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blessings OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL

OCTOBER 2018

You are

Changing Lives with Clean Water! P A G E

OVERCOMING EVERY OBSTACLE P A G E

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CREATING A NEW LIFE P A G E

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HUNGER HELP DURING THE HARDEST TIMES P A G E

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HAPPENINGS

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Catch up with the goings on at Operation Blessing!

OVERCOMING EVERY OBSTACLE FOR STRAIGHT FEET A boy in Tanzania finally receives proper clubfoot treatment thanks to Operation Blessing partners

CREATING A NEW LIFE

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A training program made possible by Operation Blessing partners changes the future for young women in Honduras


Inside this this issue issue

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YOU ARE CHANGING LIVES WITH CLEAN WATER Truth about waterborne illness brings health to a hurting family in Peru

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EMPOWERING CHILDREN TO “SAY NO” TO ABUSE You are preventing child abuse and trafficking across Latin America

HUNGER HELP DURING THE HARDEST TIMES Operation Blessing partners reach out to a Georgia family as they face heartbreak

DEVASTATING FLOODS STRIKE JAPAN

22 operationblessing.org

OBI partners aid impacted families in West Japan

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

(800) 730-2537

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WEST BANK: Two boys display one of the gifts they received from Operation Blessing supporters during a hygiene training session in their Bedouin village.

HAPPENINGS OPERATION BLESSING

JAPAN: Operation Blessing staff

deliver water bottles to victims of severe flooding in West Japan.

HAITI: Children with special needs

enjoy a trip to the beach thanks to Operation Blessing supporters and a partnership with Hope Home. 4


KENYA: Ferdinand, a participant

in Operation Blessing’s Inuka Youth Sports Program, shows off his new toothpaste.

PERU: A Peruvian community

health worker gratefully accepts medications from an Operation Blessing staff member.

HONDURAS: Thanks to your support, these ladies are learning skills that will

help them earn a living!

Read more on page 8

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A boy in Tanzania finally receives proper clubfoot treatment thanks to Operation Blessing partners

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lubfoot almost cost young Majalawa his life. The birth defect often causes social stigma along with physical difficulties, but in this case it almost came with

tragic consequences. When Majalawa was born with clubfoot, his family lived a 14-hour bus ride away from the nearest quality treatment facility. The local hospital attempted to fix his condition with the

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TANZANIA

Overcoming Every Obstacle for Straight Feet resources they had at their disposal, but his feet relapsed and became twisted out of place once again. His father became desperate and tried to kill young Majalawa. Last year, Majalawa’s mother managed to run away from her violent husband and bring her son to safety. In her new town she heard about the Ponseti Method available for free through Operation Blessing and partner organization, MiracleFeet. When the staff at the MiracleFeet clinic welcomed him, they met a happy 5-year-old boy and a mother who had finally found hope. Initially, he and his mother stayed at the hospital while he underwent treatment. But before long they returned to their new home with Majalawa well on his way to recovery. Today he’s doing great, and he and his mother are enjoying a happy life together. His mother feels excited that before long he will be able to enroll in school and keep up with his friends. Although Majalawa had to overcome many obstacles, thanks to his mother’s perseverance, MiracleFeet, and generous partners like you, he can now look forward to the future with joy. ◆

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HONDURAS

A training program made possible by Operation Blessing partners changes the future for young women in Honduras

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Creating a New Life I

n the village of Rio Grande, high in the mountains of Honduras, farming is the primary source of food and income. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough jobs to go around, so women like Irma compete

with men to get work in the fields and often face discrimination. Many days, Irma found herself turned away without a job. Irma dreamed of being able to earn her living by weaving the traditional fabrics with colorful patterns and elaborate designs that are part of her native Lenca culture. She and several other young women from Rio Grande pooled their resources to start a business, but the funds just weren't enough. Without the proper tools, training, and opportunity, Irma thought her dream would never come true. During a visit to their village, Operation Blessing staff met these hardworking young women. Seeing Irma’s determination, they knew OBI’s faithful partners could help Irma and the other women follow their dreams and provide for themselves. Soon, Irma and several of the others from her community were enrolled in Operation Blessing’s Lu Copi Copi livelihood skills training program, an appropriate name for a program bringing new Continued on page 10

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With their new training and tools, Irma and the other women formed a co-op to mutually support each other in the new business.

Continued from page 9

life since it means "Land of Butterflies" in their native dialect. Thanks to OBI supporters, an expert in Lenca fabrics arrived to teach the women how to weave the brightly colored cloth that Irma loves so much. In addition, the women learned how to make purses, suitcases,Casha pencil cases, and other items from the fabric. After their training, Operation Blessing partners provided Irma and her friends with the special looms to weave the Lenca fabric. Not only that, the women received all the other materials they would need to get their business going, including yarn, scissors, measuring tape, sewing machines, and more. With their new training and tools, Irma and the other women formed a collective to mutually support each other in the new business. They each make and sell their own products, but they reinvest a portion of each sale back into the co-op to continue

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buying the raw materials they all need. Now, Irma no longer has to compete with men for difficult work in the local fields; instead she is living her dream and her income has improved by almost 70 percent! It’s only through the faithful support of partners like you that Operation Blessing can make dreams come true for women like Irma. Thank you for your generosity! ◆

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Changin YOU ARE

Truth about waterborne illness brings health to a hurting family in Peru

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arisol, 11, Mayerli, 8, and Jaiyli, 1, often suffered from stomach pains and diarrhea. Their parents cared deeply

about them but couldn’t understand why they continued to get so sick. Missleny and Jackson, their parents, did the best they could for their sweet girls. They work hard farming vegetables and raising pigs and chickens in their village of San Lucas, situated 45 minutes from the nearest city of Iquitos. With their earnings, they can pay for their small hut and buy food for their daughters, but not much else. Each morning, Missleny begins her day at 5 a.m. by walking a third of a mile to an artisanal well and collecting water for her family. The water appears clean enough, and so she never suspected it

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PERU

ng Lives WITH CLEAN WATER!

could be the cause of her daughters’ continual illnesses. Missleny suffered the same types of sickness as a child, and her mother treated her with natural remedies, so she did the same for her girls. At times she even resorted to consulting a witch doctor. But her remedies didn’t always work. “When my daughter Mayerli was 6 years old,” said Missleny, “she got very sick with a stomachache. She didn’t want to eat her food. She had vomiting and diarrhea. The first three days I gave her a natural remedy that my grandmother prepared, which was good for her stomach. On the fourth day my daughter still had the same, so I went to the medical post to see why she still had diarrhea. The doctor gave me an

Continued on page 14

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Continued from page 13

oral saline solution and pills for my daughter, but she didn’t get better until a week later. I thought my daughter had been seriously harmed.” In their village, water is not purified. Instead, their cultural superstitions taught them that if a person grew sick, someone must be trying to hurt them. Missleny never realized that a natural cause like the water they drank and prepared their food with could be to blame for the illnesses, so she took no precautions to prevent them. Thanks to Operation Blessing partners, all that has now changed. OB Peru delivered water filters and water backpacks to their community of San Lucas. But more importantly, they taught the villagers about safe water and the reason they and their children got sick, taking time to answer all their questions and reassure their doubts. While their water appeared clean, it actually contained parasites invisible to the naked eye. Before this time, Missleny had only a vague awareness of parasites, not realizing they were in the water they drank. It’s now as if a blindfold has been removed from her eyes, and she understands the truth about waterborne illness. She said, “I learned that even by drinking dirty water a person can die.” OB Peru also provided anti-parasite medications for

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those in the community who needed it.

you very much,” said Missleny.

Today, Missleny’s children

A little truth can go a

Marisol, Mayerli, and Jaiyli have

long way in the fight against

safe water to drink. Thanks to their

waterborne illness. Thank you

water backpack, the family can

for joining Operation Blessing

collect water much more easily.

in bringing vital education and

And their Kohler Clarity water

safe water to this family and so

filter effectively cleans out harmful

many others like them around

parasites and other dangers from

the world. ◆

their drinking water. The girls have not suffered from stomach pains or diarrhea since they received the life-changing gifts! “Any organization could have come to my community to do these projects, but OBI did it. They came to bless my people and my family. Thank

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LATIN AMERICA

EMPOWERING CHILDREN TO

“SAY

Y

NO” TO ABUSE

o Digo No, or “I Say No,”

by initiating Yo Digo No, an original

protects children from

program created to train elementary

predators in Latin America by

school children to protect

providing the educational foundation

themselves. Using songs, coloring

to stop child sexual exploitation and

books, puppets, games, and more,

trafficking in its tracks.

instructors teach children, in ways

Some estimates report that 2

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they can understand, how to identify,

million children and adolescents

say no to, and report sexual abuse.

suffer sexual exploitation each year

Often in risky situations, knowledge

in Latin America. Thanks to you,

truly is power—the power to protect

Operation Blessing has responded

yourself and your family.


The classes, currently running

often offer a performance, an art

in Cuba, Peru, and Honduras, with

exhibition, or a march for their

plans to launch soon in Guatemala

community to demonstrate what

and El Salvador, meet over a course

they learned. More importantly, they

of four to five weeks. During that

are empowered with the courage

time, children learn vital lessons like

to boldly say no when the situation

identifying untrustworthy people,

demands. The students, parents,

not keeping secrets, and running

and teachers all gain tools to raise

from danger. Parents receive an

awareness and support those being

overview of the training as well.

affected by child sexual abuse and

Teachers at participating schools assist in the program and undergo

trafficking. Thanks to your ongoing support,

training to help them spot and

Operation Blessing is able to spot

intervene in potential abuse situations.

important needs in communities

During the Yo Digo No program,

all around the world and quickly

children are also given opportunities to

respond. You are empowering

speak with psychologists as needed.

children in Latin America and giving

At the end, the children

them a brighter future. â—†

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GEORGIA

HUNGER HELP DURING THE HARDEST TIMES

Operation Blessing partners reach out to a Georgia family as they face heartbreak 18


L

ittle Jonathan entered the world healthy and strong into a loving family. However, they couldn’t

difficult financial situation. As the next years passed, they faced further hardships as they sought to

have guessed the hard times they

grow their young family. Danielle

would face in the coming season.

suffered two miscarriages, which broke

His mother, Danielle, made the hard

their hearts. She said with tears in her eyes, “We are a

decision to leave

family of five, but only a

her position as a

family of three on earth.”

medical assistant

Everything seemed

in order to care

to be going wrong for

for the new baby.

young Jonathan and

Her husband, Jesse, earned a solid income working full-time as an electrician. They had no way of

his parents, and they desperately needed a source of hope in their dark hour. That’s when Operation Blessing

knowing that Jesse’s hours would soon

partner organization, Warehouse of

be significantly cut, leaving them in a

Hope in Georgia, entered the picture. Continued on page 20

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Continued from page 19

Thanks to supporters like you, Operation Blessing provides food and essential supplies for families like Jonathan’s facing hard times. Emma Finger, who runs the warehouse, said, “Operation Blessing has been a huge blessing to us. We’ve been in partnership with them since the early 2000s and, because of them, we’re able to get a truckload of food in here every Monday… which helps us provide for over 500 families a week.” At Warehouse of Hope, Jonathan’s family received an abundance of groceries, as well as diapers and other important supplies for their growing child, giving them a new sense of hope for the future. Danielle said, “It has changed so many people’s lives, mine included. Some days, when I feel very low, I come to Warehouse of Hope, not just for groceries, but for a hug, love, and encouragement.” Many years have passed since those hard times for Jonathan and his family, and much has changed. Jonathan is 11 years old now. His father is working full-time again, and his mother homeschools him. The family is on firm footing financially, and no longer needs the free groceries from Warehouse of Hope. Once their situation improved, Danielle began volunteering at Warehouse of Hope to pass along the amazing blessing her family had once received,

“It’s a blessing to see people who are blessed through your gift, even if it’s the smallest thing. It could save a child from going without a meal that night.” ~ Danielle 20


and she still helps out there today.

encouragement to OBI partners,

She also regularly takes the free

Danielle said, “It’s a blessing to see

groceries to shut-ins and others in

people who are blessed through your

need in her community.

gift, even if it’s the smallest thing. It

Danielle said, “When I have

could save a child from going without

volunteered, I have personally seen

a meal that night.” Thank you for

the elderly come through with tears

being there during the hardest times

running down their face as they get

for those in need in America and

groceries and even things to bathe

around the world. ◆

with when they could not afford it.” Because of your ongoing support of OBI’s Hunger Strike Force, Jonathan’s family’s story of desperation has turned to one of triumph and giving back. As a final

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JAPAN

OBI partners aid families in

Japan after devastating floods

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evastating flooding in West Japan

created one of the worst natural disasters that country has faced since the earthquake and

tsunami of 2011. The floods left homes destroyed, roads damaged, and essentials like food, water, and electricity in short supply. With your support, OB Japan quickly sent teams with much-needed supplies like water and tools for cleaning damaged homes. Then, in cooperation with volunteers from local churches, they set to work removing mud from homes and drying out the houses. OB Japan offered a roadmap to recovery for those still reeling from the disaster. The residents of West Japan have a long rebuilding process ahead of them, but thanks to your generosity, Operation Blessing can continue to stand beside them. â—†

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Be a

blessing to HURTING CHILDREN

Visit

o b. o rg / c at a l o g

to browse our 2018 gifts or look for your catalog in the mail!

operationblessing.org

P.O. Box 2636, Virginia Beach, VA 23450 (800) 730-2537 Copyright Š 2018 by Operation Blessing International

You Are Changing Lives with Clean Water – Blessings Magazine – October 2018  

Truth about waterborne illness brings health to a hurting family in Peru. Blessings is a monthly publication of Operation Blessing Internati...

You Are Changing Lives with Clean Water – Blessings Magazine – October 2018  

Truth about waterborne illness brings health to a hurting family in Peru. Blessings is a monthly publication of Operation Blessing Internati...