The First Volunteer

by | Sep 7, 2018

There are two people who have officially been with Many Hands for Haiti from the very beginning of the organization to the current day. Two people who have been through every up and down, all the good days and all the bad days. Two people who have prayed, cried, rejoiced, and sang songs in the office (okay, maybe just one does that). One typically has been the face of the organization over the past decade and it has been a humbling honor to play this role. The other demonstrates the heart of the organization, by living a core value of selflessly serving behind the scenes in whatever role is asked. Today, much to her discomfort, I lift up Linda Grandia, who serves behind the scenes with humility, diligence, and faithfulness.

I’ve trusted Linda explicitly from day one, as I knew her character and her heart for serving.

Linda and I were the first two board members of Many Hands for Haiti. In fact, we were the only two board members at the start! I can remember our first board meeting, in a Third Church office, and we both looked at each other with the “Are we doing this right?” kind of look.  At the end of the meeting, someone needed to handle the accounting responsibilities, as we had a few checks coming to us from time-to-time, so Linda volunteered. If you would have told Linda at that time how many checks and how much money she would process over the next ten years, she would have fallen off her chair in disbelief. We have been incredibly blessed.

Linda and I share a storied history together, as she was one of my mom’s best friends in school and it continues to this day. Linda remembers when I was born, when I was just a little tyke coming to their “Buddies Bible Study”, watching me play high school sports, and my wedding. It isn’t often someone so intertwined in your life volunteers to work with you in launching a ministry. I’m grateful for her trusting the calling God gave me and submitting herself to my leadership in launching and guiding this ministry. I’ve trusted Linda explicitly from day one, as I knew her character and her heart for serving. When one looks back on the history of the organization, it cannot be understated the importance of trust established from the beginning.

Linda and Bygone, Haiti, 2009

As I’ve reflected on the role Linda has played in our organization, the power of the volunteer stood out. Linda comes to work not for a paycheck, but rather to serve. She willingly participates in the mission and this creates influence, something much stronger than money. When I look at the twelve disciples and the early church, I believe their witness was far greater because they volunteered themselves. There was no ulterior motive and because of its purity, people were drawn to it. Every good organization relies on these powerful forces called volunteers and Linda was able to set an example for all to follow.  She was willing to volunteer her time, treasure, and talents, serving in whatever supporting role was needed. We were both chuckling the other day, as Linda has had the most offices of anyone in the organization. She started in a crowded conference room, on a super-slow computer, and learned how to use Quickbooks. She since has moved at least four times and now, she finally has a window to look out! Through it all, she didn’t complain and she diligently volunteered her services. What a witness!

Linda with her husband John

Many Hands for Haiti stands on the shoulders of Linda Grandia, who has served Many Hands for over ten years with humility, diligence, and faithfulness. Her witness as the first official volunteer started many down a path to follow in her footsteps, as we now have had well over 3,000 volunteers and over 150,000 hours of volunteer time. I’m thankful for her, as her presence guided the ministry to be love in action in this broken world.

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God gave us a gift when He called Lumanès to work for Many Hands. We are a much stronger, much wiser organization because of the knowledge shared by him.

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Person of Peace

Many Hands for Haiti stands on the shoulders of Appolon Paul Elysee, who is a person of peace bearing Kingdom fruit, touching the lives of all who know him.

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Here to Serve

Many Hands for Haiti stands on the shoulders of Irene Van Roekel, who created a legacy of hospitality that is impacting generations to come.

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BRING FAMILIES OUT OF POVERTY

GIVE TO THE 50/50 Campaign AND TRANSFORM TOGETHER WITH Families IN RURAL HAITI.

BRING FAMILIES OUT OF POVERTY

GIVE TO THE 50/50 CAMPAIGN AND HELP FAMILIES IN RURAL HAITI.