Our passions are what define and shape who we are. God gives us these desires to fill us with life and love for what we do. But when God gives us His heart for the things He is passionate about, that is when the adventure begins! God has put His love and passion for the country of Haiti in Sara Anderson’s heart. She not only has decided to submit to that calling but actively moves towards it. As of January 7, 2015, Sara has begun her new adventure as Team Lead for Education Programs (TLEP) with Many Hands For Haiti.
Sara has had a long history with missions work. She has been a Global Missions Director at Meredith Drive Reformed Church since 2011, where she began to feel God’s heart for the country of Haiti. “Through my time in Haiti, God’s love for her people absolutely and quickly captured my heart. I have been asking God, ‘How can I serve my Haitian brothers and sisters?’” explains Sara. Through the work at Meredith Drive as missions coordinator, Sara was able to meet and build a relationship with the Many Hands for Haiti Executive Leader, Tim Brand and staff, resulting in her decision to partner and serve with the work of MH4H. Sara describes, “Being with the Meredith Drive teams in the Pignon area allowed me to see Many Hands’ work first-hand and develop relationships with staff- both Haitian and US.”
Sara not only has a passion and love for Haiti and the work of MH4H, but also years of experience as an educator, counselor, and leader in international ministry. From 2005 to 2012, she worked as an educator, tutoring and teaching in the Johnston Community School District and at Bergman Academy. Thereafter, Sara worked at Grand View University as a Career Counselor until October of 2014. Since 2003 she has also been involved with Compassion International, visiting five countries to learn Compassion’s model and then train and inform sponsors.
As the TLEP, Sara will be responsible for carrying out education-based community development projects. This will include curriculum development, child-sponsorship coordination, staff training, and financial development of education. One of the large projects Sara will be working with is Thrive for 5, which is a program where children ages zero to five come five days a week to get a meal, get free doctor check ups, and learn about Jesus. She will be responsible for developing curriculum and yearly budgets, and informing donors about Thrive. Another program Sara will be working with is 180 for Haiti, which provides a meal, school supplies, dental services, and a Bible for children in grades K through Four. Communicating with teachers to determine tuition and school maintenance and informing donors of progress and conditions of the children are a few of the main responsibilities Sara will have at 180 for Haiti. Finally, she will be responsible for training the educational staff from Haiti.
“I most look forward to the smiles and hugs and getting to know the children we serve by name,” says Sara.
Not only is Sara experienced for her work at MH4H, but she has anticipation for her journey with God in this next big step.