A special update from Tim Brand, Many Hands Executive Leader, regarding the Gabhart’s plans for next year.
As we reflect back over the past six years of ministry within Many Hands for Haiti (Many Hands), it is impossible to think about the work happening in the Pignon area and not think of Craig and Christi Gabhart. They have been at the heart of the day-to-day operations since June 2014, leading Many Hands through a complete relaunch in 2015. It’s been incredible to see God’s work, now employing 58 Haitian staff, managing 15 acres of property, and touching 15,000 lives each year. This is not possible without Craig and Christi’s obedience to God’s call on their lives and humbly submitting to the work of Many Hands.
The board of Many Hands and I love our people and believe everyone needs time to step back, be refreshed, and take some time away from the day-to-day stress of running such a large operation. With this in mind, we instituted a sabbatical policy for anyone serving on the front lines in Haiti: that after five years of service, one must come off the field for six months for restoration, renewal, and time to reconnect with God, family, and friends. For Craig and Christi, this sabbatical time will be taken for the first six months of 2020, leaving their day-to-day responsibilities in Sylvain from January 2 through June 18.
"...this is just a pit stop in their journey. "
During their time on sabbatical, they will be attending a restoration and growth program, participating in staff development and training, having some new assignments for potential future endeavors for Many Hands, and be in the U.S. to celebrate the birth of two new grandchildren. We certainly hope God uses this time in a mighty way to strengthen Craig and Christi for a lifetime of service to Jesus, as this is just a pit stop in their journey.
For those six months in Haiti, it will look different for our day-to-day operations, but we rejoice that God has anointed the right people to fill in the gaps while Craig and Christi get some much-deserved time away. Over the past two years, we’ve invested heavily in our leadership development of our people, with a Haitian Leadership team of nine, as well as Darryl and Shelly De Ruiter continuing to help with operations. Liz Clarke will remain in her role as Education Manager and First 1,000 Days administrator. Micah Aurand has agreed to extend her time in Haiti by six months and will be the main contact for IMPACT teams coming to serve from the U.S. and Trinidad. In addition, we have long-term, Haiti-experienced volunteers stepping forward to fill in the gaps. Tim and Lucia Van Maanen, Tom and Denise Dent, Dave and Cindy Gritters, and I will be tag-teaming living in Haiti from January 2 through March 26 to help with daily operations and IMPACT team support. We will determine a plan for April through June at a later time, based upon the first three months of 2020 operations.
Please cover us in prayer, as we believe this is a critical time for our long-term sustainability in Haiti. We’ve always believed in a plurality of leadership, as we are all called to transform together to be love in action in our broken world. We rejoice to see the body of Christ at work.
Many Hands for Haiti