July/August 2016 Newsletter
Read it online or use the download button! Look at the top right corner of the document for the “zoom” and “pop out” features to make it easier to read.
July/August 2016 Newsletter
Read it online or use the download button! Look at the top right corner of the document for the “zoom” and “pop out” features to make it easier to read.
Dr. Bob’s note on Christophe’s role in our medical program.
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 More importantly, they’ve become leaders in a new and modern Haitian culture where voodoo and black magic have been replaced by the saving grace of Jesus Christ and a Christian ethic which is gradually changing the face, the future, the very destiny of Haiti.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
Fall Clinic Report
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.
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.
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”
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
* 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
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.
Each teacher will oversee his/her students and administer the project.
The teacher must keep notes on the progress of each student. Continue reading
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 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.
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
Gentlefolk: One week ago today I awakened with a severe coughing spasm, followed by excruciating chest pain. I knew at once I was suffering a heart attack. Betty rushed me to the nearest hospital and I seriously doubted I would get there alive. But God had other plans for me, and I survived a total occlusion of a major coronary vessel, and miraculously, with no apparent serious damage to the heart muscle. My cardiologist told me I was unbelievably lucky (Interpreted: unbelievably blessed beyond all measure)! Clearly, my work here is not finished. Still, discretion is “the better part of valor”, so I am forced by circumstance to sideline myself for a time. I have been advised to take a sabbatical from my mission duties for several months, even to the exclusion of conducting business by email and phone. My coming trip to Jolivert will have to be postponed for the time being, although the group I was to travel with will go in as planned with several goals in mind (installation of our new xray machine, fine-tuning our solar power grid, vehicle repairs among them). Continue reading