On one of my first trips to Haiti, my team was offering a relief clinic in a remote area in the mountains. Dust, exhaust and smoke filled my nose and mouth as our bus jolted along the “road” to our destination. We arrived at a complex of dilapidated cinderblock buildings and my eyes were overwhelmed with the congregation of people eagerly waiting for our services. Children were giggling and laughing, scurrying around a line of adults seeking food, clothing, and medical services. My attention was drawn to a withered elderly lady who was hobbling through the line. Her head was adorned with a traditional Haitian headdress and her body wrapped in a bright orange dress. Her feet, however, were covered only in the dust of the Haitian countryside and gnarled from years of labor. I wondered how far she had walked on those bare feet to get to this relief site.
We set up the clinic and began our day. Within a few minutes, that same elderly woman walked into my examination corner. She had complaints of pain in her feet and a sensation of “acid” in her stomach. I knew why her feet hurt. For years, there had been no barrier between the red clay hills and her worn heels. I could not undo that damage. I moved on to address her second complaint. Through the translator, I asked if the pain in her stomach was worse or better with eating. She paused and looked away. After a long silence she responded to the translator: “I don’t know. I don’t eat very often.”
I had to choke back tears. I prayed with that dear sister and I walked her to the distribution area where my colleagues were providing supplies of food, clothing, and medications. I pulled myself together and resumed the clinic.
Later that day, we were trying to eat discreetly on the bus as so many of the folks who had come to our relief clinic that day did not have adequate food. As I walked toward the bus door, I saw a young child standing nearby, curiously wondering what we were doing. One of our ministry partners handed her a slice of bread. She giggled and immediately ran up the hill. I watched in awe as her younger sister ran to her. The child took the bread, broke it, looked at the pieces and gave her sister the bigger half. They hugged each other and disappeared into the underbrush. She had been blessed and she chose to bless back.
This is only one of hundreds of stories about how we have seen God work through the ministry of Bless Back Worldwide. This ministry was built on the desire of individuals just like you who wanted to serve others by using their time, talents and resources. Their contributions made an impact in ways they could never have imagined. Bless Back is now celebrating its 9th year of ministry focused on the needs of the communities we serve by enhancing healthcare, empowering businesses and enriching education.
This opportunity exists for you as well. We invite you to give of yourself by participating in our monthly Forty for Forty Bless Backer Program. We are challenging 40 people to commit to giving $40 per month for one year to support our programs in Haiti and Nicaragua. This monthly donation will help buy medical supplies, fund micro-loans for businesses and develop enhanced learning programs with our partners in both countries.
You have been blessed. Will you choose to bless back? Being a part of this amazing opportunity is easy. Please visit our website at www.blessbackworldwide.org/40for40. You’ll be amazed at the lives you can help change!
Carmen Teague, MD
Board Member – Bless Back Worldwide