Mission: Mobility Update

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Mobility Update

God is good and keeps us moving forward! Wheelchair collection continues across the country. Since the last update, we have added groups in Rockingham, North Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio to the group team! Wheelchairs and other equipment continue to be collected to benefit the people of Guatemala through the distributions with Bethel Ministries International (BMI).

On His Path has progressed with yet another amazing project to help the wheelchair ministry of BMI in Guatemala. For several years now, John Mitchell, founder of On His Path, has worked with Chris Mooney and Saul Chopin of BMI to develop a cost effective reclining wheelchair.

These specialty chairs are a rare find in our collections at Mission: Mobility. They can be purchased but at a cost starting around $2,000/chair. Over the years, different ideas have been talked of until the final solution was decided – make one!

This past September, Saul came to Iowa to refine the design. He spent the week in the MD Orthopaedics shop with Marcus Powell, CAD Designer, and Andy Smith, Operations Manager, who were also recent mission trip team members with BMI, tweaking the design until they were satisfied with the final product. Many hours were spent on this project.

Overall, they simplified the design, eliminating expensive and fragile cables that the expensive chairs use to make the adjustments on the chair. They also adjusted design elements using the AutoCAD program. Marcus and others at MD are in the process of making welding templates that will be shipped to Guatemala on the next container. The container will also carry other tools and equipment that will make the production of this chair more efficient. In the end, some of the smaller parts will be cut by local vendors in Iowa and then shipped to Guatemala on the containers. The main frames of the chairs will be made of tube steel that will be purchased in Guatemala. The seats and cushions will be made at the BMI workshop. The entire chair will be constructed and then assembled at the BMI workshop which helps to assure jobs for the shop employees.

Saul took the prototype home with him as checked luggage so he could show this to the others at BMI. Saul anticipates they will produce 100 or more of the chairs each year with an estimated cost of $100/ chair. This truly is a PRAISE! When Saul and I were and Marcus came to Guatemala this summer on a mission trip, they SAW and EXPERIENCED what we were doing. It created a fire in them to help with this project!” Amen!

It is always a joy to see how God works inside the members of mission trip teams and how they use their abilities and gifts to continue serving even after they are home. What a treat it was to see this entire project come together!

Ultimately, this project is not about the wheelchair – it is about providing the opportunity for BMI to share the Gospel to those they serve. The kids who receive the new chairs won’t know where Iowa is or who Marcus, Andy, or On His Path are – they won’t care.  What they WILL know is this gift of mobility came from God and in turn, PRAISE HIM FOR IT!

Submitted by Rick Fulton, Mission: Mobility Volunteer

Gifts for Guatemala

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Gifts for Guatemala

We had great participation in the “Gifts for Guatemala” campaign. 205 Ziploc bags filled with gifts were donated in addition to many Hot Wheels cars, Crocs, flip flops, knit hats, blankets, and miscellaneous individual toys.

The community really came together to send a little something to a child in need this Christmas. We had a lot of fun sorting, packing, labeling, and getting these gifts ready for shipment. The gift boxes shipped the week of Thanksgiving via UPS as our wheelchair container was rescheduled.

Thanks to all who donated and volunteered; you are a blessing!

Around the World: Guatemala

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Muxin Morales Family

The Muxin Morales Family receive support with a food bag. The living conditions of this family have not been easy due to a lack of resources in home. Marco earns money by working in the fields while his wife takes care of their nine children: Randy (15), Daniel (13), Nehemias (10), Marvin (9), Julio (7), Doris (5), Esdras (2), and Sulma and Jesica (6 months). Since life for this family has been difficult,the two oldest boys have left school in order to help their father with the household expenses. Combined, they make $105 a month which is not enough to cover all of the family expenses. Marcos and his sons are doing everything possible to support their family, but they often do not have work and will only have a little to eat those days. Bethel Ministries International (BMI) has helped the Muxin Family with the construction of a home that is much better than their previous small room built of wood and scrap metal. We also gave them an extra bunk bed for children to sleep on, and gave them nutrition drinks and KAH meals to help improve their health. The family now has three meals a day as well. We are glad to see how their living conditions and health are improving. The family is very grateful for all of the support that they have been receiving from BMI.

Submitted by Donna Mooney, BMI

David Posid Memorial Clubfoot Clinic

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David Posid Memorial Clubfoot Clinic—Sonsonate

The David Posid Memorial Clubfoot Clinic was dedicated with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, October 25th at Dr. Jorge Mazzini Villacorta in Sonsonate, 34 miles from the capital city of El Salvador. At the dedication were several patients, parents, Hospital National Director—Dr. Walter Flores and Sub Director—Dr. Nehemias Alfaro, Orthopedist —Dr. Ernesto Valdes, several physiotherapists, other staff members, and local media.

The construction of the clinic was made possible through a donation received from Dan and Amanda Posid, their son Alex, family members and friends who joined them to support the GoFundMe campaign from David’s memorial.

The clinic was dedicated in memory of David Posid, “a friendly and happy boy who liked to be around people all the time” as his father Dan Posid said. “His life was so short on this world but with such great impact and legacy. Our prayer even before David was born was that whatever treatment or inconvenience that he would have to endure, God would use David’s story to be a blessing to others, impact other people’s lives and draw people closer to God.”

After the cutting ribbon ceremony, parents, their children and all the attendees enjoyed touring the new clinic, received some tasty snacks, and had the opportunity to meet the Posids along with On His Path Founder, John Mitchell and Executive Director, Emily Ferguson.  The brand-new clinic will significantly improve the services provided to the children and will make possible for children born with clubfoot deformity to receive Ponseti Method correction in the western zone of El Salvador.

The Ponseti Clinic features a waiting room, play area, casting room, storage, and restroom and will provide an adequate and comfortable place for the patients, parents and staff who help us in the clinic. When On His Path started working in El Salvador in 2012, patients were received in the general casting room and emergency waiting room of the hospital.

The clubfoot clinic currently has 60 patients in different stages of the treatment and attends approximately 10 to 12 children weekly. This clinic will benefit hundreds – maybe thousands – of children who may be able to walk, run and have a normal life.

“We’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time and after many years of prayer and faith, we are thrilled to be able to say the new Ponseti Clinic is officially open! In this place, we will share the love of Jesus and bring physical and spiritual healing to children and families who desperately need it.”

As an organization, we are extremely thankful and humble to be a part of how God is using David’s story to impact other children in ways that we cannot imagine.

Submitted by Mayra Arteaga, Clinic Coordinator

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

Clinic New: El Salvador

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David’s Story

Our son, David, was diagnosed in utero with a clubfoot. We did not know what our future and his childhood would look like, but we began praying, even before David was born, that whatever treatment, procedure, pain, frustration, or inconvenience that he would have to endure – that God would use his story to be a blessing to others, impact other people’s lives and draw people to God.

David went home to be with Jesus on November 24, 2015, just four weeks before he would have celebrated his second birthday. David was a trooper. Through all the castings, surgeries, braces/boots, etc., he bore it well. If he ever fussed over his boots, we knew we had put them on incorrectly. He squirmed when putting them on like any toddler would, but he never complained and never fought it as part of his night time routine. He learned to crawl, stand and even walk and jump a little in them. And as he got to spend his days without his braces, he was running so well that you couldn’t even tell he had an issue.

We had been donating David’s used braces to On His Path as he outgrew them. Upon his passing, we wanted to honor him, and we wanted his story to continue to be a blessing to others. At his services, we requested that in place of flowers, people would make a donation to support On His Path with the original intention of purchasing as many sets of braces as possible for underprivileged children.

The generosity of our friends and family was overwhelming. When we sent the check to On His Path, they advised us that there was enough there to cover the bulk of the costs associated with building an entire pediatric orthopedic clinic in Sonsonate, El Salvador and asked if we would rather do this than purchase braces. We gladly agreed.

David loved being around people, and even at a young age, his passion for others was evident. It was not uncommon to find him checking in on his older brother, Alex if he were hurt or upset, and with a hand on his shoulder, ask him if he was okay. We feel that building a clinic like this honors David’s memory and that it would delight his heart to have more friends with whom he could run around. We pray that children’s lives are blessed as they undergo treatment and that people would be drawn to God through On His Path and the story of our son.

Submitted by Dan Posid

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  – Philippians 1:6 NIV

Sharing God’s Love through Education

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Sharing God’s Love through Education

In a small, impoverished Haitian village on the shores of Lake Azuei, receiving an education used to be considered a luxury.

In Haiti (as in many developing countries), you have to pay to send your children to school, and for this community, the nearest school was very far away. Though these parents work very hard to provide for their families, most barely make enough to feed their children. Therefore, many adults in this village have never attended school and until 2013, most of the children had never had the chance to go to school.

To help break through the cycle of poverty by way of education, Operation Blessing built a school in this village called Ecole Nouvelle Lac Azuei (ENLA) School. On His Path began supporting ENLA in 2014, to help fund operating expenses so that these impoverished children can thrive. Today the ENLA School consists of two separate kindergarten and primary school buildings, a kitchen, water cistern, latrines and a food depot. It serves more than 300 children with a traditional Western education, Bible classes, summer camps and bi-annual health screenings. Students receive two nutritious meals each day at the school, with special attention given to children suffering from malnourishment.

Adult literacy classes are also provided for the adults in the village, including lessons from reading the Bible. One adult student, Suzette, is grateful to the ENLA School on behalf of her four children and herself. Suzette and her husband don’t have regular jobs; they make their living by fishing. Before her children attended ENLA, experiences such as learning, eating well and having regular health checkups were non-existent. Now, Suzette and her children benefit from the school’s programs.

Suzette cherishes her newly acquired knowledge. Through the adult literacy program, Suzette has learned how to write her and her children’s names, and she is growing more and more confident in reading. “I couldn’t write,” she said. “I was very happy when they taught me the letters of the alphabet because even though I can repeat a lot of words, I never knew how to write them.”

The education and nutrition opportunities provided to students at ENLA removes barriers to growth often experienced by families in impoverished communities. The hope given to Suzette and 600 others in the village is a step toward breaking generational poverty, helping families improve their lives and have bigger dreams for their futures.

Submitted by Ronda Sherman, Operation Blessing

Around the World: Nepal

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A New Life after the Earthquake

Sita has seen more than her fair share of tragedy over the past few years, but she is determined that she and her daughter will have a better future.

Two years ago, her husband traveled from their remote village in Nepal to India in search of a medical procedure he badly needed — but he fell into a dangerous trap and was killed by organ harvesters. The next year, Sita’s home and most of her village was completely destroyed when a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal.

With nowhere to turn, Sita took her five-year-old daughter and made the long trek down from the mountains to the capital of Kathmandu, hoping to find shelter and supplies. Today, she lives in a camp with hundreds of other earthquake survivors.

As she waits for her village to be rebuilt, Sita must provide for her little girl,but the camps can be dangerous for women on their own and jobs are hard to come by. Single women are at risk of being preyed upon by opportunists and sex traffickers, so she must be careful to protect herself and her daughter.

Operation Blessing teams were working in these camps, providing food, safe drinking water and supplies, when OBI staff met Sita and learned about her situation and the needs of countless women like her.

In response, Operation Blessing developed a special training center where single and widowed women could come to learn a marketable skill and effective business practices. On His Path provided support for this training center so that vulnerable women could learn cooking or cosmetology skills and lessons on how to turn those skills into a profitable business. The Blessings Training Center helps each graduate to start their own business, or gain employment in one of six “Blessings Food Centers,” or two “Blessings Beauty Salon” businesses. In keeping with the Nepalese cultural interest in helping each other, each Blessings business hires graduates from the training centers, and the women take turns, rotate roles, and work different schedules to manage the business. The average salary in Nepal is around $60-$70 per month. In the Blessings Food Centers, every woman working is producing profits of around $5 daily, which is at least $100 per month for women who did not have any previous means of income.

After an intense training, Sita graduated from the program and received all of the tools she would need to launch her very own business. Throughout the months that followed her graduation, Sita continued to receive support from the Operation Blessing team as she worked to carve out a new future for herself and her daughter — a future of dignity and success.

Submitted by Ronda Sherman, Operation Blessing