Missionary Spotlight: Get to Know OHI Missionary, Melissa Quimby

Melissa Quimby is quite the world traveler.  “I was born on a small farm in New York state, but have traveled far and wide,” said Melissa.  “I first served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia, then worked with the American Red Cross as a health program manager in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Southeast Asia responding to hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.  Humanitarian aid work is quite difficult, and I burned out on a few occasions.”

In 2015, Melissa was still recovering from burnout from her last job when she lost her beloved father.  “I really just wanted to get away, lose some weight, and rest for a while,” said Melissa.  “I had a friend who was going to OHI, and she invited me to come with her.  After reading more about it, I signed up for the full three-week program.”

Melissa was used to fearlessly jumping into unknown situations, and her first visit to OHI was certainly like nothing she had expected.  “It was pretty overwhelming at first, but we first-weekers became a tight-knit group and really got to know each other well.  I loved all the classes, and felt amazing by the end of three weeks.  The best part of my stay was how positive everyone was.  People say such lovely things to each other here, and kindly correct you if you say anything negative about yourself.  I am still in touch with some friends that I made during my first visit.”

So what made Melissa choose to participate in the OHI Missionary Program?  “I became a big believer in the OHI lifestyle after seeing how much better I felt in a few short weeks,” said Melissa.  “There was a dynamic missionary that I really admired, and I thought she was a spry, healthy 30-year old woman.  When I found out she was actually over 50 and had shown up in a wheelchair a few months before, I could hardly believe it.  The transformation was amazing!  I wanted to see a similar transformation in myself, and I wanted to be a part of that journey for others as a missionary.”

As Melissa soon found out, there is a very big difference between being a guest at OHI and being a missionary.  “As a missionary, there is work to do,” said Melissa.  “You have to take your call to service seriously.  Of course, you need to take care of your own health and well-being, but serving others can be deeply satisfying.  And for me, the best part of the missionary program is how deeply you bond with people — facilitators, other missionaries, and the guests.  The people you meet at OHI are truly the best part of the program.  When you surround yourself with wonderful people, you can’t help but see the positive in life all around you.  The OHI program has certainly improved my health, but it’s the people that I think have changed me for good.”

Melissa truly has a heart for service, and OHI is all the better for her presence here.  “The personal connections made at OHI are so satisfying for me, that this is my fourth time as a missionary.  I keep coming back because I am fortunate enough to be able to take the time off, and I don’t want to stray from the OHI lifestyle for too long.  Over the last few years, I went back to get a master’s degree which is a very sedentary pursuit, and between that and the pandemic, I really stopped taking good care of myself.  I put on weight and for the first time in my life my blood tests were coming back abnormal — high blood pressure, pre-diabetic blood sugar levels, high cholesterol, and hyperthyroid numbers.  That was a wake-up call, and I immediately re-incorporated OHI teachings into my life.  Within two weeks my blood tests were back to normal.  It was such a good reminder that the OHI lifestyle really works — and works quickly — even if you don’t do everything they teach.  As soon as I was finished with my classes, I applied to be a missionary again and am so happy to be back!”

Melissa’s four turns in the OHI Missionary Program have given her a lot of life experience to fall back on, and she is happy to share what she’s learned with others.  “I think the best advice I have for others is to incorporate just one or two changes into your daily life at a time, so that ‘healthy living’ doesn’t become an overwhelming process of trying to change everything overnight.  That’s a setup for frustration and failure.  If you start small, maybe just drinking a lot more water and stretching for a few minutes every night before bed, you will still see results and be motivated to incorporate other healthy practices.  Start small.  Stay positive.  Be kind to yourself.”

Optimum Health Institute is here for you! We will motivate you to stick with your commitment to health and discover new ways to empower yourself. Explore the holistic healing program offered at OHI. This program offers three week-long sessions, where you will learn to cleanse the body, quiet the mind and awaken the spirit. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.