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It's A Lot

Sunday, March 17, 2024


We have a very urgent need today. Please click here to learn more and to help.


The week started out with some exciting activities in the Dominican Republic. “START NOW Early Childhood Intervention” began feeding the registered babies in La Grúa and Baraguana. Kudos to our staff, Ben, Marlouse, and Nounoune, for their enthusiasm and hard work. Feeding babies isn’t easy, but it’s important and rewarding!



I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but feeding people – especially children – is one of Pastor Lex’s all-time favorite things in the world! He can’t do it on his own, though. “It takes a village.”


Bless Back Worldwide provides vitamins for all the participants. Our baby sponsors are providing funds to purchase food. Nounoune, who cooked for all our guests in January and February, puts her amazing cooking skills to work. Ben loads everything up, drives it to the villages, sets up, reports to us, and takes pictures. Nurse Marlouse coordinates with everyone involved. Women in the village help to serve the babies. Moms and caregivers make sure the babies are there. What a great team effort!!!



Both babies and moms rave about how delicious the food is. What better way to ensure that needed nutrition makes its way into their bellies?


Everyone is excited and honestly a bit surprised to see this feeding program’s debut.


Some moms didn’t bother to sign their children up. Having their hopes dashed so many times, they didn’t even hope it would happen. This is why one of our hard and fast rules for our visitors is NOT to make promises! Even a little promise, when broken, hurts. But what a thrill when a blessing comes unexpectedly!


Even the people from the community who are not directly involved are happy about START NOW. One person shared, “I welcome this program because some parents really have nothing to give the children in the morning. Sometimes they give them some soda along with a piece of bread or a bag of candy.” This is heartbreaking to hear, but it also shows us how much these communities will benefit from the nutrition and education START NOW provides.


START NOW is only partially funded right now. We have sponsored 14 of the 32 registered babies. More babies are waiting in the wings. We need more sponsors before we can register them. If you haven’t yet, please sponsor a baby now while it’s on your mind.


It's great to see Marlouse connecting with the babies, the mamas, and the grandparents!


Pastor Lex was excited to meet with a dozen pastors from around Luperón one evening. Aquilina, the business academy coach in training, organized and hosted the event for us. The pastors were happy to hear about MOHI’s mission and ways that we can come alongside them and offer support to their ministries.



They were also excited to hear that clean drinking water was coming right from the tap. Now they’re all praying for the LORD to provide the same for their neighborhoods.


Which brings us to some exciting news. We ordered a water system for La Grúa!!! Hats off to our friends at New England Chapel for spreading the word and raising the funds so quickly and to each of you who donated. You never know who is just waiting to hear you tell them how they can help.



 

Most of our friends (Chel, I know you’re the exception!) get pretty excited about the possibility of catching mango season when they go on a Hope Encounter with us in the Dominican Republic. While they are good, I was very disappointed to discover they don’t seem to grow “Mango Fransik” in the Puerto Plata area. I never had a taste for mango until I discovered Mango Fransik. They are large, firm, not terribly stringy, and oh-so sweet and flavorful. Our friends from Sri Lanka planted the tree you see here.



Mango trees produce a LOT of mangos. We used to joke that Haitians would never starve because of the abundance of mangoes. I remember coming home to Alexis one Saturday evening, sick and vomiting. Our investigation showed that our mango-loving-little-girl hadn’t eaten anything but mangoes all day – and more than one or two!


Today, however, I am not amused about mangoes. People need more than mangoes to eat.


90% of the food consumed in Haiti is imported. Shipping containers going into Haiti all go to the main seaport in Port-au-Prince, which violent gangs now control. The containers waiting to pass through customs have been looted. No ships are carrying containers to Haiti, for no one dares to risk losing a container.


We have food waiting to ship. We don’t know when it'll be safe to ship.


Right now, we need prayers and funds for MOHI to serve our friends in Haiti. I don’t know how to fix Haiti, and I honestly don’t have the emotional fortitude to even consider it. Even if all the mango trees in Haiti were ready for harvesting, it wouldn’t be enough to sustain 13 million people living in Haiti – and as I’ve already established, people can’t live on mangoes alone.


We have a thousand or so people in Grand-Goave that we know personally and that we have been investing in for years. Let's start by making a difference in their lives.


Pastor Lex made his way to Haiti Thursday. On Friday he spoke with me about the dire situation in Haiti. One would think that the Prime Minister saying he would resign would make things better, but no. Lex said, “Things have gotten worse. People are dying in the streets. More people are fleeing from Port-au-Prince neighborhoods. The head of the national police’s home was just torched. People are really scared, and they’re hungry. Little children are in the clinic with tummy aches from hunger. Our students are eating at school, and that’s it…”


This morning Lex called and asked me, “How much money do we have? I think we need to buy food right now while I can still find it. We need to buy food for the next 3 or 4 months if we can.”


As our partner in this ministry to the poor, we ask you to please act now. Click the donate link to send emergency funds for food. Whether you have $50 you can spare, $5,000, or $25,000, please do not delay. Any amount will help. Our friends in Haiti need our help right now.


Here are some of the children you will be helping. You’ll notice in the first picture that it’s early in the school day, and the children haven’t had their school “brunch” yet.



They definitely wake up after they eat!


I really am so proud of our staff and students. They really make the most of every opportunity the LORD puts before them. Even in their suffering, they are fighting to learn. They are holding onto hope for a better future.


Our medical and dental clinics remain open and busy. The clinics are staffed by very caring, knowledgeable, and skilled professionals. What a blessing they are to the Grand-Goave community and beyond. We are so grateful for them.



These are difficult days for Lex and me. We are in two separate countries when we’d like to be together in one.


We empathize with our friends in their suffering.


We are replacing key leaders as they escape what Haiti has become.


We think of our friends' great potential, and we pray the LORD would protect them and care for them as they continue to trust Him.


As for Lex and me, we will keep looking up, trusting in the LORD. Whether walking on water or swimming with Jesus, we will NOT drown!


Thank you for your continued prayers and support.



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