Developing Land that Tells a Story

Jul 24, 2018

Beth Guckenberger

It may be hard to envision right now but, not too long in the future, this property will be bustling with staff and mission guests. It will be welcoming caregivers from other organizations and from local children’s homes coming for trauma training.

Haiti is hard to describe. It’s beautiful, impoverished, complex. It’s full of proud people who long to provide for themselves and make Haiti a strong nation.  For many of us, Haiti is defined by the 2010 earthquake and the massive relief efforts ever since. Three million people were directly affected by the quake, and relief was the right response to the unimaginable tragedy. 

Since then, Haiti has been flooded with well-intended help, meant to help people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, in many cases, the opposite has occurred. Crippled business owners who used to sell things, now can’t, because everyone now receives handouts for free. 

“Haitians need people they can trust and who believe in them – people who are committed to education, who can share wisdom, skills, and training. What Haitians want – in fact, what they need – are people who believe in them enough to give tools necessary for development. We want them to stick around long enough to build bonds of trust and see that development through,” said Wadson Delvar, Back2Back Staff

After six years of work in Haiti, building partnerships, listening closely to Haitian nationals, and praying over a long-term strategy, we have put a stake in the ground here.  Much like Mexico, Nigeria, and India, we declare we will be a part of contributing to long-term development to Haiti. It’s not a cause, or a campaign – it’s people. We love Haitians named Kendia, Kimberly, Jimmy, and Fritz. We want a healthy Haiti and a gospel-driven plan because we have come to love them and long for freedom and healing for their next generation. 

This land, situated next to a city called Canaan, will be Back2Back’s permanent presence in Haiti.  We can imagine this property bustling with staff and mission guests. It will welcome caregivers from other organizations and local children’s homes for trauma training. This will be a safe place where people will rest and connect. Over 100,000 people live across the street, and the prayer is we show them the love of Jesus, and in doing so, offer dignity. We want to be a part of the long-term solution for the people of Haiti.

We are making a pledge to partner with communities, children’s homes, and other organizations committed to development through training, education, and job creation. We may not be able to change the story for everyone, but we can offer hope, care, and development for children who live at children’s homes like Harvest Care, Rescue of God, Lighthouse, and Jesus Name. They will grow up being known and loved, having educational and training opportunities, and meeting people who reinforce one idea: they have a future, and it’s full of hope.  We want them to have a long-term investment to Back2Back staff and to those who will travel as mission team guests and child sponsors.

Many of you have seen Haiti first-hand, if you haven’t had the chance, we’d love to welcome you. Sponsors give monthly to their sponsor child and write letters telling them they are loved. Churches have given sacrificially for the staff housing on this land. Donors have invested in the purchase of the land. All of this sacrifice makes it possible to put the stake in the ground. 

We are committed. We pray in years to come when we look at this land, it will tell a story of God’s people, who followed God’s prompting, to share God’s story. 

May He be glorified. 

Beth is an author, speaker and mom. She and her husband, Todd, serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. Beth frequently travels and speaks at conferences drawing on her vast experiences with adoption, foster care, spiritual care, and non-profit leadership, serving and living internationally for over 15 years. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, Beth and Todd have raised ten children.

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