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.

Employee Appreciation Dinner

On Valentine’s Day, MOL employees were treated to a love-themed appreciation night, which included a beautifully presented and delicious Haitian meal, light-hearted fellowship, a short devotion and encouragement to continue serving alongside Missions Of Love in the future as we continue to grow and serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in and around the Jolivert area.

Feeding the Hungry Now and Helping them Feed Themselves Tomorrow

Food for the Hungry
“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness.”
~ Isaiah 58:10

Because of the faithful giving to the Jolivert Feeding Program, commodities of rice, flour, cornmeal, macaroni, spaghetti, cooking oil and black beans were purchased, packaged and ready to be distributed to over 120 needy families.

Several boxes of garden seeds donated by NY Seed Programs International out of Asheville NC had been shipped to Dr. Bob and Betty Johnson recently, so Betty sent in several packages of garden seeds via February team member Warren Mattingly, enabling Blaud to package up and distribute several hundred packages containing okra, cabbage, tomato, beet, onion and eggplant seeds on Friday, Feb. 17th to nearby gardening families. Let’s join together in prayer that these crops will be blessed and grow abundantly!