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January 8, 2023

Our friends in Haïti miss the hundreds of visitors that used to come each year. They ask for you and send greetings.

Our hearts are so often stirred for those who visit the medical clinic. Seeing how they have been suffering can be very difficult. And yet what a joy it is to see hope light up someone's eyes when they learn there's a solution to their problem.

Likewise, in the dental clinic, one after another after another, they come in search of relief, and they find it. Praise the Lord!

There are those, too, who come looking for physical relief and also find spiritual life. They can be seen worshipping the Lord with us on a Sunday morning or in an evening service.

Many of those in these services are also students at MOHI schools. Back from Christmas break, the students are ready to work hard again.

What a blessing it is to feed the babies. Good nutrition early in life can significantly impact a child's whole life. Severe malnourishment can cause rickets, physically disabling a child. It can also cause brain malformations, permanent damage, and learning disabilities. Each spoonful of food consumed by these little ones serves up hope.

What a joy for Lex and me to welcome our friend, Lenny Haley, to Luperòn! Lenny will be working with our crew to build beds for our guests coming next week.

A wonderful time was experienced at church this morning.

I especially enjoy seeing the effort the women in the church put forth to praise the Lord with joyful singing!

Lex absolutely LOVES visiting the little village in Imbert. I'm pretty sure I know why.

Whenever the boys see him coming, they begin shouting, "Mbappé! Mbappé!"

Now for those of you not so well-versed in the world of soccer - Kylian Mbappé is one of the top goal scorers on France's national team.

Although Lex is a good soccer player, the Lord chose to use his whole life (rather than just his soccer finesse) to make a difference in the lives of children like these. He may not have the fame of Mbappé, but Lex knows very well whose he is, and he rejoices that his name is written in the Lamb's book of life.

We met Cheryl "Chel" Finn when she joined a team that visited us in Haiti about 15 years ago. She has returned to Haiti many times through the years, often leading teams. I asked her to share her thoughts with you after spending time with me in Luperòn...

Comparisons, comparisons. We live our life comparing things, scenarios, even people. Gas here is $3.49 a gallon/across town is $3.30. This house is so beautifully decorated/that one looks so plain. This person always brings a smile to my face/that person drains the energy from my body! I’m relatively certain that I’m not the only one who compares! I’m pretty sure I’m in good company! We tend to make things an “either/or” choice. How does this relate to my recent time in Luperon? Ahhh…read on…

I think God was asking me to make this a “both/and” experience. Many of you reading have traveled to Grand Goave, Thozin, St. Etienne, Ti Paradis, and the surrounding villages. You’ve seen the physical and medical needs of the communities there. You’ve listened to stories, and eased pain and suffering in many ways. But you also had some of your own pain and suffering eased by your journey. You returned different. Changed. A kinder, grateful, appreciative version of your prior self. Having shared in the ministry of MOHI in Haiti over the past several years, I knew I was likely going to find myself comparing things. I know “what to do” in Haiti, am familiar with the region, the foods, the housing, the faces, and enough Kreyol to roughly get by.

The Luperon Mission would be different. There would be different housing, different needs, no familiar faces, different language, different physical, spiritual, and medical needs. My guess is that many of you miss Haiti. I understand. But maybe this is the way that Jesus makes His body a bit bigger? I’m grateful that God put me quickly at ease with the reminder found in 1 Corinthians, “12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.” (1 Cor 12:12-14)

My experiences while at the Luperon Mission showed me that people are people, and I needn’t worry about comparing Haiti to the Dominican Republic. We all want to be loved and share love, to be well, provide for those whom we care for, to work at meaningful labor, to come to a knowledge of the why we are here and what comes next. We are the same. We are one body in Christ. The blessings of this trip: time to think, to write, to pray, to learn about this people, this area, it’s history and current state and how to best hear where the Holy Spirit is moving next.

Trust me, the MOHI folks are working hard on putting things in place to provide a safe, restful home base, access to the culture of the region, establishing and investing time in building relationships that will only grow stronger while benefitting others with better access to education, medical and spiritual encouragement and support, connecting more and more members, each strengthening the other.

Maybe it is time for you to consider a trip to Luperon? Time to learn another culture, to share stories, to grow in the body of Christ. Probably time to go and dig out and dust off your passport… God bless, +Chel

I can be contacted by email at renee@mohintl. Please reach out with questions about traveling with us to Luperòn, child sponsorship, or projects. Thank you for your prayers and support.


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