Sunday, October 1, 2023
Lex and I appreciate each of you so much!!! Thank you for your constant prayers, financial support, counsel, and encouragement. We are better together!!!
It's Peanut Butter Drive time once again. Would you join us this month (October 2023) to gather jars of peanut butter for our friends in Haiti? Spread (pun intended) the word and the peanut butter. Ask your co-workers, your church, your classmates, your family, your ________ ... to gather with you. Contact us to make arrangements to get them to us: email@example.com Thank you!!!
What an incredible week we had with our friends from Crossroads Church (Orange, MA) in the Dominican Republic! It was truly a Hope Encounter.
Before I share more about that, I'd like to update you on the continuing work at MOHI in Haiti. The current tensions between the Dominican Republic and Haiti continue to impact both countries. The closure of land, air, and sea borders by Dominican President Abinader just over two weeks ago has caused chicken and egg prices in the Dominican Republic to drop by 50%, while prices of these and produce rapidly increased and are now difficult even to locate. Once again, families in Haiti are taking a big nutritional hit. MOHI's feeding programs are filling this expanding chasm for about 1,000 people.
Children under the age of 5 are most at risk for long-term disabilities from poor nutrition and lack of bulk in their diets while their little bodies are developing and changing so quickly. At MOHI we are all passionate about the Baby Feeding Programs. Their daily meals are a high priority.
It seems to be baby season in the Thozin Clinic. We are so grateful for all our friends and partners do to make it possible for these little ones to access the care they need.
Imagine the peace of mind for the moms and dads who struggle to survive daily and yet see God's provision in continual healthcare and dental care for themselves and their families.
Check out all these birthday kids! What a fun week for the preschool classes!
Sometimes I'm a Mary. Sometimes I'm a Martha. Oftentimes we have to deal with the physical needs of people before they are even capable of considering their spiritual needs. But my real joy comes in seeing the evidence of spiritual growth in people. This can be seen in the classroom, during recess, and even in the clinics. It certainly happens in Chapel services at school. I love seeing former students, now grown, leading the children and sharing the truth of God's Word and His Love with them.
What a blessing it's been for me this past week in the Dominican Republic to be a part of people processing where God is in all their experiences with us. Most of us go on a mission trip with expectations. Inevitably, we try to fit God into the little box we've prepared for HIM. But when we're praying regularly, "Not my will, but Thine..." in an unfamiliar place, HE tends to show up time after time after time. We don't have control of our own time. We sometimes have to do the uncomfortable things we can avoid in our own worlds. We take time to process alone and with teammates and we see the LORD at work in our lives. We see spiritual growth in ourselves and it's more than a little exciting!
This picture of Brett on the cable car at Teleférico reminds me of Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” - as he was hundreds of feet above the mountain below.
For those of you who wonder if you should consider bringing your kids on a Hope Encounter, I'm pretty sure Brett would say, "Absolutely!!!" - he might even say it in Spanish or Haitian Creole after this week! Wonderful times were had, being both family and friends all week long.
We love spending time with the village children. The team had many activities prepared for the kids: soccer (with brand new donated uniforms...
... and the kids also had something in mind - hairstyling practice!
The team walked around the village of Cambiaso and assisted Marlouse, the Community Health Promoter.
Marlouse shared this with us:
"Carole-Ann brought several missionaries to visit a 4-month-old baby. The last time she met him was eight days after birth. The missionaries appreciate hearing Carole-Ann's beautiful testimony about the baby. The child's mother is so happy after the Words of thanks for the support she received, She asks to visit them, take pictures, and pronounce blessings on the baby.
Marlouse likes to educate the women in the villages concerning topics of particular interest to them, like reproductive health, family planning, child care, home safety, and sanitation.
Our friends at Bless Back Worldwide purchased food that we are distributing to families facing hardships. We are grateful! The team was able to participate in the blessing, too!
We have been in need of storage shelves for a while, as linens and donations have been piled up in our bedroom. THANK YOU, Angie, Dana, Mike, Alex, and Jeremy, for making this project happen!
Angie (Shepherd) McCoy is always a blessing to us at MOHI. Here's what she had to say at the end of her week with us all:
"I am now in my twelfth year of working with Mission of Hope International, and still, on each Hope Encounter I participate in, I am learning new things, growing in my leadership skills, and reaching new places in my faith journey. While I strive to keep serving the people of Hispaniola as the main focus and motivation for participating in Encounters, it is undeniable that the consequences of these trips end up in life changes for the participant.
"After living in Haiti for 14 months at the Grand Goave location of MOHI, I struggled with feelings of failure when I returned home to the United States. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t cut out to live permanently in another country as a missionary. But each of us has a role to play in the body of Christ, and I am finding purpose and fulfillment as a team leader and on-the-ground liaison for visiting teams. Watching the team this week discover a whole new way that people live, start to learn some Kreyol and Spanish words so they could communicate, pray over people they had never met, and open their hearts to hear from the Lord has been such a blessing to me. It draws me closer to God. It allows me to slow down and put aside so many distractions I have in my daily life. We all wrestle to find balance in our lives, and God knows our hearts. Consider joining us on a Hope Encounter so that you may share the love of Christ, teach valuable skills to others, and worship and pray like you never have before. But also be prepared for how the people of Hispaniola will bless you and how God will move in your life. Hope to see you soon!"
Welcome to Ron and Ramona from Bless Back Worldwide. They are here to work with us to establish a Business Academy in Luperón.
Shortly after their arrival, José came by with Juan (the president of the Province of Puerto Plata's Chamber of Commerce) and we had a productive meeting with him.
Ron will conduct workshops this week, meet with a prospective business coach, and visit businesses. We're excited to have Ramona (physical therapist) work with Saintilien (the motorcycle victim we helped out with surgery on his leg) to help him with his walking. She will also be helping with the Community Healthcare Promoter program.
The Haitian Church of Luperón was on the agenda this morning.
If you find yourself praying for MOHI this week, please include all the logistics and meetings taking place this week. We desire to be a blessing to this community. We trust the LORD to guide us and ask HIM to shine HIS Light through us.