Christi Gabhart Health Update

by | Oct 30, 2023

Christi Gabhart sits with a family during a home visit

Dear Many Hands community,

We want to share an announcement and a personal update regarding Christi Gabhart. Christi was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) in August 2022. CLL is often a slow-progressing cancer. Living and working in Haiti poses its own challenges with medical care, which is partly why she has chosen to start the treatment for CLL at this time.

Christi would like to share this public update:

In mid-September, Craig and I returned to Iowa (and Michigan) to see family and have some medical checkups. My blood work shows a white blood cell count that is too high. After a CT Scan and a meeting with the oncologist, and considering our individual life circumstances, we have decided that I will take chemotherapy treatment to get this in check. I started on Oct 18. The oncologist has described it as a fairly mild form of chemotherapy with a history of minimal side effects. The hard part for me is that it will mean being away from my work in Haiti for four to six months. I am praying for four!  

Craig returned to Haiti at the end of September. He and the Many Hands Haitian staff will be continuing the work that goes on each day. We installed Starlink Internet on the Many Hands campus a few months back. This is a huge factor for us at this time. We have a reliable internet signal which offers much easier access to keep the lines of communication going. Having this allows me to stay connected to the team in Haiti. All to say…God provides!

And God protects! There is turmoil across the globe. We have been and are so grateful that God has allowed the possibility for Many Hands to continue the work he has set us up to do. The Many Hands Haitian staff never hesitate, even when new obstacles reveal themselves. They have trust and confidence in God’s provision and protection that Many Hands continues to move forward. And this ‘season’ will be no exception to that. I have received written messages, voice messages, and phone calls from the Many Hands staff each day as we work together. Often, it’s just to say they miss me and are praying for me! I can feel those prayers from across the ocean and those from family and friends. We serve a BIG GOD!


Jean-Rene DeForge (back, left) visits a local family during a food distribution

These are HARD times in a HARD place, and Many Hands work is making a difference.

Right at this time in Haiti, many food items are scarce. I recently spoke with Yves Garard, Many Hands Depot Manager. According to Yves, you can buy what is necessary if you have money. There are just so many families who don’t have the means, so they are going hungry. Medical care is compromised to an even lower level than normal. Many medical services are only available in Port au Prince. That is a very dangerous journey at this time. Gas prices have soared again, causing more hardships. 

 God has, is, and will continue to provide. The Many Hands staff work very hard to be good stewards of resources so that regular meals continue to be made available to program participants and staff. These are HARD times in a HARD place, and Many Hands work is making a difference. The Many Hands staff is dedicated to keeping it going “si Bondye vle,” if God wants.

I have learned so much from the perseverance of the Haitian people and the way they handle hardship. A very necessary strategy in Haitian life is NEVER become discouraged. We MUST believe in the mighty power of our Mighty God. “Pa gen anyen ki enposib ak Bondye,” which says, “Nothing is impossible with God.” These words are expressed continually by the Haitian people we encounter.  

As I reflect on all these things, I am confident, “si Bondye vle,” I will be back on Many Hands Campus and ready to get on my ‘ti moto,’ my little motorcycle, and do my part to “make God REAL in a broken world” in the part of the world God has called us to. While undergoing this treatment in Spencer, Iowa, I look forward to spending extended time with family and being part of other aspects of the workings of Many Hands ministry.

That’s all for now. Hope to keep in touch. May God’s abundant blessings be visible to you!

Christi will return to Haiti in early 2024 after these rounds of treatment. While she undergoes chemotherapy, she will be staying active within Many Hands, supporting the organization in various ways.

The Many Hands team shares our unwavering support to her and Craig as they navigate this challenging phase. Any inquiries or messages of encouragement for Christi can be shared by emailing [email protected].

We pray for her during treatment and recovery and join Christi in her confidence that God will work His good through this season. 

About Many Hands:

Established in 2008, Many Hands is an Iowa-based nonprofit creating local and global life-transformation by strengthening families.  In Haiti, the organization focuses on six key areas for transformation, including education, agronomy, leadership development, safe homes, medical assistance, and economic development. Each year, the organization reaches at least 30,000 people through its operations in the Caribbean, Impact Trips serving in Abaco, Bahamas, and Many Hands Thrift Markets located in Iowa.

Many Hands is called to transform together, to be love in action, in a broken world.