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Melissa Roper from Bless Back Worldwide shared this: “This picture from Haiti is the pay off for our 46 teaching sessions this past week! The lady in red, while waiting for the clinic, took her book of handouts and began to share what she had learned with a new friend beside her. At Bless Back, we know that long-term change is not easy or fast, but this is how it starts- one family at a time. Thank you to this team for the hard work poured out to bring hope and health to our friends in Grand Goave!”

This is EXACTLY what we hoped for !

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” -1 Corinthians 3:6 (KJV)

Planting is hard work. In a garden we get very dirty working. We don’t want people to see us all dirty and sweaty, but we feel good about the work that we’ve done and hopeful that in the end it will produce a hearty harvest of food. We’ve planted many gardens here in Haiti, but watermelons are our favorite. Lex watches over the garden and begins counting how many watermelons there are as they appear. He knows when they disappear and he has a pretty good idea of which kids are helping themselves. Forty years ago he was that kid, so he’s pretty lenient with them. When the watermelons start ripening, he starts giving them away. He enjoys eating them, but he really enjoys the pleasure of others getting to eat them.

General sessions included times of prayer, worship and teaching.

This week, Bless Back Worldwide put on our second women’s health fair. It was hard work, that began right after last year’s fair, and intensified a few months ago. This event involves a lot of plowing and planting. The entire week is focused on teaching. The hope is that the teaching will have a lasting effect in the lives of these women and will be passed along to others.

“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require.” -1 Corinthians 12:21-24a

Most of us want to be used by the Lord in a spectacular and glorious way. It’s truly wonderful when that happens. At the same time, there is a lot of not-so-glorious work we can do that reaps long-lasting and even eternal rewards. I often think of the woman who sponsored Lex so that he could go to school. That one act totally changed his life, but it has now impacted thousands of others’ lives, as well. The work the Bless Back team did this week is that kind of work. Many lives will be impacted through the knowledge that they have shared.

Classes were well attended and inspiring at the women’s health fair.


Here are some pictures from this week’s activities:

Medical missionaries from Bless Back Worldwide were definitely a blessing this week!

Craft time was exciting and the women loved taking their handiwork home with them.

A little pampering for the ladies

Dr. Rick Van Gurp and his daughters Katie and Anna were a blessing to many – especially those with tooth pain!

Kid’s Camp!

Meal Time is always a favorite!

Puzzle Time! Who could resist?


The highlight of the week was the birth of Mireille’s baby on Friday. It was an interesting event as Mireille came to the morning sessions at the women’s health fair. She sat through the first round of teaching without expressing any concern that she was in labor. When her group was dismissed to go wait for their turn in the clinic, Mireille went right over and sat down. Melissa saw her and noticed that she was holding her belly and wincing. She still didn’t make any kind of a scene.

Melissa sits with Mireille, not sure how much time she had before the baby would arrive.


Dr. Bruce did an examination and found that she was already 7 cm dilated. Definitely time to be at the hospital. A ride was called for her and Melissa went out to help her get on the motorcycle. As Mireille started to get on the motorcycle, she realized that she might be taken more quickly at the hospital if she had paperwork with her. Melissa took off running to get the paperwork from Dr. Emmanuel. She returned with Dr. Deb Warren, an Obstetrician from Charlotte. Within five seconds of her arrival at the mission’s front gate, she reached out and caught the baby as she was born right under the “Welcome to Mission of Hope International” sign.

Debbie Warren arrived just in time to catch this lovely bundle.

The baby girl was scooted away into the medical clinic where Josh Russ was ready to receive her and make sure that all was well – which it was. Many of you who have visited us in Haiti would recognize the baby’s brothers Kendy and Stanley. It was an exciting day for the whole family and the entire mission in general. We are grateful for the perfect timing of the birth and that our friends from Bless Back Worldwide were here and ready to help.

Josh Russ, PA was quick to make sure the baby was healthy right after her birth.


This week was the first birthday of a special little girl. Nyah is Gama and Angela Parayson’s daughter. We’re so glad they’re back in Haiti and that we have been able to enjoy both Nyah and Nathan this past month.

Happy 1st Birthday to Nyah Renee Parayson!


It has been very HOT in Haiti. When we saw Alexis’ post on Facebook, we all laughed as we related to the point she was conveying.

Alexis posted on Facebook what we’ve all been feeling this month!


My family and I are preparing to head back to the States this week. We hope to see many of you at the Soulfest in Gilford, NH!!! We will be bringing our children to their new homes, too. Alexis will be living with family in Gardner, MA and attending Mt. Wachusett Community College this school year. AJay will be living in Belmont, MA and attending Minuteman High School in Lexington. This is another HUGE change for our family. I am so grateful for our friends Paul and Cheryl Minor, who have offered to open their homes and their hearts to AJay. I must admit that I am not entirely thrilled that BOTH of my children will be away from home, but I know the Lord has a good plan for them and I believe that HE will continue to care for them. Would you please remember to pray for our family whenever we come to your mind? Thank you!

Lex and I will be in the States for about 6 weeks. We’d love to touch base with you. Pleasecontact us to set up a time to get together. Thank you!

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