How It All Got Started

Dec 19, 2023
Haiti Hope Fund Team
Haiti Agroforestry Mission
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Sometime in 1984 I took my son Ryan to visit a piece of land, about 6 acres, up in the steep mountains of Northern Haiti (my wife Debbie and I were agricultural missionaries to Haiti at that time). God had put into my heart a dream of organizing a camping/training area for Haitian young people to teach them concepts of Christian Stewardship (more about that later). Ryan and I, along with a Haitian young man, hiked deep into the mountainous region of the headwaters of the Grand Riviere du Nord with our camping gear, supplies for three days, and 100 pine tree seedlings to plant on some of the barren lands at the camp. There we met a young Haitian family who lived in a hut at the edge of the camp land. They were desperately poor, and the husband and wife with three little children had not eaten in three days.

We shared our food with them, and that's when I began to think about more than just a training area for Haitian young people. We needed to be considering how we might be able to reach families all through the mountains with training for improved farming practices. In later years this came to be called Agroforestry - Syntropic Farming. Unfortunately for Debbie and me, we had to leave Haiti before this dream could be realized

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In 2011, twenty-eight years later, I returned to Haiti with our daughter Carly (she was 24 years old by that time) and we hiked back into the mountains to see if anything was left of the pine trees that we had planted.
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And to our amazement, the man to whom I had given the charge to care for the trees was there to meet us! He said to me that not a single tree had been cut down or damaged. Now, approximately 22 years later, the Agroforestry dream is coming back to life. The text that you read in the Haiti Agroforestry Mission Campaign was written by our son, Ryan. God has placed in his heart a passion for missions in Haiti, and regenerative agriculture is where his interests lie.