by Craig and Christi Gabhart, MH4H spiritual and organizational development directors in Haiti 

MH4H’s newest program, Harvesting Hope, teaches families how to grow much needed vegetables to feed their families or sell at the local market. A model garden exists on the MH4H campus in Savanette. This model utilizes drip irrigation, which works well with the Haitian land. Now that the model garden is producing food, we’ve begun to plant gardens with families in the surrounding community.

Claudin (pictured above) serves as our agronomist and oversees each garden planted in the community. He lives in Bohoc and graduated in 2011 from University Chretienne du Nord Haiti. Claudin took us to a garden this morning so we could watch the gardener harvest some cabbage.  The man was very excited to show us the produce.  He has worked hard and now is reaping what he has sown.  Haitians could typically be characterized by being laid back, slow moving, kind of subdued.  Today this Haitian man had great enthusiasm, moving with a spring in his step and a smile on his face that didn’t quit the whole time we were there. 

 Claudin (blue shirt) and Christi (purple shirt) show off the cabbage with the very proud gardener (white shirt). 

Quite often with the language barrier we may miss some of what transpires during some conversations.  This morning was different.  This man was SO genuinely thrilled, there was no acting, no question about his sincerity.  He was pumped about God providing this garden opportunity through Many Hands for Haiti.  The gardener expressed his gratitude to Many Hands for Haiti for giving him the resources to be able to work the garden on his property. The man also said he knows Many Hands for Haiti is making a difference in this community.

This man was thrilled with his harvest of cabbage; he couldn’t stop smiling! 

Claudin says the people may not be very enthusiastic about the garden because it is a lot of work.  They put SO much time and effort into it.  BUT when it is time to harvest they are very happy.  This is an opportunity to learn the lesson of investing over a period of time and then finally getting a pay off.  This lesson can spill over into other areas of life in kind of a philosophical way as well as physical ways.

This occasion was also a big encouragement to Claudin.  He puts tons of effort into all the gardens, so for this produce to be harvested and for the man to express his gratitude all added up to a great day for Claudin.

Everyone had a sense of fulfillment today.

If you’d like to donate towards Harvesting Hope, please click here