Nepal Earthquake Relief

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Miraculously, beautiful little Bihani, only 2.5 years old, was found alive but trapped inside her completely demolished home, pinned under bricks and debris after a massive earthquake. Fortunately she was rescued quickly, with only a few scrapes and bruises, but with a terrible loss—her mother died next to her in the hallway, just steps away from the door. Bihani, now in the care of her aunt, lives with eight other extended family members in a makeshift tent made from plastic sheeting. Her family lost almost all their possessions and food stores in the quake. But Bihani is just one heartbreaking story among thousands in Nepal. The two earthquakes that hit Nepal this year killed more than 9,000 people, injured more than 23,000, flattened entire villages, ruined or damaged more than 900,000 homes, and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

On His Path responded immediately with compassion for the people of Nepal, partnering with Operation Blessing to provide safe water, food, shelter, medical help and much needed supplies to the impoverished nation. Operation Blessing quickly set up a chlorine  production facility in capital city Katmandu, and community water stations in many rural communities. These efforts made it possible to disinfect large amounts of water for drinking and prevent waterborne illnesses. Over one million people have been blessed by this clean water effort in Nepal. Operation Blessing also provided over 250 tons of food supplies to earthquake victims, including rice, lentils, cereal, salt, oil and soy beans. In addition, essential supplies such as blankets, cooking kits, mosquito nets and hygiene kits were distributed. Distributing this help was not always easy, as many rural villages were high up in the Himalayas, and difficult to reach due to damage to the roads from the earthquakes. Then the monsoon season arrived, further destabilizing the earthquake-cracked mountains, and producing landslides that swept away entire villages. Rural villagers started coming down from the mountains because they had lost everything – their homes, their crops, their livelihoods. Unfortunately many people who lived in Katmandu were also without shelter and living in tents –more than 100 camps sprang up in Katmandu alone.

To help provide aid for these people, Operation Blessing not only set up and improved several IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps, but continues to provide aid in the form of food, supplies and clean water to several IDP camps in Katmandu. Almost six months after the quakes, the Nepalese government is still caught in political infighting, unable to spend the $4.4 billion in foreign aid for reconstruction and rehabilitation. Rebuilding was virtually halted during the monsoon season, and now winter is coming. In this environment, On His Path and Operation Blessing will continue their partnership to help the Nepalese people with rebuilding homes and lives of the very vulnerable – widows, orphans, single mothers and the elderly. Construction has begun for 65 permanent houses that consist of two rooms plus a kitchen area that can house a family of six. Two schools were rebuilt, and school supplies delivered so that children can return to their studies for the new school year. A reconstructed orphanage has also been supplied for the winter months. To help people regain their livelihoods, On His Path and Operation Blessing are partnering to support a training center for vulnerable widows and mothers from the IDP camps, training them in small business skills – cooking, sewing and beauty classes will be taught in 30-day intense workshops. These workshops will allow these vulnerable women to start their own small businesses and provide for their families. As Nepal struggles to recover from the tremendous loss and devastation caused by the earthquakes, On His Path and Operation Blessing continue to work hard to be a source of hope and meet the needs of hurting families throughout Nepal. Thank you for your partnership and resources that have enabled this hope to reach many in dire need.

Submitted by: Ronda Sherman, Operation Blessing

Kids Against Hunger Meals Impact Guatemala

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Aura is 45 years old and has been a widow for many years. Since her husband passed away, she has been doing everything possible to move forward with her three children. Aura works collecting trash from the dump, which is the only way she can support her family. For almost two years now, Bethel Ministries International of Guatemala has been able to support this family with a food bag every month. They are grateful to God for all the help they are receiving. They are also very grateful for the house and bathroom that was donated to them.

On His Path helps make this possible through grant funding and donations received from the On His Path community. Kids Against Hunger meals packed in Wayland, Iowa are an important item included in these life-giving food bags. When blessings are shared with the needy, God receives the praise and glory!

Testimonial submitted by BMI, Guatemala

Bangladesh Clubfoot Project

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On His Path Helps Children With Clubfeet Worldwide

Worldwide, about 200,000 children are born with clubfeet, a condition where the foot is twisted downwards and inwards. If untreated, the deformity leads to pain with walking and is disabling. Ponseti clubfoot treatment, developed in Iowa, is a largely non-surgical method of correcting clubfoot by a series of manipulation and carefully applied casts. Usually 5 casts correct the deformity. The child wears a brace at night to prevent relapse until the age of 4. Treated children and adults enjoy lifelong freedom from pain and full function. On His Path is helping children born with clubfeet worldwide. In Bangladesh, On His Path is donating teaching models to Sustainable Clubfoot Care in Bangladesh (SCCB). SCCB is a Canadian government funded initiative to fi nd all children in Bangladesh born with clubfeet and treat them with the Ponseti Method. SCCB will train village health workers to screen for clubfoot deformity and refer children with deformed feet to clubfoot clinics, where specially trained doctors will correct the feet using the Ponseti Method. On His Path is donating 23 sets of clubfoot teaching models to SCCB, one for every public medical college, to help future doctors and surgeons learn about clubfoot and how to treat them. On His Path also helps children elsewhere, but in a different manner.

On His Path is providing support to the University of British Columbia as it works with the World Health Organization and others in developing guidelines for the management of clubfeet so that Ponseti treatment can be provided in the most consistent and effective manner.

Submitted by: Dr. Shafi que Pirani, BC

Testimonials from Orphans

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Brenda Nafula’s Biography

My name is Brenda Nafula and I am in grade 2 at God’s Mercy Orphanage School. I used to live with my father who is HIV positive. My mother died a few years back and left me with my father who is seriously sick up to now. I have suffered much and I used to work in gardens to get food to eat and I had no way to go to school as my father was sick and poor at the same time. My grandmother lived with us but she passed away two years back. I want to thank my sponsors for helping me get an education. Even though I am almost grown up, I am determined to stay in school and get a good education. I am well fed and also have a good time with my best friend, Phiona Auma, and other children. I would love to be a teacher at our orphanage school to help teach my fellow orphans. My best subjects are English and Social Studies. I like playing netball and skipping games. Thank you for paying my fees, feeding me, clothing me, and giving be accommodations at the orphanage to provide my basic needs. Please help other kids who are still in the life I used to live. Please, I am praying for my sponsors daily to help me get education, know God, and also be happy with other children at school. Even though my mother died of AIDS and my father has AIDS, I have been tested and I don’t have the disease. I am so grateful. My teachers are very good to us and we love them. We love our Director at the school, too. Thank you for your kindness and love to me.

-Brenda Nafula

 

Benjamin Oketch’s Biography

My name is Benjamin Oketch, age 10 years and in grade 2 at God’s Mercy Orphanage Primary School in Busia, Uganda. My biological parents died of AIDS disease when I was 4-years-old and I stayed with my grandmother who was so sickly and old. As young as I was, I could help my grandmother sell fruit to get some money to feed us in our home. I helped my grandmother wash plates, sweep the house and do some cooking. I also woke up very early in the morning to fetch water from a swamp for cooking our meals. I grew up in a very difficult situation without any parental care as all my parents passed on. I thank the Lord and my sponsor for helping me to get an education besides knowing God. It was one day when the Director of God’s Mercy visited us to pray for my grandmother and to find a way for me to be taken to the orphanage school to get an education. From the time I was admitted to the orphanage school, my life has greatly changed and I thank the Lord because I am fed well, wash my clothes, and study. My best subjects at school are mathematics and science. I want to become a doctor to help treat people who are sick. My best friend at school is Josia Asiimwe Clever. Pray for the orphanage and my grandmother too who is still sick and old. I love to play soccer at school. Thank you for helping me to get a good education and good health. There are many orphans in my village who are passing through problems as I used to in my village. I pray that the Lord may provide for them so that they can get an education.

Thank you

Benjamin Oketch

 

My Missionary Trip to Iowa, a Land of Plenty

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Praise the Lord for all He does. He is worthy to be praised.

I was invited to go to the United States to speak during the On His Path Donor Appreciation Dinner in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. I flew from Entebbe International Airport on April 9th and arrived on April 10th; a trip which took many hours. I thank the Lord that I arrived well at the Cedar Rapids Airport and was received by the Founder of On His Path, John Mitchell, who is a wonderful servant of the Lord. We drove a few minutes and arrived in his wonderful home. I was welcomed by his beloved wife, Jean, and their daughter, Isabella. I was joyful for having met together in their home.

The next morning, I managed to visit the offices of MD Orthopaedics and On His Path where I met wonderful people including Executive Director, Emily Ferguson. I had a wonderful tour, met staff and interacted with dear ones. I was so shocked and humbled in the way the Lord used John Mitchell and his wife Jean to build such a wonderful complex. I was also blessed to stay at their home whereby they gave me a wonderful hospitality. I was challenged to see that their home was full of food and multiple fridges for a house which only had three people. I had an opportunity to eat what I wanted at their house and among the best meals I had was porridge, which was my favorite and what I loved most among all food stuff. We had wonderful fellowship with Brother John in prayer, fellowship in the Word, visited several churches and I was much blessed to interact with the Saints of the Lord.

The state of Iowa is so beautiful, full of cornfields and many other kinds of cereal grown everywhere. I had the opportunity to visit many farms like piggery, dairy, and turkey farm. All were a challenge and eye opener to me and I got to know and learn the best method of rearing those animals and birds above. We had a time of leisure going fishing which I enjoyed together with Mr. John. I also managed to visit the so-called poor people who actually, in my sense, are not poor. They have almost everything they need; a house, a car, etc. compared to a poor person in Africa who has nothing. We visited, too, the Iowa State Capital. It was an amazing time to me and fellowshipped with Mr. Joseph Mitchell who gave us a tour of the facilities. While I was there, I did interact with men and women of God who were really a blessing. We prayed and studied the word of the Lord together. I also shared dinner with Emily Ferguson and her family and we had a wonderful fellowship and sharing together as Saints of God. Everything in the USA is done on time compared to the African way of doing things at a slow pace.

I was challenged in many ways while I was with the Mitchells. The way they live, their wonderful hospitality to me and how Godly they are in their family / home. The day I was waiting for came, which was the Donor Appreciation Dinner. This was a wonderful time to meet men and women who are prayerful in their support of On His Path and financially to see to it that the work of caring of the needy and preaching the Gospel is expanded. I thank the Lord for having participated in this wonderful ceremony. I want to thank the Founders and staff of On His Path and MD Orthopaedics for having me visit them and challenging me in many ways. I came back home blessed and with a new perspective of how men and women of God who have love, have the power to change the lives of the helpless to hopeful. All you guys do have a special place in our hearts. What a blessed journey to and from and back home to Uganda. Thanks for being part of what the Lord is doing in Uganda in caring for the poor, the needy, and advancing the Gospel to nations and communities in Uganda. Be blessed.

Submitted by: Pastor Francis Makoha, Uganda

Los Gozosos

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For the past year, we have been able to support Los Gozosos by providing them with medicine monthly. Los Gozosos is a care center that takes care of 10 children who suffer from various diseases, such as CP, epilepsy, microcephaly, autism, hemiplegia, and mental retardation. We are blessed to see the children’s health improve from month to month and continue to help them with medicine, food, and education. Our hearts are full of joy to see these children growing and pursuing their dreams. The workers at Los Gozosos express their thanks, “We don’t have money to pay for everything that you are doing for us and for all the support that we have received for a long time. The children are so blessed to be able to count on you for support and love. May God bless everyone for all your love and help.”

Submitted by Donna Mooney of Bethel Ministries International, Guatemala

Haiti for Christ

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“Wow, what a generous gift! Thank you very much.” As I said this, I wondered why the Haitian man who had once stolen from us offered such a sacrificial gift. I lifted potatoes, turnips, spinach and watercress from the piled high basket and admired each offering; it was a beautiful and expensive gift for a poor truck driver with a family.

Charles nodded and grinned, “When a man is healed he must go back and say, ‘Thank you for what you did for me. Thank you for healing me.’” Immediately I knew Charles was referring to the ten lepers in Luke chapter 17. Jesus heals the ten lepers but only one comes back to thank Him. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:15-19 Charles lives in a two room concrete house with a tin roof on the Kenscoff Mountain. His brothers and mom have similar homes nearby. On Thursdays, peasant merchant women with heavy hand woven baskets balanced on their heads walk for miles to the market near Charles’ home. With the help of another merchant, the women lower their baskets to the ground and arrange lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes and other produce on a burlap sack or piece of carton spread on the packed earth and then they squat in a deep knee bend behind their wares as they wait for customers. Charles drives a Mack truck up and down the mountain delivering sand and gravel for concrete construction projects. His salary provides for his children’s education and daily needs; the family is healthy and well fed. For five years before his job as a truck driver,  Charles drove a pickup for our mission Haiti for Christ. His happy go lucky, jovial face was always a welcome sight at the mission office; unfortunately his exuberance was a mask hiding a disfiguring and deadly leprosy. (Leprosy is often a symbol of pervasive, addictive sin in the bible.) One day my husband Joel left the mission checkbook on the pickup dash while he went into the office; Charles was in the driver’s seat. Hours later Joel discovered an entire page of checks missing from the checkbook! (Employee theft is rampant in Haiti.) We knew our only option was to dismiss Charles immediately and pay his severance with no accusation or charges. Haitian law is Napoleonic Code thus to accuse someone without absolute proof, the checks in his hand, would jeopardize our mission. Since we did not have that eyewitness proof we knew the process was to send him home without explanation and stop the missing checks. When Joel fired Charles later that day, the driver did not object or question the action; he knew why even though it was never mentioned. We did not see Charles for years after that but we often thought of his smiling face and warm greeting. Our forty years in Haiti have taught us to be wary of thievery but our hearts are always pained for the sin that enslaves Haitians. Charles knows the gospel; he knows what we stand for as does all of Haiti. We host and produce Haiti’s favorite television show, a Creole Christian travelogue shot on location; it is our powerful pulpit to the nation. We film a different Haitian village in each episode and show the beauty of the country and her people and then Joel ministers a word from the Lord often about repentance from leprous sin. To date we have produced eighty-six shows and La Bonne Nouvelle, The Good News, is aired on eighty stations throughout Haiti, the Caribbean and Haitian markets in Montreal, Boston, New York and South Florida. Our estimated viewing audience is two million Haitians every day! Last month as we sat down to dinner, the doorbell rang; after years of not seeing him, Charles was at the gate. Joel went out to speak with him. Charles greeted him and said, “I have been watching your television show every day and it has changed me.”  Joel came to get me. “Yvonne, come and see this!” I went to witness the wonder my husband was so excited about. Charles sat on the low wall beside our driveway, next to him was a basket overflowing with produce; he greeted me with his customary wide smile and strong hug. “Charles,” I said, “Look how fat you are!” (In Haiti, weight gain is a sign of prosperity and to notice it is a compliment.) Charles beamed and pointed at the basket, “This is for you and Pastor Joel!” I asked about his wife and children. “Everyone is fine; God is blessing us,” he happily assured me. Charles helped us carry the  heavy basket into the house and then he again shook our hands. “I am healed because of what you did for me.” He said, “Thank you.” As we returned to our dinner table, Joel asked, “Can you believe what just happened? God healed him of his sin and he came back to thank us for it.” I agreed. “It makes it all worth it. If he was the only one that got right with God, he just made it all worth it. Forty years of praying and preaching I would do it all for one soul, glory to God.” But to myself, I thought, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” Yes, Christ is using us; yes, souls are being saved every day but until we get to heaven and see Jesus face to face, we cannot imagine the transforming power of the gospel – The Good News – that we practice and preach every day. We cannot imagine the convicting impact of our soul winning television show watched by young, old, rich, poor, voodooist, drug dealers and even politicians, but on that day we will see them in Heaven! Our driver Charles was a thief, but now he is a blood washed saint with his name written in the Lamb’s book of life. He is brand new, born again; old things are passed away and all things are new. I have often told friends, “When you get to heaven, I will be sitting in the Haitian section!” Now we are assured that happy go lucky, once leprous Charles will be there too!

Submitted by Yvonne Trimble of Haiti for Christ

A Vision for Guatemala

My daughters and I had the privilege to travel to Guatemala with a team from OHP in July. My eldest, a 4 year Spanish student, had been given a special invitation earlier in the summer to travel with her high school Spanish teacher to Costa Rica. After prayer and discussion about that she had turned down that opportunity, feeling like she really wanted an experience where she could both serve the people and further her Spanish communication skills. Thank God she has learned patience, because God had a much better opportunity on the horizon for all 3 of us. God cleared other obstacles in our path, such as job schedule for 2 of us, passports being delivered promptly at short notice and a supportive husband encouraging us to travel without him! In addition, I actually was very encouraged by my boss when I requested the time off! He thought that this would be a great, life-changing opportunity and was excited for me to travel to Guatemala! In fact, he is an Optometrist and said he would be glad to send along 110 pair of used prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses. I thought, this is surely confirmation that I am supposed to be a part of this trip! I was most excited about some of the pairs of specialty eyeglasses that I was able to bring along that were specialty fitted for kids with severe eye problems such a crossed eyes. I am a Vision Therapist, and know the difference that these can make when a young child with this problem wears them regularly! They will gradually straighten their eyes, without surgery, improving both their quality of life and their vision for a lifetime of difference for that one individual. I was also very aware that these pairs were donated and also had specialty prescription lenses which would only work with the rare child that had that exact need. One afternoon, midweek, they told us that we had the chance to travel up the mountain to the Mayan Village. I was very excited to meet the beautiful people there. Our plan there was to distribute clothes and shoes and I knew that we did not have a long time to be there, as we had other service plans for the day. Soon after arriving, we were holding kids and loving on the people, when I noticed sitting on the grassy hillside a little boy with esotropia or crossed eyes. Our plan was not to distribute glasses there. However, I knew that I may have just what he needed to help him with his vision needs. I couldn’t leave without trying. I set about handing out clothes to the older boys, while at the same time telling someone who had visited there before to find the boy’s mother to ask her if I could check his visual acuities and try some glasses on him that could help him. After handing out the clothes, someone brought his mother over to me. I don’t speak Spanish, but I knew she was very excited at the prospect of getting help for her little one! He was about 4 years old. I carefully communicated to her that if one of these lenses fit him, they would help straighten his eyes if he would faithfully wear them! She couldn’t stop smiling. I had 2 chances to try. There were only 2 children’s glasses donated that would work for him for this condition, IF the prescription were correct. God is all-powerful, providing for  his dear children in creative ways as a good Father! The first pair provided nothing but very blurry or “boroso” vision to this little one. But I knew we had 1 more try. Of course, this pair had been donated especially for him with his special needs in mind! They were a perfect prescription and fit for him with the bi-nasal section of each lens made blurry on purpose to create the outward movement of his eyes! We were all beyond excited at this life-changing treasure to help this precious little child that God cares so deeply about! That afternoon, his mother received her first glasses too to help her as she supports her family with the near vision needed to sew! It was a joy to see many other people line up outside the van that we were using as our traveling optometry office! I am not a doctor, but God used my willingness to love his people and bring glory to Him and provide life change and fresh vision to his people in Guatemala! You may not feel like you have much to give, but if you have used glasses or sunglasses lying in your drawers at home, you could donate them to provide vision to people who need your exact prescription!

Submitted by Christy Reist

Grandpa’s Shoes

One special memory and experience on this trip was during our second home build day. We arrived at a hillside and saw the “goat path” trail that led up a steep hill with our building site at the top. This trail reminded us of Matthew 7:14. But the pathway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

This home was for a widowed mother, Estella, and her 3 children. Also at this home site were Estella’s parents in a small home. Ironically, I said it should be a light day with only 1 house build on the schedule. Boy was I wrong! The elevation and the grade both made for an exhausting start of the day. We proceeded to carry all the building materials up the steep grade to the top. It took many, many trips. I was preparing to carry my last load of five sheets of tin that I carried on my back. I was taking a minute to catch my breath before climbing when I heard an old man talking to me in Spanish. He was grabbing for a few sheets of my tin. I figured it was a local wanting to help out to make a few Quetzales. I was looking down when he spoke and the first thing I saw was his feet.

He was the father of Estella. He was so excited to help with the new home for his widowed daughter. He was probably 65, but looked 85 from the hard life he had led. His feet truly told the story. The project progressed quickly. Grandpa, as we referred to him, was so excited and happy to help in any way possible. At one point John gave him a pair of gloves. He accepted the gift happily, but it was almost comical. He had absolutely no idea how to put the gloves on. We realized he probably had never owned a pair of gloves. Wow! Once he had them on, he looked like he had won the lottery! I recall throughout the work, I kept looking at his feet. They were so weathered, in his makeshift flip flops. The shoes were several sizes too small for his feet. We broke for a lunch of ham sandwiches, chips and my favorite Guatemalan cookies…CHIKYS! (love those things!)

After lunch, I wanted a photo with Grandpa. We stood by the woodpile, a great backdrop. In typical Guatemalan fashion, Grandpa would not smile. I had my arm around him for additional photos. So as my wife took another photo, I tickled his ribs. He busted out laughing! I can probably guarantee you Abuelo had never had an American tickle him! The project wrapped up, we dedicated the new home and prayed for the family and we were preparing to leave.

God then laid it on us to get Grandpa some shoes but we realized that through the week we had given out all the shoes we had brought. Prior to the trip, my daughter Taylor had bought a new pair of tennis shoes with the intent of giving them away to someone. With this being near the end of the trip, Taylor had resigned herself to the fact that she was probably not going to find a girl who could fit into her size 9’s. But guess which team member’s shoes were the perfect fit for Grandpa Taylor’s! The look on Grandpa’s face was priceless when he tried them on and they fit perfectly! We then had Chris of BMI explain to Abuelo Noe that if he would follow us down the trail to the van, we would give him the shoes and Taylor would return to the hotel barefoot. He was happy to oblige. It was extremely touching to watch as Taylor removed her bright blue FILA shoes from her feet and stand in her socks on the road as she fit Grandpa with his new shoes. It was a beautiful gesture that I will never forget! It reminded me of the humble act of the washing of feet in the Bible!

Grandpa’s shoes were homemade. The soles were from an old pair of tennis shoes and the strap part of the flip-flops were made from car innertubes. Note in the photo the heels of the shoes… or lack thereof! There was a hole in both shoes that a golf ball could pass through! When asked, Grandpa said he had worn these shoes for 10 years! What a selfless guy. When he needed new shoes, he opted to just keep his old ones and use the money for food for the family!

Submitted by Rick Fulton

Our Daughter

Our daughter, Isabella, has eagerly anticipated her first trip back to Guatemala since we brought her home with us nearly 7 years ago. What made this trip even more special was for her to witness and be involved with the many acts of service during the time we were there. One of my favorite verses while we were waiting for the call from the adoption agency saying we could finally go get our daughter and bring her “home” was Hebrews 11:1– Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. I was reminded of that verse again while we were in Guatemala witnessing the poverty.

Oh how the poor there must long for heaven so they will suffer no longer! It makes me wonder if we here in America are longing for heaven just as much, or have we become too comfortable? Recently Isabella celebrated her 8th Birthday and was making a long list of plans of what her and her best friend were going to do for her birthday. She said, “You know what would be really awesome Mom?!?!?!” I was thinking she was going to say manicures, shopping, or something along those lines. She said, “if Jesus would come back and take us to heaven on my birthday!”

Submitted by Jean Mitchell