In Loving Memory of our founder and American director,
Cynthia “Cindy” Ann Zimmerman
January 17, 1956 – September 20, 2019
Cindy was the kind of person you meet once and never forget. She was also the kind of person that would meet you once and never forget you. She was a compassionate, sharp, hardworking, spunky, and short lady who devoted her life to being God’s hands and feet on this earth. She loved everyone and she loved them deeply. She spent her days running elderly to their appointments or sitting with friends who were experiencing difficult times or taking care of the many stateside duties for the mission. She did all this while being an amazing wife, mother, and grandmother.
Cindy was an LPN and first came to Haiti after being invited to join a medical missions team. She always joked that it took her friends a while to convince her because she couldn’t imagine spending a week without her curling iron or makeup. But she did end up giving in and came to Haiti which lead to other trips which eventually turned into her leading teams to come. With a leap of faith, she eventually left her job as an LPN to work in missions fulltime. Her first couple of years in Haiti were spent serving at Life Connection Mission in Montrious, Haiti and even served on their board for some time.
Cindy was introduced to Elage Estime through Life Connection Mission and he invited Cindy to come to his hometown of Charrier. Again, Cindy always said she was nervous to travel to such a remote and primitive area, but after much persuasion she went. After just one visit she fell in love with the people of Charrier and eventually began leading medical clinics and work teams to the area. Cindy, our American director, and Elage, our former Haitian director, worked together for many years and together created New Life Mission – Haiti, Inc. which became a 501(c)(3) in 2015.
Just to list a few of the things that Cindy did for Haiti…
She had a heart for helping the children. She spent hours singing and playing with them, cleaning up their boo-boos, making them feel loved, and teaching them about Jesus. Many of the teams that she led down would spend an evening with the children and would provide meals to over 200+ kids at a time. She and Zacharie Estime, our now Haitian Director, shared a passion to help the orphans of Haiti. After several years of fundraising together, construction for New Life Children’s home began in 2016 and opened their doors in 2019. It is now home to 4 children who have a safe place to sleep, 3 meals a day, a family focused atmosphere, and a place to learn about their Heavenly Father.
She helped to create a school sponsorship program for the mission that now sends 60+ children to school every year. The program provides tuition, uniform, and school supplies. We’ve seen many children graduate and pass their final exams, which is a rare and wonderful blessing for children in Haiti.
Cindy had a heart for prison ministry and visited several different prisons with teams – praying & singing with them, handing out hygiene supplies & food/drinks, and once helped to build a water reservoir in the Mirbalais prison. Prisons in Haiti are extremely overcrowded with very poor conditions so these visits are such a blessing to the prisoners
She loved to lead construction teams that helped to build a water reservoir in the remote mountain village of Tivye, benches for churches, and a school in Charrier. These are just a few of the projects she assisted in.
She was always collecting clothing donations and packed HUNDREDS of barrels to be shipped down to Haiti. This was only one of the many, many duties she had in the states to keep our mission running. She was also an amazing networker and could make connections with anyone. She was determined to fill any need that arose and almost always could find a solution. She arranged every team and would fundraise or gather supplies for whatever project these teams would work on while here. She truly devoted her life to this mission.
In Haiti, even basic first aid is hard to come by and people simply cannot afford routine care or preventative medications. Cindy loved to lead medical teams to Haiti and these teams would see hundreds of patients and provide medications. It was always her dream to have a medical clinic of our own. She even began fundraising for this project in 2018 and construction will begin in 2020.
With that being said, we as a mission would like to make everyone aware that though Cindy is no longer with us, we are continuing the work she started in Haiti. Recently someone had asked Cindy, “Now that the Children’s Home is up and running, do you think your work in Haiti is done?” And I remember her laughing and saying, “it’s only just begun!” And we couldn’t agree more. So with that we continue onward and strive to make her proud. Because we know she’s sitting up there in Heaven alongside Jesus being our biggest fans, our #1 supporters.