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Sunday, July 7, 2023

We're so grateful to our medical partners at Bless Back Worldwide. It's no easy feat restocking pharmacy shelves in Haiti! With their generosity (and Lex's ingenuity), that's exactly what happened this week at the clinic in Thozin.

One interesting fact you may not be aware of: Bless Back Worldwide created its own electronic medical records program designed specifically for clinics like ours!

We use this system for patient records in medical and dental clinics in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

The clinics are a blessing to the entire community - including those in the baby feeding program.

Once the Hope Encounter in Luperón was over, Taran joined Lex in Haiti. It took a lot of unusual routes to get him there, and no, I'm sorry, but we won't be bringing you or teams in. Taran is fluent in Kreyol and may be more culturally adept than I am, he went on his own, AND he can run FAST!

I have known Taran most of his life, as his dad and I had a brother/sister relationship for about three decades before he passed. Taran's grandpa Don pastored the church where I first met Jesus and he cultivated my love for God's word in my early adulthood. His grandma Bev was the mom I went home to when the storms of life left me battered. No one I knew loved people the way that she did.

In addition to all this, Taran spent much of his childhood living in Haiti. Needless to say, there are definitely some cultural/familial connections there. Family means the world to Lex, so when many years ago, he introduced Taran's dad to our staff in Haiti as "Madame Lex's brother," that really meant something.

Taran loves photography and is pretty good (understatement) at it. I'm so excited that he spent time with Zachary, Mano, and Madona to work on their photography techniques and introduce them to some ways of interviewing people who benefit from the ministries at MOHI.

Taran took student pictures for us while he visited the school.

In a conversation earlier in the week, Lex was telling me how bad the roads were after the recent flooding, making it even more difficult to move food to where it's needed.

He lamented over how hungry everyone in the area was. I'm pretty sure Lex's favorite part of the week happened after student pictures were taken. He gave each student food to take home to their families.

Once again, we turn to Jesus and to you to ask for more food to share with our friends in Haiti.

Taran interviewed Zachary's brother, Carl Henry. He manages the library and computer lab. He also plays drums in the church.

Most schools in Haiti don’t have libraries. The fact that we have one at Mission of Hope International is somewhat unique.

Reading is something most of us as Americans take for granted. We grow up reading books, we can find them on our iPhones, and every town has a library.

Carl Henry is proud of MOHI's library. “The students have a place to come and read. We have a teacher to help the students with computers. We make a big effort to help all the students...I love my co-workers and the way that we work so well together to run the library and the computer lab”

What if you never had the opportunity to read a single book outside of school? This would be the reality for most of the kids here if not for your support and generosity!


With Lex being in Haiti, I have taken advantage of more quiet moments to reflect and talk with the LORD about the predicament in which our Haitian friends find themselves here in the Dominican Republic.

I spent more than two decades of my life emersed in Haitian culture. We raised our children in Haiti. I love the Haitian people and have adapted to much of the culture (admittedly, there are some aspects I still cannot adapt to). I have also connected with some wonderful Dominicans who have welcomed me into their community and shown me kindness time after time after time. I have grown to trust that they have my best interest at heart. I long to be a blessing to them. And yet there is enmity between my friends. Not necessarily friend A and friend B, but more like group A and group B.

Knowing something logically, and walking that truth out in an emotionally mature manner are two very different things. So often, I have this conversation going on in my mind. A child's voice exclaims, "But it's not fair!" An adult voice replies, "I know, but life in this world seldom is." I find myself asking the LORD to open my eyes and let me see the situation from a different perspective. He has been doing that. I am still processing. And I do not even know where to begin to share any of it with you all. I certainly could give you my political or human rights opinion, but both sides of this equation are people I care for. Neither of them seems particularly evil or hateful.

Issues of race, class, and ethnicity in a nation are always way more complex than what appears on the surface. Multi-ethnic interactions in one's life can quickly turn into conflicts between ethnicities (thanks to people's carnal disposition to conflict and hunger for gossip). Our "fact-based" opinions justify our contempt for others. Inevitably, both sides of the conflict own a portion of the blame.

Some things I've been contemplating...

  • There are two sides to every story.

  • Someone else's poor experience doesn't mean that everyone from that other "group" hates me, too.

  • Two wrongs don't make a right.

  • All have sinned. "Hate the sin, love the sinner." I am that sinner, too. Can I love God and hate my neighbor?

  • I need to "be the change" - The local church needs to "be the change." Change starts at home.

  • Most of us are not 100% wrong about anything. Most of us are not 100% right about anything. Why would I hold someone else to a standard I cannot attain myself?

  • Lead by example. Someone has to be the one to reach out and risk rejection - likely again and again.

  • I can't make a difference in my own strength. Romans 8:7- 8, "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God...Those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

  • It's easier to hate a group than an individual that you've grown to love.

Would you pray with me this week for our Haitian friends here in the Dominican Republic? Daily life can be very difficult for them. Most live in constant fear. Dignity escapes them. God has so much more for them. I pray that He will reveal the way forward to us.

One of my favorite moments this past week was in the village of La Grua with Rose Marie.

Thank you for thinking of us and praying this week. And for your incredible support!


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