dark,” an experience in which they were blindfolded and ate without seeing their food. “Not seeing my snack was hard but I kind of get what that must be like,” said one student.

By the end of the day, the students had completed 190 thank you cards, 704 Large Print sermons, 550 Large Print devotionals, 60 pages of Braille for preschoolers, and 160 pages of Braille for The Mustard Seed. These materials will be shipped to individuals who are blind or visually impaired throughout the world.

Rachel Potts, LBW’s Director of Ministry Relations and Strategic Partnerships said, “The theme of National Lutheran Schools Week this year is Connections, and I can’t think of a better way to connect students to Jesus than to make books for people who are visually impaired. These books in turn connect people with visual impairments to Jesus in a format that they can read.”

The day was a blessing to everyone who participated and will continue to bless those who received the books. Special thanks to St. John’s Director of Admissions, Beth Dameron, for coordinating the day, to LBW staff member Jermaine Fortune (who flew from California and wasn’t crazy about the cold), and to St. Paul, Ann Arbor member Madeline Potts for their help in running this amazing event.

If your church or school would like to host a Lutheran Braille Worker event, please contact Rachel Potts at If you or a loved one is Visually Impaired or Blind and would like any of LBW’s Christian materials for free, please contact them at 909.795.8977 or go to the website,

Photos courtesy of LBW

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About the Author

Rachel Potts is the Director of Ministry Relations and Strategic Partnerships for Lutheran Braille Workers

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