Micaela and Maria

Micaela is in her eighties and had a stroke several years ago. Her daughter, Maria, is in her forties and has had polio since she was seven years old. While another daughter worked during the day to support the family, Micaela and Maria would crawl around on the dirt floor since they  did not have a wheelchair to help them get around.

The good news is both of the women got their first wheelchair on Friday, July 18th at the Bethel Ministries wheelchair distribution in Chimaltenango that we had the humble honor of being a part of. I will never forget the huge smile on Maria’s face as she crawled down the aisle when her number was called. I have said before and heard others also say that when you go on a mission trip you are often more blessed than the people you are helping.

This was never so evident than with Micaela and Maria. Even though I couldn’t understand what she was saying, Micaela was going on and on in Spanish and pointing up to the heavens. I asked Donna Mooney of Bethel Ministries to translate for me and she said Micaela is saying “God will take care of you because He has taken care of me. He is everything and we are nothing.” I say Amen to that and thank you for blessing us Micaela!

Submitted by: Jean Mitchell

A House for Estella

Estella and her two children have been living with her elderly parents since her husband passed away eight months ago and the house she was living in before was in very bad condition and made of scrap metal and wood. Estella and her son, Porfilio, work very hard harvesting vegetables to make a meager wage so that her daughter, Adalis, can attend school. It is very important to Estella that her daughter gets an education so she can have a better future than she does. Estella climbs up a mountain every day to work nine hours in the fields picking green onions. She makes .26 cents for every large basket of onions she picks. Each basket holds 64 bunches and on a good  day she is able to pick 5-6 baskets, earning an average of $1.50 per

day. Estella said that the owners of the fields will often hire women because they don’t have to pay them as much as the men and if they don’t think the onions are good enough she picked, they will simply refuse to pay her. Every family that has a house built for them has a

heart wrenching story but there is beauty amid the ashes and hope among the hopeless, as Estella and her mom prayed to accept Christ that day!

Submitted by: Jean Mitchell

Holy Rolling

In rural India, a rickshaw is a self supporting tool and at the same time, it is a tool to rebuild Christian families. Due to deep poverty, many families are broken and my main concern is to help broken Christian families to rebuild and start a new life. Thanks to On His Path for their kind help in this project. At a cost of $425.00 each, four families received rickshaws to enable them to once again provide for themselves.

These are Christian families but due to their poverty, they were separated and became homeless people.  “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes”.

Now, by giving this self help tool, we are able to unite them and they have started new life again now. Praise Jesus! I have given gospel tracts to each rickshaw puller to give those tracts to those who sit in the rickshaw. When the rickshaw puller starts pulling it, the passenger who sits in the rickshaw will read through the gospel tract and will know about Christ.

This rickshaw will work as a tool to spread the gospel of Christ through a printed gospel tract. Many thanks to Jesus and many thanks to my Brother John and Sister Jean for their compassionate heart towards the poor in India while at the same time spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Submitted by: Pastor Paparao, Mission to the Nations, India

Haiti Comfort

We’ve been here for 10 years and have 15 children and an infant coming. We take nothing but AIDS children. We took care of a lot of initial needs by selling our house many moons ago. We bought 10 year old vehicles which are now 20! Our dump truck which is torn apart right now is just too dangerous to transport kids in. Our van lived a very short life after six 5-year-olds put everything fathomable in the gas tank! Sad, but cute! They are all 9 & 10 now….Praise God!

This ministry is certainly one big happy family but we need to raise serious money to accommodate our growth. We contribute our total reserve military pensions to what we do. After running operations, it’s gone.

A Blessing Arrives from On His Path. There’s a foundation that has stepped up for us in a big way twice before and noticed our transportation woes and invited us to apply for monies for a truck and yes, we were approved! What a gift from God! We picked up our new truck and it is a joyful time and a very thankful time.

Why thank God? ….because He sees that we are provided for and protected. We, as Christians, give our glory to Him first and always. Many Christians, who act as God’s emissaries choose not to be exposed and therefore, we, for the most part let God be God and He will bless their lives. WE are not capable of doing these things.

Submitted by: Trisha Comfort, Haiti Comfort

Haiti Update

As both the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and the second most densely populated, Haiti is especially vulnerable to natural disasters, climate shocks and disease. Access to sufficient quantities of nutritious food remains an issue for millions of Haitians. An estimated 38 percent of the population is hungry. Most children are raised on a skimpy diet of rice and beans. Lack of protein causes a variety of health and learning problems and is a major factor in perpetuating poverty. Three years ago, John Mitchell visited Operation Blessing’s Zanmi Beni Children’s Home in Haiti, and was touched by the need of this nation. On His Path invested in Operation Blessing’s Fish Farm and Hatchery at Zanmi Beni, an innovative project designed to provide sustainable ways to increase food availability for the population and help strengthen the economy.

Haitians love but cannot afford fish. Inland lakes are fished out and accessible inshore ocean waters have been ravished by generations of desperate fishermen. At first, the vision for the fish farm was to provide fresh fish for the children in the Zanmi Beni orphanage, and if successful, expand and build a hatchery to teach aspiring Haitians about fish farming. God granted favor, sent experts to help and multiplied the resources. Completed in 2011, Operation Blessing’s Fish Farm & Hatchery at Zanmi Beni children’s home produced 52,000 pounds of proteinrich tilapia for consumption and resale in 2012. This modern-day “loaves and fishes” effort not only helped feed children at Zanmi Beni, but also nearby orphanages, schools and hospitals. The remainder was sold to support the orphanage and fish farm.

The fish farm also provided technical advice and designed fish farms for local Haitians, so there are many small fish farms starting up around Haiti, including one on the campus of St. Damian’s/St. Luke’s Hospitals. Most importantly, Operation Blessing began “seeding” the lake and reservoirs of Haiti with tilapia. Operation Blessing’s Fish Farm and Hatchery is capable of producing 500,000 fingerlings (baby fish) that can then be seeded in ponds and reservoirs to help replenish the fish stock and be “ranched.”

Unlike the fish farming done at the hatchery, where fish are raised in tight quarters and fed high-protein food so they can grow as fast as possible, this program works in open ponds, lakes and reservoirs. This is a small but mighty solution with powerful returns. All you need are baby fish that cost ten cents each, a body of water and sunshine – God provides the rest. Massive numbers of baby tilapia are released into Haiti’s lakes and reservoirs to forage on their own. Tilapia are herbivores and thrive grazing on algae the same way that cattle or horses graze on grass. Baby fish that cost a dime can grow into fish worth $5 or more in less than a year.

OBI is pioneering fish ranching in Haiti, working with the Haitian Department of Agriculture as well as a faith-based local charity that builds lakes and reservoirs. With these partnerships, the fish farm has put over 1,000,000 fingerlings and fish fry into the lake to help jumpstart the fishing industry. The goal is to populate these and barren public waters all over Haiti with tilapia.

As they grow and mature, fishermen will catch many to feed their families and to sell for income, but many will survive, breed and multiply, expanding the population for years to come. A small but mighty way to fight poverty in a nation that desperately needs your help.

Submitted by: Ronda Sherman, OBI Executive Director of Philanthropy