We're SO excited! -Gwenn
September 13, 2009
Dear Family and Friends,
There are always foundational moments that exist within people and organizations—events that occur that define the very core of who you are. One of those moments happened earlier this year when Haitian Children’s Home expanded to Joy in Hope, in an effort to not just build a family for our 25 children, but also build families in the community that surrounds us. We now find ourselves at another foundational moment. It is with great excitement and joy that I write you today to share the huge opportunity God has given us at Joy in Hope. As of last Saturday, September 5, Joy In Hope became a global organization. After a prompting from God and months of prayer and counsel, the Joy in Hope Board of Directors voted unanimously to expand the mission we all carry beyond Haiti, in order to replicate it in other places in the world.
In order to accomplish this task, there are some big changes coming within our organization. These changes, I believe, that will take Joy in Hope to the figurative “next level” in terms of efficiency, accountability, permanence, and growth. The most notable change is the hiring of a new Director for Joy in Hope that will oversee all aspects of our newly-expanded mission from the US. I’d like to introduce Rick Smith, the new Joy in Hope Director.
Rick has worked in corporate America for 22 years as a software engineer, project manager, and global alliance manager. For the past 5 years Rick been employed on the leadership team at Crosspointe Church managing all administrative functions of a large church—finance, human resources, operations, information technology, and purchasing. Rick has been married to his wife, Lisa, for 21 years and they have three children—Dan, Stephen and Sammi. Rick and his family have been involved in world missions for a long time, taking short-term trips to Haiti, Kenya and England.
I am personally excited about Rick coming on with Joy in Hope. This is a very good thing for Joy in Hope, for my family, and for me personally. As this mission has grown incredibly quickly over the past 3 years, it has become more and more apparent that God has been calling me to turn over ultimate leadership to someone more skilled in running a large non-profit. Because of God’s hand and your faithfulness in support, Joy in Hope has grown beyond what our family and staff on-the-ground here in Haiti are able to manage.
Something I have come to love about the heart of our Father God is that when He calls us to big new things, He provides the way. This is a position we’ve known we’ve needed for a while now, but didn’t see a way to provide the funding necessary for a venture such as this. So when Rick stepped forward with the skills and heart we were seeking, AND funding for his salary generously provided by his former employer, Crosspointe Church, it became very clear that this was the way that God was providing.
With Rick at the lead from an organizational standpoint, I will be freed up to work in Haiti in the capacity I love the most—directing work IN Haiti, and more importantly, being a husband to Leann and a father to my 25 children.
One thing I want to assure you is that the vision, staff, and infrastructure that we have in Haiti will not change. We are simply expanding our organization to include a new director, and as I briefly hinted at earlier, a new country.
You won’t find Kamanong listed on any map, but it’s about 4 hours outside of the capital, Nairobi, in Kenya. It is at this place that there is a children’s home where 70+ children live. For the majority of these kids, this is the only home they have ever known. Many of them are AIDS orphans or abandoned to the streets. It is our dream to provide a holistic approach and build an outstanding primary school, deliver high quality clinical care, provide clean water, and give them opportunities to grow in their faith in Jesus in a church. It’s energizing to dream about the kind of life change that will occur as we take the first steps to replicate this vision God birthed nearly 3 years ago.
We will be making some administrative changes in the next few months—keep an eye out for more details on that. This is a huge step for us, both in terms of faith and responsibility. We need your prayers and support now more than ever. If you have any specific questions about this transition, you can feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Rick at email@example.com
Words cannot express the gratitude I have for you all, our friends and supporters. It is your faithful prayer and support alone that have allowed us to grow to the level we have grown, and it will be by your continued prayer and support we continue to grow, begin to build, continue to rescue children from abusive and dissolute lives. I feel so privileged to have served you in the capacity as the leader for the past three years, and look forward to continue serving on a different level of leadership, freeing me up to what I am most passionate about, and insuring the success of my family and of the organization as a whole. Again thank you.
Joy in Hope