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blessings OPERATION BLESSING INT. DECEMBER 2018

Gift of Safe Water UNWRAPPING THE

P A G E

REACHING HURRICANE FLORENCE VICTIMS P A G E

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THE GIFT OF FOOD ON THE TABLE P A G E

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YOU GAVE THE GIFT OF RESTORED HEALTH P A G E

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HAPPENINGS

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Catch up with the goings on at Operation Blessing!

REACHING HURRICANE FLORENCE VICTIMS

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How you rushed aid to the hardest hit areas of North Carolina

MERRY CHRISTMAS

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This season, give a gift that truly matters to change the life of a child.


Inside this this issue issue

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UNWRAPPING THE GIFT OF SAFE WATER Your support brings clean water to a community in need this holiday season

THE GIFT OF FOOD ON THE TABLE

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Your support gives a single mom the help she needs to feed her daughters

YOU GAVE THE GIFT OF RESTORED HEALTH

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A dangerously ill child in India gets treatment for tuberculosis thanks to Operation Blessing partners

BRINGING HEALTH TO HIS COMMUNITY

22 operationblessing.org

An OBI Community Health Worker volunteers his time to bless those in need

P.O. Box 2636, Virginia Beach, VA 23450

(800) 730-2537

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HAITI: These students at Operation Blessing’s ENLA school would not have the

opportunity to get a quality education without the support of our faithful partners.

HAPPENINGS OPERATION BLESSING

PERU: Dr. Sandra Arbaiza, director of OB Peru, examines a young patient as part of an Operation Blessing medical campaign.

INDONESIA: A mother holds her child and a solar light from Operation Blessing. After the city of Palu was struck by a devastating earthquake and tsunami, your support allowed OBI to bring relief to those in need! 4


HONDURAS: Thanks to the generosity of Operation Blessing partners like you, this little girl is enjoying clean, safe water piped right to her home!

PARAGUAY: Alex wears his foot brace as part of the Ponseti method of treating clubfoot. Thanks to a partnership between Operation Blessing, MiracleFeet, and our faithful supporters, children like Alex around the world are getting the treatment they need!

WEST BANK:

This boy from a Bedouin tribe in the Judean desert received a backpack and school supplies thanks to OBI partners like you!

MEXICO: Thanks to your support, Operation Blessing staff deliver new mattresses to victims of flooding in Sinaloa, Mexico.

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DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE SPECIAL BENEFITS to DONATING via

stocks OR IRA ? RECEIVE DOUBLE TAX SAVINGS

Donate stock to OBI and receive double tax savings. You can receive an immediate income tax deduction for the stock’s fair market value and pay no capital gains tax.

GIVE A TAX-FREE GIFT

By giving a “tax-free” gift via your IRA you are turning your required minimum distribution into a gift to help the hurting.

Do you want to know more about your options and give a meaningful gift today? Email plannedgiving@ob.org for more information. 6

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NORTH CAROLINA

Reaching

Victims New Bern

How you rushed aid to the hardest hit areas of North Carolina

I

n September, monster storm Hurricane Florence

made impact along the U.S.

East Coast. But thanks to your support, Operation Blessing’s U.S. Disaster Relief team stood ready to quickly respond to the desperate needs of hurricane victims. As the storm made landfall, truckloads of relief supplies were staged near the disaster zone. Included in OBI’s arsenal was a Continued on page 8

Continued on page 8

Operation Blessing volunteers, both young and old, have a great time serving hurricane victims hot, nourishing meals. 7


Continued from page 7

mobile kitchen capable of making

out hygiene items, flood kits,

1,000 meals per day, flood kits

water, and food. They continued to

supplied by The Home Depot,

partner with us over the coming

pallets of bottled water, food,

weeks to help deploy and house

hygiene items, and more.

volunteers to aid hurting residents

Thankfully, the storm, once

with recovery.

a category 4, hit land in North

In Lumberton, N.C, we quickly

Carolina as a category 1 hurricane.

set up a second relief hub in

Still, Hurricane Florence packed

partnership with East Lumberton

a powerful punch. It crept slowly

Baptist Church. In the meantime

inland dumping enormous amounts

more semi-truckloads of supplies

of rain and causing significant wind

and a KOHLER Disaster Relief

and flood damage.

Showering Trailer arrived at the

Two days after the initial

impact zone to aid those in need

impact, OBI began our first relief

and support the volunteer effort.

distribution in New Bern, N.C. This area with many low-income

Hurricane Florence, but you’ve

individuals suffered a hard hit

sent help and hope to so many

from Hurricane Florence, and

desperate survivors

the conditions became worse

of the storm. We’ve

throughout the week as nearby

served approximately

rivers rose. Without Limits Christian

45,000 hot meals and

Center provided a distribution

our volunteer teams have

point and volunteers as OBI passed

helped to clean out and

Continued from page 7

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Sadly, 53 people lost their lives in

Volunteers distribute flood kits full of cleanup supplies from our faithful partner, The Home Depot.


start the repair process on more than 90 homes. Over 1,500 Operation Blessing volunteers have reached out to the people of North Carolina, earning a visit of appreciation from the governor of the state. It’s only because of you that we can offer this type of immediate and effective disaster relief to help the hurting. Thank you for giving the gift of hope to hurricane victims in their darkest hours. Continued on page 10

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Miracles in the Midst Continued from page 9

T

he night Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina quickly turned

shoulder-high water in the pitch dark, trying

into a nightmare for John and

desperately to reach higher ground. Rain

Crystal. The disabled couple decided to

water stung their eyes and winds whipped

ride out the storm at home, but it struck

them. At one point, an exhausted John

harder than they ever expected.

stopped to lean on a tree and yelled for

When water started seeping into their

Crystal to keep going. Miraculously, their

house, they realized they needed to get

son arrived just when they thought they

out. After calling their son to explain the

wouldn’t survive. He helped them to his

situation, the couple fought through waist

vehicle and sped them away to safety. John

deep floods to a borrowed truck and

said, “He is a powerful God. He saved us.”

headed to higher ground. A miracle occurred when Crystal

c

John and Crystal still had a long battle

ahead of them. River water left their home

accidentally hit the button that opened the

full of mold and their possessions soaked.

truck window. Because before long, the

At Operation Blessing’s distribution center

rising water started filling the truck up to the

in New Bern, they received warm meals and

dashboard. Unable to get the doors open

hygiene items. Soon, an OBI team arrived at

against the strength of the water, it was only

their home to help with cleanup. It was yet

because of the already open window that

another miracle, all thanks to friends like you,

they were they able to escape at all.

for this struggling couple. ◆

“He is a powerful God. He saved us.” John – New Bern Resident 10

The disabled couple and their dog battled


c

Merry

hristmas

This season, give a gift that truly matters! ob.org/giveJOY

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HONDURAS

Your support brings clean water to a community in need

Unwrapping the

12

Gift of Sa


T

he pain was constant. Dehydration, diarrhea, stomach cramps—it was all just part of life for 11-year-old

Juan. In fact, stomach diseases and parasites had been afflicting the residents of Agua Buena, Honduras, for generations. The problem was the water. Every day, Juan and his brothers would hike up into the mountains until they reached a small, dirty, open water source. Once there, they would slowly fill their bottles, being careful not to disturb the filthy waters too much. “We would put the bottles in slowly so as not to stir the water,” Juan recalled. “But it always got dirty. We had to pass it through a cloth and then leave it in the bottle so the dirt could be separated again.” Unfortunately for Juan and his neighbors, the water’s most dangerous contaminants could not be filtered out with just a cloth. Bacteria and parasites were still prevalent. Juan frequently missed school due to sickness caused by the unclean water. During the dry season, water was so hard to reach that sometimes Juan had to go without entirely. “When it was summer, we had to walk farther because the water sources were dry,” he said. “There were days that we did not even have one glass of water.” Continued on page 14

afe Water this holiday season

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Desperate to find a solution, the people of Agua Buena reached out

pipes was built to distribute the water

to a nearby village where Operation

to every home in Agua Buena. To

Blessing had installed a clean water

ensure the water is safe to drink and

project. Thanks to your support,

free of contaminants, OBI provided

their efforts were soon rewarded as

every family in the village with a Kohler

Operation Blessing began planning

Clarity water filter.

the construction of a brand-new water project in Agua Buena. Community members eagerly

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Blessing. From there, a network of

For young Juan and the people of Agua Buena, clean water is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Juan

jumped in to help dig the long trenches

no longer has to make the long and

needed for the new water pipes. Soon,

laborious hike into the mountains in

the precious gift of water was being

search of water. More importantly, he

piped from a natural source at the top

no longer suffers from painful and

of the mountain down to a 7,500-gallon

dangerous waterborne diseases. “I had

storage tank built by Operation

asked God many times that someone


would help us have a water project,” Juan said. “I thank God for sending Operation Blessing and building this water project that we needed so much. I am happy because today we have water, and it is very clean water.” ◆

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A a single mother, Tiffanie

T

has relied on God. She says, “I love the

worked hard as a cosmetologist

Lord. He is my strength. Being a single

to support her four daughters,

parent, He’s the head of my life and the

Daejahne, 16; Alexus, 12; Jaliyah,

head of my household. Words can’t

10; and M’Kenzie, 6. Unfortunately,

explain how good He is to me.”

he family was struggling.

Through this hard period Tiffanie

the work was inconsistent and the

Tiffanie took every client she could

long hours at the salon were often

at the salon, but it just wasn’t enough.

not enough to put food on the table.

Then, she found out about Project

“Sometimes, I don’t eat because

Lunchbox, an Operation Blessing

I need my kids to eat,” Tiffanie

pilot program in Virginia that aims

recalled. “I have to choose either

to close the gaps in school lunch

bills or food, and most of the time I

programs for food insecure children.

have to choose bills.”

During school breaks and over weekends, Tiffanie’s daughters were given bags

The Gift of

Food

on the Table 16


VIRGINIA

of groceries to bring home, and they

tremendous help,” she said. “I just thank

were so excited! “The first time that

you from the bottom of my heart.”

we received the bags from Operation

Thanks to your support, Operation

Blessing, I looked in the bag and I was

Blessing’s Hunger Strike Force is

like, ‘Wow, we have breakfast, lunch, and

able to bring much-needed food to

dinner,’” Tiffanie said.

hungry Americans across the country.

The gift of food from Project

Through programs like Project

Lunchbox and Operation Blessing’s

Lunchbox, your support gives a gift to

generous partners has greatly blessed

so many in need. Thank you! ◆

Tiffanie and her family. “The food that I receive from Operation Blessing is a

Your support gives a mom the help she needs to feed her family

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gift YOU GAVE THE

OF RESTORED HEALTH A dangerously ill child in India gets treatment for tuberculosis thanks to Operation Blessing partners

T

o see Deepana bright-eyed and smiling, one might never guess this precious little girl nearly lost her life not long ago. But thanks to Operation Blessing partners and Bangalore Baptist Hospital, she’s come a

long way and her health has been restored. Deepana’s parents began to fear for her life as she lay listlessly in bed in her home nation of Nepal. She’d lost weight, deteriorating to skin and bones, and their many trips to the doctors for cough medicines just weren’t helping her at all.

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INDIA

They knew it would require a drastic measure in order to save the little girl’s life. So Deepana’s father left his wife and four other children behind to take Deepana to his brother’s home in India, where they hoped to find an alternative medical treatment. They travelled more than 1,500 miles; changing buses six times and spending two nights on a train to reach her uncle in Bangalore. The local, government-run hospital finally got to the bottom of the situation and diagnosed Deepana with tuberculosis. They admitted her and began treatment, but as soon as she started showing improvement, she was discharged. Continued on page 20

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“You came to our doorstep and saved Deepana. Thank you for your love and compassion for our child.” ~ Deepana's uncle Continued from page 19

Deepana was supposed to continue getting her needed medications from a medical facility nearer her uncle’s home, but the plan went awry. Her family found it difficult to find the medication. It always seemed to be unavailable or, at least, unavailable in the correct dosage. After several fruitless trips to the facility, her dismayed family gave up, hoping for the best. But her condition worsened once again. That’s where you and OBI partner Bangalore Baptist Hospital stepped in to help Deepana in a way her family considered miraculous. Operation Blessing partners help support the hospital’s monthly mobile clinic that reaches remote areas filled with those who might not be able to access help otherwise. Their “Smile on Clinic” van arrives equipped with diagnostic machines, a laboratory, treatment facilities, and a team of medical personnel including doctors, nurses, a pharmacist, and a lab tech. Thanks to friends like you, during a three-month period, they made 39 visits and treated 1,542 patients, providing much20


needed care and medications. They

receive it on an ongoing basis until her

specialize in areas like women’s health,

health was fully restored this time.

providing vitamins and anti-parasite

The team also screened the whole

medicine for children, and treating

family for tuberculosis, arranged regular

hypertension and diabetes in older

check-ups to follow Deepana’s progress,

adults. In emergency cases, they rush

and provided counselling and extra

patients to the hospital. The team also

protein to ensure her speedy recovery.

follows up on serious cases with phone calls and home visits.

With regular medicine and care, Deepana is now thriving. She’s back to

As Deepana’s illness grew critical,

a healthy weight and enjoys running

one of the clinic workers “just happened”

and playing with her cousins. Her uncle

to stop by Deepana’s uncle’s house for a

said, “You came to our doorstep and saved

routine home visit. He immediately grew

Deepana. Thank you for your love and

concerned about Deepana’s condition

compassion for our child.”

and convinced her family to take her to

Deepana has enjoyed her time in

the mobile clinic that would be visiting

Bangalore with her cousins. But now that

their village the next day. After one look

she’s recovered, she can’t wait to get home

at Deepana, the medical team knew she

to her immediate family in Nepal and back

needed help right away.

to school! Because of you, Deepana has

First, they spoke to the government hospital to get Deepana the medicine

received the gift of restored health, and she looks forward to a promising future. ◆

she so badly needed to save her life. They made certain that she would

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PERU

health Bringing

to His Community

An OBI Community Health Worker volunteers his time to bless those in need susceptible to such sicknesses. So when Operation Blessing offered to train Community Health Workers in Padrecocha, Fermin

A

responded without hesitation.

few years ago, Fermin and

Thanks to friends like you, OBI trains

several of his children could

volunteers to be front-line medical

have died from malaria. That’s

care providers, serving in rural areas

why he jumped at the chance of

around the world. And Fermin

serving as a Community Health Worker. wanted to become a leader and an The Amazonian village of

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agent of change in his village.

Padrecocha, Peru, can only be reached

Through the program, Fermin

by boat, and until recently, they lacked

received an education to make a

sufficient medical resources. When an

real difference. "On the first day of

outbreak of malaria struck Fermin, his

classes, I learned what is to be a

family, and his community, they knew

health worker,� he said. He was so

little about the illness. Lack of proper

excited that he spread the word to

health habits allowed the dangerous

his friends and began bringing his

mosquito-borne disease to spread.

wife to the training as well.

Fortunately, Fermin and his family

During the day, Fermin drives a

survived, but the village remained

mototaxi to earn a living. But he still


makes time to attend weekly trainings

with the gift of better health, a gift

on important health issues like prenatal

made possible by you. He said, "I am

care, basic treatment of wounds and

very grateful to Operation Blessing for

illnesses, nutrition, preventing diseases

this great support to teach and train

and parasites, and much more. “I don’t

the people of the community how to

want to miss a day of classes,” he said.

prevent many diseases and for helping

He is now serving his community

improve the welfare of families in

through home visits and sharing basic

Padrecocha, and also my own family."

health information, and he shares his

Thank you for giving Fermin this

newfound knowledge wherever he

opportunity to serve. ◆

goes. While on a fishing trip, Fermin met a man with malaria symptoms and was able to tell the family about the illness and encourage them to seek immediate medical care. “I think God used me to teach them about this disease,” he said. Fermin is honored to provide his village

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URGENT NEED! For many the holiday season is filled with celebrations and beautifully wrapped gifts, but it can be the hardest time of the year for those who are hurting.

You can provide clean water for the thirsty, food for the hungry, healing for the sick, and disaster relief for victims at home and around the globe.

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Ways to Give Your Year-End Gift

ONLINE:

ob.org/yearend

BY PHONE:

1-800-730-2537

THROUGH MAIL*:

P.O. Box 2636 Virginia Beach, VA 23450 *Postmark by December 31

operationblessing.org

P.O. Box 2636, Virginia Beach, VA 23450 Copyright Š 2018 by Operation Blessing International

(800) 730-2537

Unwrapping the Gift of Safe Water – Blessings Magazine – December 2018  

Your support brings clean water to a community in need this holiday season. Blessings is a monthly publication of Operation Blessing Interna...

Unwrapping the Gift of Safe Water – Blessings Magazine – December 2018  

Your support brings clean water to a community in need this holiday season. Blessings is a monthly publication of Operation Blessing Interna...