Operation HOPE just returned from our latest trip to Haiti, and we're happy to say that it was another great success!
This year, we connected with Lubbock Dentist, Dr. Kelly Robinson to uncover opportunities for dentists to help our friends in Haiti. We noticed in the past that although there were a handful of doctors and optometrists in Haiti, there didn't seem to be very many dentists. Dr Robinson initially contacted Operation HOPE on behalf of TeethSavers, a Lubbock organization created to teach children and educators simple, inexpensive dental techniques in order to prevent future infections of their bodies.
The initial plan was for Dr. Robinson to do a short fact-finding trip to uncover future opportunities, however during the planning, we realized that this would also be the perfect time to provide some dental education to many of our ministry parters there in Haiti.
Over the course of 5 days, Dr. Robinson, her husband Wesley, and their 2 boys were able to provide invaluable dental education and hand out free toothbrushes to over 1000 peoeple in Haiti. Without a doubt, this was a huge success, and we're thrilled to have been given the chance to share with so many people. Dr. Robinson also provided free check-ups for 40 people and was able to clean a lot of teeth as well as extract a few that needed to come out. In the future, we plan to bring a mobile dental unit with us so we can do even more dental work while we're there.
While in Haiti, we were able to connect with many of our ministry partners in order to check in on how things are going as well as bring them valuable supplies and encouragement. Dr. Thomas also had the opportunity to preach in two different church services with our dear friend, Pastor Cesar as his interpreter.
We're excited to see what the future holds for the work we are doing in Haiti and are blessed to build new connections and relationships each time we go. Thank you for your prayers and support!
2015 Banquet Recap
Each year, Operation HOPE holds an event to update all of our supporters on the progress being made in Haiti, Iraq, and right here in the US, and to provide them with even more opportunities to invest in these wonderful people. In years past, speakers have included our founder Dr. John Thomas, Pittsburgh Steeler Baron Batch, Former Atlanta Braves Pitcher John Smoltz, Lt. Col. Oliver North, Actor/Director/Producer Kirk Cameron, and most recently, Dr. Ben Carson. Below are the details for this year's event.
Dr. Ben Carson - Keynote Speaker for the Ninth Annual Operation HOPE Banquet
The Ninth Annual Operation HOPE Banquet was held on March 28, 2015 at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. We once again had a huge crowd of over 600 people and welcomed back Dr. Ben Carson as our keynote speaker for the second year in a row. This year's event was a huge success bringing in over $135,000 of net profit so we can go out and reach the hurting of this world.
The banquet started with Dr. Craig Curry giving the invocation. We were honored to have such a distinguished member of our community spend the evening with us, and pray over our event. Our founder, Dr. Thomas also shared a few encouraging words thanking everyone for their support.
For the second year in a row, we held a live auction including a high powered rifle, sports memorabilia, a commissioned painting by Baron Batch, two tickets to Super Bowl 50, and a beautiful 2.01 Carat Diamond Pendant. In addition to the live auction items, banquet attendees had the opportunity to bid on a number of silent auctions as well. Between the two auctions alone, Operation HOPE was able to raise over $43,000.
We tried something new this year, and with the support of Alderson European Motors here in Lubbock, we raffled off a brand new BMW 320i. We had a fantastic response from folks all over Lubbock and the surrounding areas and were able to raise over $70,000 on raffle ticket sales! Dr. Carson was kind enough to help us draw the winning number (#0256) and the car was awarded to Operation HOPE supporter Bill Dubose from Abernathy, TX. As I'm sure you can imagine, Bill was thrilled to win the car.
This year, we also welcomed back Dr. Gazi ZIbari to introduce Dr. Carson and share a little about the work that Operation HOPE has done in his home country of Iraq. Dr. Zibari works very closely with Dr. Thomas each time he goes to Kurdistan and we were honored to welcome him to the banquet. He's been very instrumental in providing opportunities for us to work in Iraq and is such a close, dear friend of Dr. Thomas and Operation HOPE.
As Keynote speaker, Dr. Carson shared with banquet attendees the story of his life from his days as a young boy in Detroit struggling in school to discovering that God had given him the ability to change lives if he would take the time to learn how. Dr. Carson is a fantastic example of what it means to persevere no matter how difficult and we are thankful that he came to share his story with us.
To see all of the photos of the Operation HOPE Banquet shot by our good friend Mark Umstot, click on the image below:
We are truly thankful for everyone who was able to come spend the evening with us and we look forward to next year's event!
Below you will find a list of Sponsors for the Ninth Annual Operation HOPE Banquet
Dr. Howard Beck | Nelouise Canup | Dr. Bupesh Dihenia | Steve & Brenda Johnson | Henry & Sylvia Mirabal | Pam & Jerry Monk | The Overton Hotel | Dennis Quattlebaum | Susan Shakespeare | Chad & Tracey Spyksma | Dwain Woody | Craig Zahn
We would like to say a HUGE thank you to all of our gracious sponsors for helping make Operation HOPE what it is today!
Though he's never been trained in military strategy or combat, our founder is doing his part to combat the advances of ISIS in Iraq. He's not fighting back with guns or diplomacy though, he's fighting back with healing.
Dr. Thomas returned on November 23 from a 10 day trip to Iraq where he worked together with Kurdish doctors to perform surgeries on wounded soldiers and civilians as a result of ISIS attacks. So far millions of people have fled parts of Iraq and Syria as a result of ISIS advances and nearly 800,000 have fled to the city of Duhok in Northern Kurdistan where Dr. Thomas works and has close relationships.
Dr. Thomas wasn't just there to for medical purposes though, he also went to be the hands and feet of Christ and to share his faith and the love of Christ with those suffering from these attacks.
"We forget how hard it is for them," said Dr. Thomas. "Alot of them didn't choose to be Christians there. Alot of them didn't choose to be Yzidis there, but the persecution there is purely based on somebody picking you out and saying 'Today is not your day.' . . . Alot of times, the people just want to be heard. They just want someone who will hear what they have to say. Many of them are Christians so knowing that I am a fellow Christian from America, I wanted to share with them that same faith."
Karin McCay with KCBD here in Lubbock was kind enough to discuss the trip with Dr. Thomas and provide us with a video of the interview at the bottom of this article.
Thank you all so much for your continued prayers and support as we work together to be a Healing Outreach to People Everywhere!KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock
We are excited to announce our partnership with SnackPak4Kids!
Operation HOPE has partnered with Legacy Farms to support the SnackPak4Kids program at LaMesa Elementary School in Plainview, TX, and we are thrilled for the opportunity to work together to help kids right here in the South Plains.
SnackPak was founded in Amarillo in 2010 as an organization dedicated to ending weekend hunger in West Texas and the South Plains by providing backpacks filled with kid-friendly, nutritional snacks each Friday of the school year. We've seen numerous studies over the years showing the kind of improvement that good nutrition has on a child's ability to learn and we are so excited to be a part of a program like this right here so close to home. We've been deeply invested in similar programs down in Haiti and have always had a deep passion for helping children excel in life. This is the first time this program has been available to kids in Plainview and our hope is that we will be able to work alongside SnackPak to help the program grow and spread to even more communities in our area.
LaMesa Elementary has identified 100+ students in need of nutritional food to help them make it through the weekend and be prepared for school on Monday morning. Because of our partnership with Legacy Farms in support of SnackPak4Kids, those 100+ students will be able to wake up each Monday without the struggles and pains that come from not getting enough to eat over the weekend.
In addition to the financial partnership with SnackPak at LeMesa, Operation HOPE and Legacy Farms will be providing volunteers to help pack the food and deliver it to the schools every week of the school year. If you are interested in volunteering and either live in Plainview or are willing to travel there once or twice a month, please send us an email - firstname.lastname@example.org - and let us know. We would love for anyone willing to partner with us to help take care of these kids.
To learn more about SnackPak4Kids and the work that they do across the state of Texas, click on the logo at the top of this article or visit http://www.snackpak4kids.org.
Haiti October 2014 (Update)
We are proud to report that we had yet another very successful trip to Haiti. As mentioned previously, this was primarilly a fact-finding endeavor and an effort for Operation HOPE to maintiain existing reltionships as well as build new ones with new and potential partners. Of course, although we didn't bring a medical team with us, we were still able to bring over 1000lbs of supplies and eqipment to our missionary partners in Haiti. We were able to visit with Stephen & Autumn Byxbe with the Together We Can Haiti, Pastor Gerard Cesar, Kelsea & Philipson Georges, and a few other new partners with whom we hope to work in the future.
While spending time with Pastor Cesar, we were once again given the privilege of visiting a few of the many schools we support down in Haiti where 1500 children receive Christian education, food, and clothing on a daily basis. After visiting these schools for a few years now, it's encouraging to see that most of the teachers there at the beginning are still there committing their time and efforts towards educating these wonderful kids.
We're excited about some of the new connections we were able to make and look forward to exploring those opportunities further as we continue our work in Haiti. Thanks for all of your prayers and God Bless!
Operation HOPE will be headed back to Haiti October 23-28 to check in and work with the various partners and friends we have in Port Au Prince, Montrouis, and Saint Marc. This will be our 2nd time to travel to Haiti this year and we will also be exploring a number of new, exciting opportunities for us to expand the medical support we've offered for nearly 5 years in Haiti.
In addition to the medical fact-finding that will be going on, We will be bringing a small team of volunteers to help with the Agape House Orphanage which now houses the children previously living at the Celebration Children's Home run by New Vision Ministries.
This will be Operation HOPE's 12th trip to Haiti since the earthquake of 2010. Although we've expanded our circle of support to include missions in the New York as well as right here in the South Plains, we have no intention of slowing down with the work that God has given us to do in Haiti.
Thank you for your continued support and please pray that God protects the team going and helps us to be effective and efficient in our ministry in Haiti.
Third Annual Golf Tournament
Operation HOPE would like to send out a huge thank-you to all who were involved in this year's Operation HOPE Golf Tournament on Monday, Sept 22nd! We had a great time out on the course and were able to give away some great raffle prizes afterwards. This year we raised over $5,000! This has been one of our best golf tournaments so far and we can't wait to see everybody out on the Rawls Course next year.
We are thrilled to announce that we were able to raise a total of $727 for the Bowie Elementary School PTA! The school will be able to use this money for a variety of special events and educational field trips for the students. Our Founder Dr. Thomas stopped by the school to speak at a morning assembly and drop off the check. We're honored to have the opportunity to partner with schools like Bowie Elementary to help their students move forward in life.
The remainder of donations from the event will be used to sponsor the SnackPak4Kids program at LaMesa Elementary School in Plainview, TX. SnackPak was founded in Amarillo in 2010 as an organization dedicated to ending weekend hunger in West Texas and the South Plains by providing backpacks filled with kid-friendly, nutritional snacks each Friday of the school year. We've looked over numerous studies over the years showing the kind of improvement that good nutrition has on a child’s ability to learn and we are so excited to be a part of a program like this right here in the South Plains. Keep an eye out for a full story soon about SnackPak right here on our website.
We would also like to say a big thanks to this year's tournament sponsors!