Big Hearts in the Big Country: Local Couple Improving Lives in Abilene and Abroad

ABILENE, TX - He fights crime on the streets as an Abilene Police K9 Officer. She's a nurse who helps deliver babies. Together, they're raising two children. Josh and JJ New have many responsibilities but none of them get in the way of touching lives in Abilene and abroad in their free time.

There's no place quite like home. The New family of four sits around the dinner table enjoying a taco dinner together. They've been apart for a week. Josh and JJ New have just returned home from a mission trip to Haiti.

"They're an hour and a half off our borders and they're living the worst of the worst," says JJ New, a nurse.

Josh New, an Abilene Police K-9 Officer adds, "It's hard to come back home seeing those people who have absolutely nothing. Then we come back to where we live, where we have more than what we need. It's an adjustment period for the first week."

The Abilene couple helps with a maternal health clinic in Haiti through an organization called, Live Beyond.

"I get to participate on what's called the intake team. I take height, weight, and then calculate their BMI and then take their temperature," Josh says.

JJ adds, "That's where we take over depending on what their symptoms are. They come in and are seen for whatever their illness is whether they have fever or just a cough."

The medical assistance can improve a patient's health but it's compassion from people like the New's that is healing hearts.

"It's a time to look at them face to face and treat them like a person. After we see them for their medical care, then they go to an area specific for prayer. And every person gets prayed over. And if they have a BMI lower than 18, they get food," says JJ.

This most recent mission trip to Haiti marks the 3rd for JJ, 2nd for Josh, and the 1st together, "We would go a whole lot more frequently if we could. Financially and trying to get away from work and the kids, it's not always easy. But it's not a question anymore. It's a when. It's not an if we're gonna go. It's when is our next trip," adds JJ.

In the meantime, the New's will spread the word about the need and help us to realize how much we have to be grateful for, "We've been able to change the way they think about things. What they want and what they need. They're not starving when they're hungry. They no longer use that word. It's been really good for our family," says JJ.

The New's encourage others to get involved with this mission. You can learn more about the Live Beyond organization by visiting www.livebeyond.org.


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