By God's Design
In the summer of 2010, following the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, Crystal Funk was serving for 6 weeks with a missions organization in Haiti- working with short term groups who came to minister to the people of Carrefour (a suburb of Port au Prince) and the surrounding area. During that time, she was blessed to meet and befriend the Arris family. Pastor Jean Duval Arris (Pastor Duval) shared his dream/vision of starting a school in Chaveneau and when she returned to visit the family (social visit) in August of 2010, they had time to sit down and actually look at the plans for the school, the paperwork, etc... She immediately became excited at this prospect! A chance to directly impact a group of children and adults who had NEVER had the chance at formal education, local health care, etc...
She prayed and asked God to send individuals and/or groups who would also entertain the vision Pastor Duval had for this community and be able to support him in his ministry. Another trip in September/October gave her the opportunity (with a close friend) to actually travel to Chaveneau and see the location where the school would meet and to help Pastor Duval prepare the church building for school which began classes the day she flew back to the USA- October 4, 2010. During that trip she was asked by Pastor Duval to officially become part of his project and accept the title of "International Relations Coordinator". This organization is a direct result of that offer since it opened the door for Crystal to travel to Haiti many more times and continue to form relationships there. As she seeks to follow God and His work, Hearts United with Haiti has grown and it's vision has developed. We no longer minister in Chaveneau, but the lessons learned there were ones God knew we needed to be useful moving forward for Him. Relationships with some of the people of this community continue to this day and have taught us much. See more about Crystal under "People to Know" section of this website..
God used Chaveneau as His "carrot" -- to continue to draw Crystal back to Haiti, but during that time He was always at work directing the ministry to meet and join with others in the process. In the fall of 2011 God led us to Life is Wealth Orphanage in Port au Prince through a series of divine appointments/intervention. We no longer partner with them because the director passed away in 2016 and his children have been running it since. We disagree with what is best for the children so we refused to renew the contract we had with them. However, between 2011 and 2018 we were able to help facilitate the installation of chicken coops, a water collection/treatment system that serves not only them but the community, the hiring and training of nannies who care for the children, and helped the former director/his family learn skills to become more self sufficient.
During 2012 God opened even more doors so that we are now able to work with a doctor in Carrefour by helping him in a medical clinic he set up in his home. In 2014, God connected us with a community (Bas-Citronniers) seeking to be self-sustaining. They have a school in a remote area where education is not accessible- sound familiar? Thank you, Lord! We have also been able to realize our dream of opening a training & discipleship center in Carrefour (early 2016) where we can reach out to our local community and encourage others to do the same.
Over time, we have come to realize how much damage touch-and-go ministries can do to an area and the people they are trying to help- by not fully understanding the true needs of the people and the local community. Read more about our philosophy on ministry in Haiti on this website as well ("What Really Helps" section of the "About Us" page). We are so blessed and excited as we move forward and get to develop these different projects, work with the people God has led us to, and watch Him at work building up the Haitian people and their beautiful country.
Our prayer is that when people see us, they see Jesus at work and when we leave, that we leave Him behind as well as a hunger and desire for more of Him, not more of us!
It is a blessing to be His vessel and to watch Him at work in Haiti- both through our organization and in spite of it as well.
Hearts United with Haiti
Our former mission base in Carrefour- a HUGE 5 bedroom home (second floor) with a large kitchen, living room and front porch to enjoy.
Chaveneau in the fall of 2016- before Hurricane Matthew (water building far left in photo, latrines far right, and solar panel) *the pavillion-like structure on top of the church was put in by someone else and is no longer there- it was destroyed by the hurricane unfortunately.
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