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For the Women

The Women’s Health Fair was an incredible success! The women in Grand-Goave are so accustomed to having to fight to survive, but this week they were able to taste a little different experience at MOHI. The team from Bless Back Worldwide worked for months, planning out schedules and activities for this event. We are so grateful to Melissa Roper for leading the plan and the team. Job WELL done!

Edwarde made sure the right people were in the right place at the right time!

Times of Praise and Worship

Each day of the Fair, the women gathered to sing and pray together. They then split into groups and made their rounds to the different rooms. Some of the stations had craft activities, some had short teachings on a variety of health subjects (choking, acid reflux, baby care…) and others involved pampering. Each of the women were seen by a medical professional. Each day focused on women in different times of life, young women, pregnant women, mothers of babies and toddlers, older women, etc.

On the pregnant women’s day, they viewed a film showing the developmental stages of the baby in the womb. Afterwards, they went to see the doctor. One young woman was moved to tears to see her own baby on the monitor while having an ultra sound performed. It was so awesome that the women were able to ask specific questions and really learn about what was happening with their bodies as well as the development of their little ones.

Teaching at the Women’s Health Fair

The Bless Back team came with some pretty neat craft ideas. The first one was VERY practical. They made hand washing stations using an empty 20 oz plastic bottle. It was an ingenious idea and the women were thrilled with them.

Hand Washing Stations

I was really moved by the picture below. This woman is painting a fan to take home with her. She has probably never held a paint brush in her life. This was such a treat for all the women. Many of them had to watch the team members and get some help from them. Something Americans have been doing since nursery school is an extra special moment in the lives of many of these women. They all got to take their handiwork home. It’s not only useful, but it will also hold much sentimental value for them.

Painting a Fan

The women enjoyed all of the craft projects, but I think their very favorite was on the first day when they made tote bags from used tee shirts. Throughout the week I noticed so many of the women had put them to use and brought them to the Fair with them.

Crafts including beaded spheres, flower arrangements and tote bags made from old tees.

The pampering room was a very special place, where the women were treated as the special ladies they are. Manis and pedis were the order of the day. There was also haircare and makeup on the agenda. How wonderful to feel the love of others AND go home looking GOOD!

The Pampering Room

No event is complete without food. Amitane and several of the women at MOHI prepared a meal each day for the women. Mary Alice and Georgia also made sure there were plenty of snacks available for everyone.

Mary Alice and Georgia making sure there’s food and snacks for everyone

The Bless Back team also came prepared to work with children each day. They had story times, crafts and other learning opportunities, as well as singing and playing. The Roper family and Pete did an amazing job keeping these little ones hopping – sometimes literally! I particularly loved the time they spent with books, both in the yard and in the villages each day.

Activities for the children

Jackson was able to carry books to the soccer field for the kids there to have a “library” time.

We (the Edme family) left Haiti together with the Bless Back team on Saturday. We have a lot of traveling on the horizon. We were so blessed to be welcomed into Wayne and Patsy Fish’s home last night. We had a wonderful summer meal (including our all time favorite, New England corn on the cob!) with many of our friends who had come to MOHI in Haiti previously. We were thrilled to finally meet Theo Rameau in person. He’s all of 3 months old and absolutely beautiful! Unfortunately, I was so busy enjoying him that I forgot to take a picture. Oops!

This morning we joined them at the Congregational Church of West Newbury, MA. Pastor Kevin and his fiance, Cindy were so kind to us and we enjoyed sharing with the congregation about the work they are accomplishing in Haiti through their regular support. It’s such a great experience for us to be able to visit with our supporters and encourage them with stories from Haiti.

Pastor Lex at the Congregational Church of West Newbury this morning

Pastor Kevin and Cindy will be married soon, on August 16th!

This trip to the States is a milestone for our family, as Alexis will be staying behind in Tulsa. We have so enjoyed the last 14 years in Haiti. Our Haitian friends have known our kids since they were very young. They sure have changed a bit!

A little bit of change over 14 years!

Thank you for taking the time to keep up with our activities. Please do remember us all in prayer. Leah is in Haiti. The mission will continue functioning without our physical presence. We trust our time in the States will be productive and blessed. Thank you!

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