by Alex Boesch, Student Public Relations Writer
A servant heart, along with an Amazon Alexa, has provided a retired, blind professor all he needs to serve the sight-impaired community.
Dr. Ed Greenwood, who currently lives in Springfield, Ohio, served as an English professor at Cedarville University before retiring in 1989.
Blindness had been creeping up on Greenwood, especially in his final years at the university. His sight worsened following his retirement, resulting in nearly total blindness by 2004.
“It was expected by that point but still a new reality to face,” he said.
“I did not know exactly how I would manage my life,” he continued. “I felt like I was wandering in the wilderness the first couple of years.”
In 2007, he was invited to the VA Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, to receive five weeks of practical life training for the blind.
“I gained a good deal of confidence,” he mentioned. “They taught me how to use the computer with special software and a number of other things I still use today, allowing me to be independent.”
Despite the challenges, Greenwood replaced his vision with God’s ability to see. “I had to call on the Lord for help,” he said. “And help was always there. He would always supply someone at the right time to help me clear my plate or complete other tasks. I can rely on Him.”
Years later, at 96 years old, Greenwood still uses technology to manage his needs and make an impact in the lives of others in similar situations.
“By some providential working, I was able to connect with another blind individual in my retirement home,” he said. “We got talking, and I discovered that he was a believer interested in Scripture.”
The man began to repeatedly bring questions to Greenwood about the Bible, respecting his years of experience reading Scripture and studying additional literature. This led to now months of weekly Bible study meetings between the pair, starting in November 2021.
“Similar to me, he has been through blindness, military service and loss of a spouse,” he noted. “Spiritual growth is difficult under those circumstances. I am glad we can walk toward the Lord together.”
Greenwood uses an Amazon Alexa to prepare for the meetings, asking the voice assistant to read Scripture, define words, check dates and more.
“Sometimes we listen to Alexa together and can pause it to discuss particular sections or verses,” he explained.
Even years after retirement, Greenwood still embodies one of Cedarville’s core values: Excellence in effort. The extra effort Greenwood gives, due to his blindness, to facilitate a successful Bible study with his friend continues to bear fruit.
“The interest he shows is remarkable,” said Greenwood. “He comes up with all sorts of meaningful questions. It is astounding how much information he absorbs from Scripture. I am thankful to the Lord for his responses.”
When asked for what advice he would give other blind individuals, Greenwood said: “Keep on praying and ask the Lord to give you the kind of wisdom you need to deal with problems in your blindness. Pray for help in the little, simple things, and God will be present in the big moments too.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,715 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in English, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.