Tributes to Dr. Bob

A Salute to Our Captain
By Dale Breedlove

Our beloved captain has sailed away,
On the gentle breeze of an eternal day.
He set a course true with great adventure,
Bound for the protection of the Lord’s deep harbor.

He beckoned and trained the crew to carry on,
As he went forth to the great beyond.
We mind the rudder, rigging and sails,
As our ship encounters many swails.

Our captain learned patience, forbearance and persistence,
And called us alongside to lend assistance.
That our sound ship would sail Jesus toward,
And, reach out a hand to invite many aboard.


In 2000, my husband Scott, our 8-year-old son Caleb and our 11-year-old son Sam and I all went to Jolivert, Haiti for a mission trip. I had been on to other mission trips but my family hadn’t ever been on one – they never been out of the country.

My husband and I are nurses. When we got To Jolivert, the first thing we saw was a young man who was bleeding,  profusely from a severed artery in his left arm. He had been cut with a machete! Dr. Bob and my husband rushed the man to the clinic.

Scott was wondering about exposure to all sorts of things as he assisted Dr. Bob as Dr. Bob saved not only the man’s life but his arm as well.  Dr. Bob sutured carefully, so the man would have full use of his arm.I’m sure after being a medic in Korea this was not really remarkable for Dr. Bob. But it was remarkable for Scott.

The love Dr. Bob showed the skill Dr. Bob showed and the risk Dr. Bob took to himself on a daily basis was displayed on this very first day in Haiti.

Many things on that trip are very remarkable. Dr. Bob loved both of our boys and treated them as a grandfather would treat his grandsons. Both of our boys love him to this day. Scott and I now go on from 4 to 6 mission trips a year. During every trip we are reminded of the impact Dr. Bob had in our life and his name almost always comes up. He has left a wonderful legacy for us. We will always love Dr. Bob and Betty.

Marcia Skelton
Friend and TECH Member


Twins Separated at Birth

I met Dr. Bob in 1998. My wife and I had served for six years with a different Haitian mission when we were declared unacceptable for reasons that were not stated.  It turns out Dr. Bob and Miz Betty had suffered the same fate (as had Dr. Jerry and Betty McKinney). It seems that particular mission leader tolerated no individualism and is reputed to have re-situated more missionaries in Haiti than any other person or force.

In any case, Dr. Bob and Betty had begun a work in La Hatte, just down the road from the present site of Missions of Love. He graciously offered us a place to serve and that began the almost 20-year involvement with MOL and a deep and abiding friendship with a remarkable man.

The first factor I discovered was that where I was a rough and tumble New Yorker who attacked problems head-on, Dr. Bob was a kind and humble man who served rather than directed although history shows how much he did do. It has always been my belief that God had a plan which called for our divergent personalities to supply what was needed. I have always demurred from any elected role in the mission (although I have been a director from the start). Dr. Bob could cast oil on the waters that I might stir up. He was a classic family doctor of the days when one man did it all in a small town, a peaceful person, deeply devoted to God and dedicated to the betterment of mankind. I was a high powered surgical sub-specialist (ENT). We had both served our country in peace and war; he as an Air Force Corpsman and I as an infantry officer, flight surgeon, and otolaryngologist. We had both seen more than we needed to see.

The second factor I discovered was that Dr. Bob and I had so much in common as well as in contrast. He was the product of rural Kentucky. I was a big city street smart. We both struggled with our childhoods, albeit for different reasons. He had a lifelong battle with the bottle, which he won, and I came very close to being an alcoholic save for critical people the Lord sent to save me from myself and my long family history of alcohol abuse. Our medical fields were different but we both wanted to help people and share Christ. Jean (my wife) and I used to stay with Dr. Bob and Betty at the farmhouse when there was a board meeting. Betty was much younger than we were, but Dr. Bob and I were only a year apart (he was the senior). We quickly found that they were identical to us as “old married” folks. They argued the same way and loved each other very much. Dr. Bob and I even had the same taste in flannel shirts and at breakfast one morning he appeared (Dr. Bob liked to cook breakfast) in an identical shirt to one I had in my bag. Naturally, a discussion ensued as to who owned what shirt. It was quickly resolved in mirth but that was typical of our friendship.

I could go on for some time but suffice it to say, Dr. Bob will be missed and never replaced. He was someone who you wanted to be like and he did so much good in his life –at home and abroad.

Time and age, the disintegration of the body and now death are taking away those who pioneered this work. However, the work continues and we have faith that God will send new workers into the field to lift the torch such giants as Dr. Bob has passed to them.

Dear Friend: May God welcome you when He returns and comforts you in sleep until that time arrives.

Dr. Asa and Jean Talbot


Like the Apostle Luke, Dr. Robert Johnson was a good physician. Known to be a good diagnostician, and great cardiologist (though he did not specialize in cardiology), his articles were published in nationally known medical journals and periodicals. Medicine was not just a profession; it was to him a calling. He could have enjoyed more lucrative practices in larger cities, but he chose to remain in rural Ohio County. He saw himself as a country doctor and aspired to be nothing more and our community was blessed because he did.

Like the Apostle Paul, Dr. Bob was a great missionary. I was privileged to accompany him on two trips to Haiti. He loved the Haitian people and quickly learned to speak their language and the Haitian people loved him. Approaching their communities, men, women, and children would run from their huts to greet him with smiles on their faces. The only part of their joyful greeting I could understand was: “Dr. Bob! Dr. Bob! Dr. Bob!”  Though he had no formal theological training, Dr. Johnson was the best missionary I have ever known.

Like Barnabas (Acts 11:24), Dr. Bob was a good man. He was authentic. There was not a pretentious or hypocritical bone in his body. What you saw was what you got. In his autobiography, The Calling, no effort was made to hide the warts or cover the flaws. He told it like it was. Yet, shining through those warts and flaws, like stars on a dark night, one could see a strong faith and a soft heart. Dr. Robert T. Johnson is a wonderful example of the change the love and grace of God can make in a person’s life, and the good that God can accomplish with imperfect people whose lives are committed to him.

Like the Great Physician, Dr. Bob was my friend. We came to Ohio County about the same time. I knew him over fifty years. I am grateful to God that our paths crossed and his life impacted my own in many ways. My life has been enriched for having known him. Thank you, Lord for this humble and good physician.

Pastor Glenn Armstrong


Dr. Bob and Sis. Betty are fellow soldiers and eternal friends! God Bless Them!

Joe and Hiawana Greene

 

Through Haitian Eyes

Missions of Love is a part of the people living in Jolivert, they always pray God to get the doctors, nurses, technicians, pastor, and supporters back often because they bring a new hope for them to recover health.

I have a lot of joy to serve Jesus by serving my brothers and sisters in the dental clinic. I love dentistry, but I have a huge love for helping people smile and keep this smile. I wish and I hope in other trips we will have some classes about medicine to debate and share knowledge with each other.

I pray God to keep MOL in our life and give them more health, more motivation, more donations, more money, more happiness, more faith, more prayers and more love to share with the Haitian community for more and more upcoming years.

Dr. Rousseau Hitler Ader, DDS

Dr. Asa 2017 Fall Team Report

” For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Ephesians 6:12

If I have learned nothing else after over twenty years of working in Haiti I believe that whatever project you went to do will not happen, at least not as you had planned. I also have learned that “I” can’t but “He” can. “Do not be afraid or discouraged …… For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chron. 20:15

Our group started out with great plans and aspirations. Our friends from Tacoma who had built the incinerator shed two years ago were moved by the spirit to purchase the incinerator and come to Haiti to install it. Seven people formed a team and came to do that. Our arrival date was to be October 10.

The Evil One hates to see good people work for the Master and he goes right to work to try to thwart the plans we have for accomplishing God’s Will. The incinerator was scheduled to be on the dock in Port-au-Prince by October 2. Due to the hurricanes, the ship was rerouted and the date of arrival was postponed until October 18 – two days before we were to leave Haiti for home. Much prayer was raised and the ship came in from England on October 11. Still, there was the matter of customs charges, the bureaucracy of getting the item off the dock, the transportation of same to Jolivert, the inconvenience of a Haitian Holiday and intervening weekend preventing any action and our truck driver being too late to get on the dock one day. All of this required Blaud, our Haitian Executive Director, to remain in PAP for eight days with all the inherent unplanned costs.

While we worried and fidgeted in Jolivert the west coast team went right to work, helping Ralph Porter build shelves and cabinets for the dental clinic, assisting in the sorting and storage of materials that had been shipped in, helping out in the clinics, and doing anything that was needed to be done. One of the best children’s programs ever was put on, our evangelist preached in Sunday services and appeared on the church’s radio station several times, an outreach clinic was held for the first time as a medical/dental operation with 105 patients seen by our team doctors and nurses and 23 dental patients treated.

Duck, Duck, Goose

Additionally, Jonah, a thirteen-year-old boy who was there with his parents spontaneously crossed the language barrier and had the little children clapping, marching, running and learning “Duck, Duck, Goose”. This was a real ministry. Our Ophthalmology surgeon, in the meantime, screened patients and did 33 surgeries (22 cataract removals, seven removals of overgrown tissue and removal of a corneal foreign body that had been neglected for months). A number of other patients were cared for in the clinics by our visiting doctors and our visiting Haitian dentists.

Our Ophthalmology surgeon, in the meantime, screened patients and did 33 surgeries (22 cataract removals, seven removals of overgrown tissue and removal of a corneal foreign body that had been neglected for months). A number of other patients were cared for in the clinics by our visiting doctors and our visiting Haitian dentists.

We also began a renovation of the hill road and re-ditching for erosion prevention that was desperately needed. It was a large group – about 25 people at meals and our Haitian staff handled food, laundry, and transportation very well.

The Haitian government charged us the unconscionable amount of one-third the cost of the incinerator to get it off the dock but God enabled us to gather the funds and on the last day of work before departure the instrument arrived – as the shades of night were falling. Now that gripping question – how do we get 1200 pounds of machine off the truck and into the incinerator building without a forklift or crane? This is Haiti and God’s project! Boss Wilson, our longtime builder, mobilized his workers as has been done so often before. With the guidance of our team members, the brute strength of the Haitians inventive engineering and the Grace of God, it was moved off the truck, into the housing and now awaits another team trip to finish the task. In spite of the setback of completion, when you look at the overall trip, Satan lost and God won (AGAIN).

 

More than Expected

By Dr. Mick Vanden Bosch

Last year I went to Jolivert, Haiti for the first time.

I thought I was simply “scoping out the Eye Clinic” to see if we could do surgery. I ended up doing seven cataract surgeries, even though we had no Operating Room (OR) and limited equipment.

This year I hoped to perform 20 cataract surgeries or so. We brought everything we needed, but as I have found out many times before, on mission trips, not everything goes as planned. Not all of our equipment worked, so we improvised.

Although we still had no OR, we were able to set up a more sterile operating space.  I had a wonderful nurse, Jean Horner, an OB Nurse from Washington, who was also on our Mission team.  She committed to helping with the surgeries – pre-op set-up, circulating during surgery, and post-op clean up.

Cataracts in America are usually operated on when the vision drops three lines from 20/20 to 20/40, and it is difficult for the patient to maintain a driver’s license.  But, in Haiti, due to limited access to health care (and in younger persons probably a nutritional component that makes cataracts mature more quickly), the vision is much worse and the surgery has to be done in a way that is much more difficult.  The vision pre-op for our Haitian patients was at best 20/400 (the big “E” at the top of the chart). Most of our patients were unable to count fingers in front of their faces with a full one-half of the patients only able to see a light going on and off – not even able to detect motion. During our nine days of Eye Clinic service on this Fall trip, we were able to perform 22 cataract surgeries and 11 other various procedures for a total of 33 eye surgeries.

At the post-op visit the next day, although the communication barrier often made it difficult to ascertain just how well they were seeing, most of the patients were very grateful and praising God!

We saw at least six children on this visit that we could have helped surgically, but we didn’t have general anesthesia – Something to pray about and work towards.

Mick Vanden Bosch, MD specializes in Opthalmology and resides in South Dakota. For more information about Dr. Mick visit
http://www.sanfordhealth.org/find-a-doctor/mick-vanden-bosch

My Mission Trip: Jonah Frick

My Mission Trip

Name:   Jonah Frick

Age:  13 years old

Profession/school/grade:   I’m in 8th grade at Keithley Middle School.

Where do you live?  Tacoma, WA

Have you ever been on a mission trip before?   No, this was my first mission trip.

How did you hear about Missions of Love?   My mom and dad heard about it at church and they asked if I wanted to go with them.

Was this your first trip to Haiti?   Yes

How many days was your trip?   With travel (air and crazy dirt roads) it was a total of 12 days.

Have you always had a desire to do mission work?   I didn’t know much about missions, but I wanted to help others in need.

What was the purpose of your missions of love trip?   It was a medical mission but I was told I would help where I could and I would help my mom with a VBS.

Where you able to accomplish what you went to do?  Yes, and much more. I helped my mom but I got to do so much more than I thought I could do. I helped where ever people needed me and I was able to watch Dr. Mick do eye surgeries and help people see again. I got to play with kids and made sure everyone had water. I went up and down the hill so many times but I could do it so others could stay and work and help others.

Were you able to experience Haiti outside of the MOL Compound? We went to church on Sunday. The people sang and danced and the boy playing the drums only had sticks to hit the drums with and they kept breaking apart and pieces were flying all over and hitting people, but no one minded. The drums were all broken too, with pieces of the cymbals missing, but he didn’t mind. He just kept playing and playing and everyone sang and sang and danced.

We went to the market one day on a tap-tap and that was so much fun to ride on. The market was really crowded and dirty, but the people weren’t mean to us at all. We were stared at a lot. A few days later I went to see a couple of schools on a tap-tap. The walls were just palm frons and I realized how lucky I am at home and I will never complain about my school again.

We went to a bush clinic too. I played with the little kids there and made a lot of friends. We played follow the leader and tried to play duck-duck-goose. That was funny. We painted the nails of everyone who wanted it. Even the boys and men wanted their nails painted. The glitter polish was the favorite one. It was hard to leave that village when we were done.

What did you think of the Haitian food/culture? The food was so good but it was hard to eat the goat. I love the spices in the food. The avocados were so big and I love avocados so much. They kept bringing out bigger and bigger plates of avocados for me. I got lots of pineapple too. It was weird that they don’t drink milk at all. And they only eat 2 times a day. The people were nice and friendly but they don’t keep the dogs as pets, so that was hard. I love my dog and wanted to pet the dogs there but I wasn’t allowed.

Was there one person/experience that really touched your heart, if so, would you please share? I loved watching the eye surgery. It was something I never ever could do at home and I never thought I would like to do, but it was so cool to watch and I loved that Dr. Mick told me all about what he was doing. He was a really cool teacher and I learned all about eyes and how they work. No one treated me like a little kid and I knew that I was needed just like all the grownups were.

Would you like to return to Haiti someday?  Yes. I want to go back in February but my mom isn’t sure if I can get out of school again for so long the same year. I want to go back and help more. So many people need the help and even if I only help the team, then that’s good enough because they are helping the people. My birthday is in January and what I want for my birthday is to go back in February. Hint, hint, mom…

 

Global Medical Health Conference Report

During the weekend of Nov. 9-11, MOL Directors, Ralph and Barbie Porter, attended the Global Healthcare Honoring God-TECH Pre-conference and the Global Medical Health Conference in Louisville on behalf of Missions Of Love.

The following is the two-minute agency report given by Barbie Porter at the Global Healthcare Honoring God Conference…

You may have heard the phrase, “Little is much if God is in it.”
I want to share with you our special little story about love.

It started in 1994 when a Country Doctor named Bob and his Nurse Wife named Betty had just stepped into their retirement years and stepped out in faith to start a mission in a rural village in Haiti named Jolivert.

The oft over-looked community suffered from destitution, disease, illiteracy, drank polluted water and lived in the darkness of spiritual deprivation.

For nearly 25 years Doc and Betty poured out love to this pocket of people, giving of their time, talents and treasures, blessing them with the wonders of medicine, education, evangelism, love, and others.

Others, who came alongside them carving out slim slices of their schedules for 10-days to two weeks. Others who helped financially. Others who prayed. Others who shared their heart.

Little by little, the mission grew.

Today, the Mission, rightly named by its very acts… Missions Of Love, has a Haitian-directed campus that supports a Medical Clinic, Eye Clinic, Dental Clinic, an award-winning Safe Water Program and seven other ministries including… Adult Literacy, Nutrition, Medicine all under the umbrella of Evangelism.

Through the medical efforts… the infant mortality rate for that area, which was seven out of ten infants has now been transposed to three out of ten. Through the educational efforts… hundreds of children have had the privilege of attending school including the advanced education two doctors, seven nurses, three lab techs and two directors.

Evangelistically, the little Mission has helped to plant seven churches.

On June 28, 2017, Dr. Bob was called to his heavenly home. But, Missions Of Love continues to carry on the message of that One who was born in a manger in a tiny, little town called Bethlehem.

Passing of Dr. Bob

We are saddened to announce the passing of our esteemed friend and President Emeritus Dr. Robert Johnson. Please join with us in praying that our Lord comfort Betty and grant her the strength and guidance she needs at this time. Our hope and joy is in Jesus. We will update with arrangements as details are confirmed.