Creating a New Life

HONDURAS – In 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 fund just weren’t enough. Without the tools, training, and opportunity, Irma thought her dream would never come true.

A Small Business Dream Comes 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 seven other women from her community were enrolled in Operation Blessing’s Lu Copi Copi livelihood skills training program, an appropriate name for a program bringing new 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, pencil cases, and other items from the fabric.

After their training, Operation Blessing partners provided Irma and her friends with the special looms they would need 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.

You Empower Women

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 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!

Earthquake and Tsunami Bring Destruction to Indonesia

INDONESIA – On September 28th, 2018, a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake shook the sea floor off the coast of Indonesia. Moments later, an enormous tsunami laid much of the city of Palu to waste. As of this writing, the official death toll is approaching 2,000, but many are still unaccounted for. Authorities warn that the final count may be 5,000 or more.

Destruction from the earthquake and tsunami in Palu, Indonesia.

The destruction in Palu is immense. Thousands of homes have been destroyed and many vulnerable children and families have been left homeless. Critical infrastructure like roads, water supplies, and power lines have all been badly damaged.

Operation Blessing teams are now on the ground working to provide relief to the people of Palu who have lost so much. Your support has allowed OBI to provide solar lights to disaster victims who have no other light source after the sun goes down. In addition, loss of power has eliminated many of the city’s water sources. Operation Blessing is using our extensive experience providing safe water to test existing sources, and we’re supplying chlorine to disinfect the drinking water.

An Operation Blessing chlorine generator is put in use.
Medical teams from Obor Berkat (Operation Blessing) Indonesia are also working hard to help disaster victims following the tsunami and earthquake. And, thanks to your support, OBI has provided emergency supplies for 10 shelters.

Tsunami destruction in Palu.

As the scope of the devastation continues to unfold, Operation Blessing will keep working to bless disaster victims during this critical time. Thank you for your ongoing support.

PRESS RELEASE: Operation Blessing International Now Coordinating Volunteer Cleanup Efforts In New Bern, NC

Operation Blessing disaster logo.-Residents Whose Homes Damaged Can Request Free Volunteer Help-

New Bern, NC (September 20, 2018) –The Virginia Beach-based Operation Blessing International has deployed its U.S. Disaster Relief team to New Bern to assist residents with cleanup from Hurricane Florence. Starting today, New Bern residents whose homes were damaged in the storm can request free help (see details below). Operation Blessing is also now coordinating volunteer cleanup efforts and has put out a call for anyone wanting to help (see below for details).


Residents are invited come in person to fill out a work request for FREE volunteer help at Without Limits Christian Center (102 Washington Post Rd, New Bern, NC) daily (except for Sundays) from 9:30AM – 4:30PM. All residents must fill out a work order form and sign a release form in person, allowing volunteer teams access to your property. Volunteers will not be able to do work without a form SIGNED BY THE HOMEOWNER. Priority is given based on need (elderly, sick, disabled, etc) and is based on volunteer availability. Volunteer services offered include general debris removal, help finding and sorting salvageable belongings, chainsaw work, debris removal and installing tarps on damaged roofs. For more information on how to apply for help: 757.793.1837.


Operation Blessing will be accepting volunteers daily, except for Sundays. Volunteers should meet at the Operation Blessing Mobile Command Center located at Without Limits Christian Center (102 Washington Post Rd, New Bern, NC). Orientation takes place two times: 8:30am and 1:00pm (best to arrive a little early). Day volunteers do not need to register in advance. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, dress appropriately for work in the field (long pants and hard soled shoes or work boots) and also provide their own transportation to and from the work site. Starting Monday, housing will be available for out-of-town volunteers. All out-of-town volunteers must register in advance. For any questions about volunteering, either for the day or to register in advance for housing, please call OB’s national volunteer coordinator: 757.226.3407.

The Operation Blessing team arrived in North Carolina prior to Florence making landfall. Specializing in disaster relief and mass volunteer coordination, Operation Blessing’s convoy of equipment includes a mobile command center, a construction trailer loaded with tools and protective equipment, trucks full of volunteer equipment and supplies, a mobile kitchen capable of serving 1,000 hot meals each day, and a KOHLER power generator. Early next week, Operation Blessing expects to also deploy a new Kohler relief trailer for the first time, a 42-foot trailer offering seven showering stalls, a changing room, an equipment room with washer and dryer for clothing, sinks, faucets, charging outlets for mobile devices, and flat-panel televisions to keep workers up-to-date on news and other information regarding the disaster and ongoing relief efforts.

Operation Blessing is currently working with officials in multiple towns in North Carolina. So far this week, the organization has delivered 3 tractor-trailer truckloads of emergency relief supplies to New Bern, Fayetteville and Lumberton. Each truck contained 16 pallets of Home Depot flood kits, food and bottled water. More than 2,400 meals have also been distributed to residents and responders.

For more information on Operation Blessing International:

Operation Blessing International (OBI) provides humanitarian services such as strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 39 countries in the last year. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of millions of people in more than 90 countries and every state.

# # #


Chris Roslan

Roslan & Campion Public Relations


Cell: 917-538-5629

Miracles Within Hurricane Florence

NORTH CAROLINA, USA – The night Hurricane Florence hit their home in New Bern, North Carolina, quickly turned into a horrifying nightmare for John and Crystal, but their story is also full of miracles.

John and Crystal have been married for 30 years, and raised their four children in New Bern. They now live in a small home with their beloved little dog, Boxer. John previously worked with heavy machinery, but the job took a toll on his body. Now they survive on disability and a fixed income. Crystal also suffers a disability from being hit by a drunk driver.

Crystal receives comfort from an Operation Blessing worker.

They decided to ride out Hurricane Florence at home. But the storm hit hard. Crystal said, “Nothing at all have I ever seen like this in my whole life.”

The first miracle came in the form of their son leaving a big truck for them to drive in case of emergency. The second occurred when John decided he better move the truck to the highest spot in their yard. When the water started seeping into their home and covering their ankles, they realized they needed get out. After calling their son, they fought through waist deep water to the truck. Then they headed to a nearby store on higher ground.

Buckled, water-damaged floors in John and Crystal’s home.

Another miracle happened when Crystal accidentally hit the button to open the truck window. Being unfamiliar with the truck, she just left it open. Before long the rising water stalled the truck and started getting inside. John said, “The next thing I knew it was to my feet…then to my chest.” Within a minute, water filled the car to the dash, and it was only because of the already open window that they were they able to escape.

What happened next is a nightmare they’ll never forget. The disabled couple and their dog battled shoulder high water in the dark, trying desperately to reach the store, still about 1/8 of a mile away. Rain water stung their eyes, and high winds whipped at them. Crystal desperately tried to hold her elderly little dog over her head to keep him alive. She said, “It was just a miracle that I could do that because I can’t even do that normally.” At times they fell in the murky black water. They lost their shoes. At one point, an exhausted John stopped to lean on a tree and just kept yelling for Crystal to keep going.

Crystal felt like she was about to die and feared none of them would make it out alive. She cried, “Oh God, please give me the strength to do this.” Amazingly, their son arrived at the store about that time. He took several trips by foot helping his disabled parents and their dog to his Jeep on higher ground, and then sped them away.

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

John receiving hurricane relief supplies from Operation Blessing at Without Limits Church.

Despite all the miracles that fateful night, John and Crystal still have a long battle ahead of them. Three days later they returned to their home. Crystal said, “It looks like a bomb went off in New Bern.” Their home was full of mold and smelled like nasty river water. The furniture and clothes were soaked, and their floors had begun to buckle. Neither they nor their landlord had flood insurance. “I wish I could go to sleep and wake up and things would be like they were before all this happened,” Crystal said.

Although she knew that wasn’t possible, as they searched for help, they found even more miracles. They watched the community, along with complete strangers, rallying around them to provide relief. John said, “It’s amazing how people open their arms and hearts.” At Operation Blessing’s distribution center at Without Limits Christian Center, they received warm meals and hygiene items thanks to Operation Blessing supporters. They told Operation Blessing workers their story, and asked for help with their home.

John and Crystal get help clearing flooded items from their home.

Soon, an Operation Blessing team arrived at their house to help them remove the biggest items, and they will continue helping in coming days. The disabled couple could never have accomplished this on their own. Yet another miracle, all thanks to friends like you. But there’s still much to be done for the people of New Bern.

While they’re so grateful for the assistance they’re receiving, Crystal and John want you to know there are many more hurricane victims like them in North Carolina, including those who are older and disabled, who simply can’t help themselves. Crystal said, “Please, I’m praying that we’ll get the help,” and John added, “I hope that everyone who sees this will help volunteer…do what they can.”

Please visit our volunteer page or our disaster relief donation page to get involved and bring a brighter future to hurting people in North Carolina.

Items pulled from their flooded home.

Thank You for Giving a Special School to Special Kids

SOMALILAND – On the northern edge of the Horn of Africa lies the small, independent region of Somalia called Somaliland and the Hargeisa School for Special Needs (HSSN). The school was established to provide desperately needed basic education to about 80 boys and girls with special needs, but the facilities were dilapidated and crumbling.

Special needs school before renovations.

Founded in 2002 by International Aid Services (IAS) with support from the European Union, the school was in desperate need of renovation after years of use pursuing their mission. All 80 kids and their teachers were crammed into just three tiny classrooms, as the rest of the campus had fallen into disrepair.

As a result, the children’s education began to suffer. The environment just wasn’t conducive to learning, creating a hard challenge for children with special educational needs. Some parents withdrew their children due to concerns over the deteriorating conditions.

The situation for these children had grown dire, but Operation Blessing partners like you are standing in the gap for them. In partnership with IAS, Operation Blessing provided for the complete renovation of the school.

Special needs school after renovations.

During the school’s summer break, work commenced to transform the crumbling buildings into a bright and beautiful school. When the children returned, they found eight beautifully renovated classrooms with new desks, bookshelves, computers, chairs, tables, toys, and even wheelchairs for children in need. All provided by Operation Blessing and partner IAS.

New tables at the special needs school.

Since the renovation, the school’s enrollment has risen to 145 students. Because of you, these precious special needs kids are getting the opportunity to learn in a safe, secure, and healthy environment!

Quick Response to Hurricane Florence

Last week, 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.

Hurricane Florence as seen from the sky as it approaches the East Coast.

As the storm made landfall on Friday, September 14th, Operation Blessing teams had already moved into action. Truckloads of relief supplies stood by in Emporia, Virginia, near interstates into North Carolina and the expected disaster zones. Included in their arsenal was a mobile command center, a dehumidifier truck, a mobile kitchen capable of making 1,000 meals per day, flood kits supplied by our faithful partner, The Home Depot, pallets of bottled water, food, hygiene supplies, and more.

Thankfully, the storm that had previously attained category 4 status hit land on Friday as a category 1 hurricane. Still, Hurricane Florence packed a powerful punch. It crept slowly inland dumping enormous amounts of rain and causing significant wind damage. Sadly, death tolls began to roll in—3, then 5, and continuing to mount.

An Operation Blessing worker walks through a scene of flooding and devastation. We are responding with relief and recovery efforts in North Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

As the path of the storm became clear, Operation Blessing’s convoy moved forward to Raleigh, North Carolina, and began reaching out to the State Emergency Operations Center, the National Guard, and the Christian Relief Cooperative. Saturday, as the situation continued to worsen with intense flooding inland, Operation Blessing sent out reconnaissance teams to determine the areas in the most desperate need and to search out local church partners.

On Sunday, Operation Blessing began its first relief distribution in New Bern, North Carolina. This area with many low-income individuals has suffered a hard hit from Hurricane Florence, and the impact could become worse throughout the week as nearby rivers rise. Without Limits Christian Center provided a distribution point and volunteers as OBI passed out hygiene kits, flood kits, water, food, and more to 135 hurting families. And this is just the beginning.

As of Monday morning, September 17th, the death toll stands at 18 and the flooding continues. Very soon, our second distribution center will be set up in Lumberton, North Carolina, in partnership with East Lumberton Baptist Church. Even more truckloads of supplies have been dispatched to the area from Operation Blessing warehouses as the severity of the situation continues to unfold.

Flooded homes and streets in North Carolina from Hurricane Florence.

In the coming days, we will continue serving victims in North Carolina with immediate aid during this period of crisis. And as time goes on, we plan to stay in the area, helping people recover their lives and their homes.

It is only because of you that we can offer this type of immediate and effective disaster relief to help the hurting.


We’ve now served over 17,000 hot meals, and have begun helping hurting residents recover their homes. The Kohler shower trailer is on site, and we’re accepting out of town volunteers. Visit to learn how you can get involved or go to to see all the latest stories of how you’ve made a difference for hurricane victims in need.

A Desperate Family Finds Hope

GEORGIA – Three-year-old Daniella faced two crises in her life. She suffers from a genetic disorder that has required medical procedures; this soon placed her family in a desperate financial trouble, and she was hungry.

Hunger Relief for Desperate Family in Crisis

Her parents, Daniel and Lakashah, moved to Georgia several years ago, at the time with three young girls, to help start a church. There, they faithfully serve the congregation as children’s pastors. Although Daniel works hard as a chemical batcher in a warehouse, starting at 5 AM each day, his position pays half of what he earned at his previous job, making it difficult for the family to make ends meet.

Daniella lying in a hospital bed, suffering from a genetic disorder.

Meanwhile, as young Daniella’s condition became more apparent, she underwent several surgeries, leaving the family with mounting medical bills.

Worse, sometimes they simply didn’t have enough food to eat. Lakashah said, “There were times when I had to tell them, ‘You have to wait. We don’t have anything to eat.’” Daniel added, “Some people say they’re living paycheck to paycheck. Well, we weren’t even making it to the next paycheck.” The family was desperate for help.

You Sent Help to Hungry US Family

That is when Operation Blessing partners like you stepped in. Lakashah discovered Warehouse of Hope, a distribution partner for Operation Blessing’s Hunger Strike Force, supported by our faithful partners. And everything changed!

Lakashah receives a hug and help from Operation Blessing.

Warehouse of Hope receives supplies each month from OBI and meets the needs of over 500 families. For more than a decade Warehouse of Hope and Operation Blessing have worked together to provide for people like Daniella and her sisters. Joy overwhelmed Daniel the first time he saw the food that Lakashah had brought home.

Although Daniella still struggles with her health, over time, matters have improved for her family. They continue to believe God that one day she will be healed. The supplies they receive from Warehouse of Hope have helped fill their pantry and their stomachs.

Lakashah and her daughters fill the trunk with free groceries.

Today Daniel and Lakasha have four girls and plenty of nutritious food for them all to eat. Daniel has also taken up woodworking to help supplement the family’s income and hopefully improve their financial situation in the future.

To Operation Blessing’s supporters, Daniel said, “With every single cent you’ve given, you’ve touched my life. I can’t put it into words, but I will say thank you, and I know that God is saying thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Sending Health and Hope to a World in Need

WORLDWIDE – Whether through community health workers, life-changing surgeries, health clinics, or partnerships that bring hope and medical care to those in need, your support of Operation Blessing is sending healing to the far ends of the earth.

Free Medical Care for Those in Need

In remote areas of countries like Kenya, Haiti, and Peru, community health workers trained by Operation Blessing serve as front line health promoters. These volunteers and OBI medical staff provide services like cervical cancer prevention, pregnancy classes, vital nutritional supplements for preschoolers, prenatal care, emergency medical treatment, and more. Our dedicated workers touch lives and administer healing.

You also bless the hurting through OBI’s Life-Changing Surgeries program. Cleft lips were repaired in Africa, eyes have been healed in  Guatemala, and in Latin America precious children were saved through operations to repair holes in their hearts. These are just a few examples of how you help provide medical care to those who need it most.

Medical Partnerships Save Lives

A young boy receives life-changing surgery on his eyes.

Through partnerships with compassionate organizations like the Dina Foundation, MiracleFeet, Health City Cayman Islands, and Revive Team Nepal, OBI supporters spread hope around the globe.

In the village of Silautiya, Nepal, for example, the houses are made of mud, most residents have no toilets, the poverty rate remains high, and the closest medical outpost lies over 16 miles away. OBI, in partnership with Revive Team Nepal, brought free medical and dental care. Similar clinics are taking healing to places like Zanzibar, Honduras, and Guatemala, as well as disaster zones.

Thanks to your ongoing support of Operation Blessing, “the least of these” find hope, healing, and medical care. Thank you for your heart to bless those who hurt.

Educational Opportunities for Promising Haitian Students

HAITI – Since its founding in 2013 by OB Haiti, L’Ecole Nouvelle Lac Azuei (ENLA) has been dedicated to offering the highest standards of learning to the surrounding impoverished community. But the school only goes through sixth grade, and as the students graduated, they found it difficult to continue their educations. Public schools lack funding and private schools are expensive. The distance alone can hinder a child’s education.

Thanks to your support providing scholarships and housing, promising ENLA graduates are continuing their educations at the reputable Hermann Gmeiner Academy on the outskirts of Port-Au-Prince. These students now have a chance to receive diplomas and help break the cycle of poverty that has held their families captive!


Daphkaline after successfully completing her first year of middle school.
Daphkaline today

Daphkaline comes from a large family living along the shores of Lake Azuei. Her father fishes for a living and her mother sells products at the local market to get by.

During her first year in the scholarship program, Daphkaline has achieved especially good grades, and she demonstrates exemplary behavior at her boarding house. She enjoys French and social studies, saying, “[Social studies] gives me a lot of general knowledge that I need to know in my life and about my country.”

When not in school, she loves to read, study, play with friends, and help her mother with laundry and cooking. She said, “I would like to continue my studies after middle school because I want to become a person who is useful to herself, her parents, and society.”

Project Lunchbox

VIRGINIA – For many children from low-income families across the United States, school meal programs provide an essential source of food throughout the school year. Outside of school, however, these food-insecure kids may be left without a reliable meal source. With parents often working multiple jobs and still coming up short, weekends and “vacations” can be hungry times for these kids.

That’s where Project Lunchbox steps in to help. This new pilot program from Operation Blessing’s Hunger Strike Force is designed to provide these at-risk children with meals on weekends and school breaks. At the William A. Hunton YMCA in Norfolk, Virginia, where Project Lunchbox was recently launched, children attending day camps in the summer received food Monday through Friday but many of the children were going hungry over the weekends. As part of Project Lunchbox, the kids were given groceries to take home at the end of the week.

Hunger Relief for U.S. School Children

A volunteer organizes bags of groceries for Project Lunchbox.

Brenda Gibbs, Senior VP/COO of the Hunton YMCA, said, “We’ve periodically had programs where we’d feed them breakfast, or maybe we will feed them lunch on weekends, but we were unable to sustain those programs over time because of the expense. … We were trying to bridge that gap, and Operation Blessing is truly a blessing.”

With the success of the Project Lunchbox pilot program, Operation Blessing hopes to expand Project Lunchbox into communities across the country. With your support, we can make sure these children have food they need to grow healthy and strong!