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

 

From the Desk of Dr. Bob ~ Christophe’s Role at MOL

Dr. Bob’s note on Christophe’s role in our medical program.

Christophe

One of the most significant and personally satisfying results of our long years of serving in medical missions to Haiti has been the happy and gratifying witnessing of several young people who have crawled out of the poverty and ignorance surrounding them to make something of themselves.  With a little help from Betty and I, along with several others who have lent financial support to such youngsters through their association with MOL, we’ve been blessed to have watched as many of these kids grew into mature adults to become medical technologists, nurses, and even doctors.  More importantly, they’ve become leaders in a new and modern Haitian culture where voodoo and black magic have been replaced by the saving grace of Jesus Christ and a Christian ethic which is gradually changing the face, the future, the very destiny of Haiti.  by young leaders such as these.  Christoph Velcine is a perfect example.

We first met Christophe at his mom’s small and very modest home in the sleepy little village of Dufaille, high in the mountains above Port-au-Prince.  He was, as I recall, a shy and modest, gangly— even downright skinny— young teenager. He, his mom and his twelve-year-old sister, Yvrose, invited us to sit down to dinner with them when we’d dropped by for a visit at Yvrose’s request.  It consisted of a single bowl of a gruel made from boiled “piti-mi”—a local grain similar to milo, the grain we use to feed our livestock.  His mom, with pained expression, apologized for that being all she had to offer.

Long story short: we eventually sent Yvrose off to nursing school which she graduated from near the top of her class, and ultimately came to work for us at Clinique Jolivert.  She proved to be an exceptionally well-trained R.N., highly skilled in all aspects of medical care including the suturing of wounds and the delivering of babies.  While serving as our nursing director under Betty’s supervision, she met an American missionary, Kendall Johnson, also serving at Jolivert at the time; fell in love with him, married him, and returned with him to his home in Winchester, Kentucky where he died prematurely of liver disease, and where she then resided as an American citizen.  But the intense needs of her people led her to return to Haiti where she now runs a small medical clinic and a Christian church school of her own, with help from one of the Christian churches in the Lexington area.

Christophe himself won the heart of one of our lady missionaries from the Pleasant Ridge area who committed to putting him through lab school.  Soon thereafter, he became an employee of our mission clinic at Jolivert, and the rest, of course, is history.  A man for all seasons, Christophe juggles about as many programs and projects as any health professional I have ever met.  Apart from his many duties as clinic director, he has headed up our outreach program for sick children in the remote mountainous areas surrounding Jolivert, and is also the director of our highly successful safe water program, now being touted by WHO and other leading relief organizations as being one of the most cost-efficient, yet simplistic water purification programs to be found anywhere in the Third World.  It now brings clean and potable water to tens of thousands of homes all over Haiti. He is a devoted Christian family man with a lovely wife—who is also a medical technologist and MOL employee– and three delightful children.  We simply could not possibly be any prouder of him.

~ Dr. Bob Johnson

Dr. Bob’s Fall Report

Fall Clinic Report
Gentlefolk:
If you are one of our ministry partners, prayer partners or have gifted MOL in one way or another over the years, you deserve to know how certain prayerful goals of our mission have come to fruition over the years, thanks to you and to the Grace of God. In this issue, I’m happy to report on one of our most sought-after of these goals: the education and job-opportunities afforded many of our neighbors in and around Jolivert. One of the earliest obstacles we encountered in developing our hugely successful clinic at Jolivert was the local citizen’s complaints that we were not hiring locals, but were bringing in Haitian professionals from other areas. The problem, of course, was that there simply were no trained medical professionals in the area at that time. We immediately saw the need to make the education and medical training needed to operate such a clinic available to as many of our neighbors as possible, so this became a priority long-range goal for our directors.

I’m most pleased to report that we’ve now put two young men through medical school and several men and women through nursing training. Our first graduate to get his medical degree was Dr. Louissaint Louis-Sez, who has now worked at Jolivert and has himself become one of our directors. He is temporarily in the States working on his licensing and credentialing needs and has devoted himself to being a major player in the operation of our clinic and leadership with MOL for years to come.

Dr. Louissaint Louis-Sez working at Clinic Jolivert

Dr. Louissaint Louis-Sez working at Clinic Jolivert

Our second graduate is Dr. Daniel Loute, a son of our good friend, Pastor Julian Loute. One of his daughters, Julie has also received her RN degree. Both of these fine young Christian professionals are currently employed at the clinic.

Julie loute working at clinic Jolivert

Julie loute working at clinic Jolivert

Dr.Daniel Loute working at clinic Jolivert[4]

Dr.Daniel Loute working at clinic Jolivert


Another neighbor next door to our clinic, Jelines Lazard, is an especially bright young man who has received his RN degree and is now the nurse in charge of our medical outreach in the surrounding mountain communities where MOL serves hundreds who due to age or disability cannot come down to the clinic. He and others from our clinic make regular visits to these remote areas. We have great expectations of Jelines due to his exceptional leadership potential.

Jelines working at clinic Jolivert[2]

Jelines working at clinic Jolivert

Another outstanding “local product” is Guerby Odin,a trained and certified lab technologist who also operates our Eye clinic under Dr Asa Talbot’s supervision. He treats hundreds of eye problems each month. All of these young folks will be contributing to the health and welfare of their people for many years to come.

Gurby Odin Lab Tech and eye clinic

Gurby Odin Lab Tech at eye clinic

Our latest project is helping Wilguens Belizaire through med school in Port-au-Prince. I should note here that a medical degree can be obtained in Haiti for a tiny fraction of what similar training would cost in the U.S..

His annual tuition, for example, amounts to only about $1500 in U.S. dollars.. Still, this is $1500 we don’t have in our General Fund, and Wilguen’s future in Medicine depends entirely on help from folks like you. If we had a few more partners willing to donate $25 to $50 per month toward that goal, we could draw a huge sigh of relief. But of course, any gift no matter how small, is always hugely appreciated. Thanks, God bless all and have a wonderful coming holiday season!
Dr. Bob and “Miz Betty”

Betty’s Summer Update

Dear friends, prayer partners and ministry partners,

Much has happened at Jolivert since last I reported to you.  MOL has been very busy with construction of our new dental clinic, installation of our new diesel generator, and upgrading and enlarging our solar grid in an effort to sharply reduce our monthly expenses on diesel fuel.  All of these projects, of course, were only made possible through your generous support and gifting.   While construction and other costs continue to escalate each year in Haiti we always strive to get the best bang for the buck for those precious gifts that you continue to give so sacrificially. God bless you all for hanging in there with us!

Our new clinic building was designed to house far more than just a dental clinic. It will include a new pharmacy, an office for patient registration and medical records. They have already moved into the new office.

Ralph and Barbie Porter brought in our very first dental team in April of this year. Their dentist and assistants cleaned and filled many teeth and there were some extractions as well.  It is our plan to have the dental clinic completely finished by October of this year, and we have other dentists who have expressed an interest to come down to see patients.  The Haitian Ministry of health is also now searching for a dentist among their ranks to work out of our clinic on a regular basis.  Always looking ahead, we are now striving to identify students from the Jolivert area to place in dental school and to train as dental hygienists as well.

Our own clinic chaplain, pastor Jean-Robert Louis Sez, has formed yet another new congregation at Biara, a heavily populated area high in the mountains.  The people are very poor and badly enslaved to voodoo practices. In addition, MOL has begun a new medical outreach clinic there and will send a nurse and possibly a doctor there each month.  We’ve already added two new outreach clinics making a total of eight adult clinics and seven for pediatrics. Our latest new pediatric clinic is in the mountains above Chantsolm, a town about 10 miles north of Jolivert.  The adult clinics are designed primarily for the elderly that cannot travel by foot or donkey to our main clinic.  Many of these patients are on daily medications for hypertension, arthritis and the like and need regular monthly follow-up.

The membership in our churches are growing steadily and new congregations are being started each year, thanks to the evangelical fervor of pastor Jean-Robert, Pastor Julian Louth, and the evangelical team of young men we’re supporting known as the “Soldat Valiante” (valiant soldiers for Christ).  We have relieved Jean-Robert of his administrative duties in the clinic so he can devote full time efforts to evangelism, at which he is doing a great job.  Child First Ministries of Franklin, Texas continue to furnish our pediatric medications for the mountain clinics, although this has been sporadic due to enormous shipping problems in getting them from the Netherlands to Haiti.

The two physicians we have helped to train over the years are Drs. Louissaint Louis Sez and Daniel Louth (a son of Pastor Julian).  Louissaint will be working at Jolivert this summer and Daniel will work at Jolivert after completing his internship on December 1st.  Our deepest thanks to all who have contributed to the costly education of these fine Christian men.  We’re now seeking supporters for a third medical student, Wilgan Belizaire (whom many of you know).

On my last trip to Haiti in March of this year, Bill Gallo and I attended a celebration in honor of Madame Evelyn, a key employee of our safe water program called Guardian Dlo (water guardian).  She has worked diligently for this program over the years and is responsible for much of its huge success all over Haiti. The celebrations at both Jolivert and  Port-au-Prince was sponsored by Emory University who honored and awarded her as the first Haitian ever to receive such an honor.

Please know that all our programs at Jolivert continue to minister to  hundreds of people daily throughout the region.   Clinic Jolivert has indeed become a major health center in the northwest of Haiti.  Our partnership with the Ministry of Health(MSPP) has added an HIV clinic to our compound employing a full-time social worker who counsels families with HIV and teaches its prevention.  There will be two additional employees added next year and their salaries will be paid by the MSPP with funds made available through such organizations as WHO, UNICEF and donations from many other countries.

Our most critical needs for the present are additional funds to finish applying stucco to our new clinic building (about $2800 US), and either building or shipping in a special incinerator to deal with the constant stream of refuse at our busy compound.  We’re also soliciting funds for bibles, medicine and a shelter for our new congregation at Biaria.  It is our prayer that you will continue to partner with us as we continue reaching out with the love of Jesus Christ and the sharing of his gospel to the sick, lost, and dying which still numbers in the tens of thousands in our region.  Our work is never done.

One final note:  our Haitian director, Blaud Mondesir,  is taking to wife a lovely nursing student from the Okap area this summer.  Please join us in wishing him God’s richest blessings on his coming marriage.  Dr. Bob and I send our warmest wishes to you all.  While we’re not getting any younger we’re still holding on…. Thanks to the Grace of God.

Betty Johnson, RN, president MOL.  15 July, 2014

 

EMERGENCY APPEAL BY DR. BOB AND BETTY

* UPDATE*  As of March 5th – we have reached our financial goal and are in the process of purchasing the generator.  A work team is scheduled to go to Haiti midMarch and oversee the installation of the new generator.  Thank you to all our loyal supporters to responding so quickly to our appeal.

 

In a report I shared with you nearly two years ago I had appealed to you for help in purchasing a new generator, as our old one had already performed far beyond its usual life expectancy. Well…. Because of more pressing needs at the time, that need was kicked down the road, as we are so often forced to do. The result is: we are now faced with a true emergency: the old one has finally given up the ghost. It threw a rod through the motor block and is now beyond repair, and we are faced with an emergency need of around $10,000 to replace it. Meanwhile, the clinic and all our other operations on the compound at Jolivert are essentially shut down. It is therefore imperative that we approach all our supporters immediately in hopes of scraping up that $10,000 in a few days. To avoid the shipping costs and great delays involved in shipping one down from Miami, We are searching diligently to find one in- country and we can send our truck to pick up, or have it shipped up by bus. There are several companies in the Port-au-Prince area that sell diesel generators in the kilowatt range that we require and Blaud is down there currently seeking prices as I write these words.
I cannot too fervently express the deep gratitude that I and all the other directors at MOL feel toward all of you, both churches and individuals, for your gifting in our cause over the past 30 years. And yet it is with a deep sense of urgency that I now ask you to open your hearts and wallets or purse strings to help us once more through this crisis situation. While we do have a dedicated solar system in our lab to operate the chemistry machine, microscopes and like, we have been delayed in installing an adequate solar grid for the remainder of the compound by shipping and customs boondoggles over which we have no control. This means our fans, computers, electric lights, water pumps, and optical equipment in the eye clinic will remain shut down until a new generator is installed. Thus without electrical power, most of our operations at Jolivert are kaput for now, affecting the lives of hundreds of persons until we’re up and running again.
So we’re asking you to search your hearts, dig deeply, and mail us your gift to the address below immediately or as soon as you possibly can. Thanks and God bless!
Dr. Bob and Betty
15 February, 2014

NEW Project! Agricultural Seed Project

The seed project, detailed below, will be attempted in the following two communities: Biscaille and Marotier. It will utilize 650 packets of seed (seed types are listed below) in our school at Marotier involving 130 students. At Biscaille 250 packets will be utilized by 50 students. In addition, each teacher will receive the same five types of seeds for their own personal gardens which will act as a control garden.

The seeds for the seed project are provided by Child First Meds of Franklin, Texas.

a teacher at Biscaille with sample pkg seed given to each student

a teacher at Biscaille with sample pkg seed given to each student

Each teacher will oversee his/her students and administer the project.
The teacher must keep notes on the progress of each student. Continue reading

Betty’s Trip June 2013

My group included Tiffany Quisenberry, Meghann Phelps, and Nancy Bukovnik who with myself, accompanied Dr. Louissaint Louis XVI who went in to be installed in his role as staff physician at Clinic Jolivert in Haiti. We had a wonderful week working together, and were excited to announce Louissaint’s installation on the clinic staff…a long-awaited event. He graduated from medical school this past May and has now returned to Haiti to work for the next couple of years under the supervision of Haitian doctors from the Ministry of Health. It is extremely gratifying to us that the ministry now considers Clinique Jolivert to be one of the major health clinics in the Artibonite department of the Haitian government. Not only do they send some of their young physicians to serve on our staff Continue reading

Dr. Bob’s Year End Appeal

Dr.  BOB’S FALL REPORT
5 November, 2012

I think Missions of Love has earned some bragging rights.  I know, it’s said that one should not blow his own horn, but I’m not blowing it for me.  I’m blowing it for our “dynamic dozen”  officers and directors who just keep on keeping on after all these years of trials and difficulties to bring God’s Word to the Haitian people and to relieve their seemingly never-ending suffering and strife through medical, public health and educational interventions as well.   They do this without pay or recognition of any kind and “great is their faithfulness.”  Kudos to you, my dear friends!  I blow a horn also for our dedicated Haitian staff of thirty-five, whose lives we first helped to change and are now changing lives of tens of thousands of their countrymen through the Christian examples they make, the testimonies they share and the hard work they endure at Jolivert to God’s glory.

It is by no accident that our safe water project, “Gadyen Dlo,”  is now installed in over 25,000 homes in our immediate area and now in countless thousands of homes throughout Haiti since the Haitian Ministry of Health has adopted our methods and are encouraging them throughout the country.  It is because seeds were sown around our little clinic in Jolivert only ten-year ago.  And now even the WHO (World health Organization} have recognized our efforts and have recommended our process around the globe.

Continue reading

Bob’s Update on Surgery Ward & Xray

Dear friends,
It’s been several weeks since my last report on all the exciting programs going on at Clinique Jolivert. Many more teams have come and gone, each having achieved their goals, whether evangelical, educational or medical. I was to have gone in with the last medical (biotechnical) team led by Ralph Porter and others of our directors, but an acute coronary attack laid me low for a time. (Thanks to God though, I’m recovering very nicely at this writing).

The team was able to accomplish much, getting our new x-ray machine up and running, at least for a time, ably overseen by biotech Bill Wright who was the one who crated and shipped the machine to us in the first place. It was passed on to us by the good folks of Lumier Ministries, one of our many ministry partners in Haiti. The tube, however, was found to be defective, so the team must return with another tube and several other peripheral parts, wiring, etc.; all of which come to a total of $5300 which just about wipes out our clinic funds. But just imagine: a modern x-ray machine made available to thousands who have never enjoyed the benefits of such a hugely effective diagnostic and therapeutic tool! No more diagnosing or setting fractures blindly as I and other doctors have been forced to do repeatedly over the years. No more guesswork about diagnosis and treatment progress for tuberculosis for lack of a good chest x-ray. Coupled with the acquisition and installation of a blood chemistry multi-testing machine in our lab (and 24/7 refrigeration for the reagents used by it) our clinic has made a giant leap forward in its role as the premier provider of health care in the area. Hundreds of patients with diabetes, hypercholesterol, or renal failure can now be managed far more effectively. Continue reading