by | Feb 22, 2018

Pastor Kevin baptizing Tim’s son, AJ, in 2010

It’s April, 2004, and being a 24-year-old, I’ve got lots of questions on my mind. I graduated from Central College in 2002, with a degree in Computer Information Systems. Upon graduation, I immediately took a job in my field with a great company, made really good money, married my beautiful bride in June, and life should have been good. But, it wasn’t. I had an emptiness in my stomach about work and the purpose of my gifts and talents. Seeking wisdom, I turned to my pastor, Rev. Kevin Korver of Third Church in Pella, IA, and requested a private meeting with him. I will never forget that meeting.

Pastor Kevin and my family have history together. Not only was he my pastor, but he was also my neighbor. His oldest son, Kyle, was a teammate of mine and we had plenty of backyard games over the years. And those games brought out the best… and the worst… in me, on full display for Pastor Kevin. Multiple times in high school, I would walk to my truck parked in my driveway and under my windshield wiper was a note from Pastor Kevin, encouraging me in some way. I made my confession of faith with Pastor Kevin, confirming me into the greater Body of Believers. He married Catie and me, weaving personal stories into our ceremony. He buried my grandfather, worked with my mother in Children’s Ministries, and I listened to his sermons from middle school through college graduation. This was a deep connection.

“What I didn’t know was at that moment, Pastor Kevin buried a God-breathed and Spirit-anointed seed deep into my soul.”

Pastor Kevin is also one of wisest people I know. He prays fervently, reads ferociously, and serves tirelessly. His words carry weight, planting seeds of truth to those who listen. On this day in April, 2004, I happened to be the recipient of one of these seeds.

I came to Kevin with this grand plan to leave my current job, go and get my masters of business administration degree, and explore coaching basketball at the collegiate level. This would leave two roads open for my future: coach collegiate basketball or go into business, preferably with my family’s company at Goalsetter Systems. More or less, I had it all figured out, and I wanted confirmation from him that I wasn’t crazy.

Pastor Kevin sat and listened to me go on about my plans, the pros and cons of each, and then I asked him for his opinion. Out of nowhere, he asked me, “What about Haiti?” I was a little stunned, as I hadn’t mentioned anything about Haiti in the conversation. Pastor Kevin knew a little about my passion for Haiti, talking to me right after my third trip to Haiti in 2002, as well as hearing Catie’s and my story revolving around Haiti. I said, “What about Haiti?” Pastor Kevin looked at me deeply and said, “What if you could give $1,000,000 to work in Haiti? What kind of impact could that have?” I didn’t exactly know how to answer, as I hadn’t thought much about it to that point. “A lot. It could change whole communities,” I stammered back. “I think there is something to that path,” Pastor Kevin said calmly. From there, he talked to me about making money for the Kingdom, shoveling money into Kingdom work instead of my own pocket, and the need for people in the world willing to engage at high levels for Kingdom-financial impact. To be honest, at the time it really confused me, as I wasn’t looking for a third option! What I didn’t know was at that moment, Pastor Kevin buried a God-breathed and Spirit-anointed seed deep into my soul. This seed would take years to bear fruit, as it needed watering, nurturing, and time to grow into what it was destined to become, but it was planted, nonetheless.

“He saw something in me I couldn’t see for myself…”

Over the years, I’ve come back to that conversation many times in the Many Hands for Haiti journey. It has been a bedrock truth we could build upon. For the longest time, it was my personal goal to give $1,000,000 towards the work in Haiti over my lifetime. It was a good dream, but God had something so much bigger and better. In 2016, to the Glory of God, Many Hands for Haiti eclipsed $1,000,000 spent in Haiti for that year alone. Now, babies get fed, homes are rebuilt, campuses have been built, kids are sponsored for school, crops are planted, wells are dug, leaders are trained, the Gospel is shared, Bibles are given, believers are baptized, the lame are given mobility, and jobs are created. This is love in action, transforming our broken communities. And there is still more work to do.

Many Hands for Haiti stands on the shoulders of future-casters like Pastor Kevin Korver, who through the anointing of God, plant seeds in our souls to bear fruit for Kingdom purposes. He saw something in me I couldn’t see for myself, casting a vision for God to water, nurture, and cultivate to produce His fruit.  

Become Love in Action for children like Kerlin

I’m With You

I’m With You

Many Hands stands on the shoulders of Tim and Lucia Van Maanen, whose sacrificial “I’m with you” spirit forever set our organization on God’s path.

read more
Angel Among Us

Angel Among Us

Many Hands for Haiti stands on the shoulders of Pastor Francois Romelus, who is our angel on earth, gently guiding us with wisdom, courage, and love.

read more