Almost twenty years ago, I, Cindy, was invited to go to Haiti by a local physician who was heading up a short-term medical mission team. I am embarrassed to say, the first time he invited me, I said, “NO”. I was not interested in traveling to a third world country or stay in a tent, without the conveniences we enjoy here in this country. I never camped a day in my life and had no intention of doing it. But God had another plan. The next year he asked me again and I had the same reaction, only this time he ran it by my husband, Rick, and he said, “I think you should go.” As I searched the Word of God, to find reasons NOT to go, my Bible reading all pointed to the fact that I needed to go. It was a huge faith builder for me. I had to totally rely on God for the finances, for strength to overcome my fears and insecurities, and to leave my husband and at that time, my two little boys at home. But Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” kept coming back to my mind over and over. So, with much reservation I decided to go. That trip changed my life forever. No longer was it about me, but about serving God and serving a people that I fell in love with. As time went on, I began leading teams to Haiti and eventually, after another faith building set of circumstances was led to the mountain village of Charrier. It was here that I found my passion and New Life Mission – Haiti, Inc. was birthed of which I am the American Director.
I have brought teams to Charrier for almost 10 years. We have worked hard over these years to build a facility that will house our orphanage as well as visiting teams. WE have come a long, long way since the days when we slept in tents and bathroom facilities were primitive. We have been blessed to have partnered with the Estime family who takes care of our needs while we are in Haiti. They are a blessing to all who visit with us. We work together to build relationships within the community and I can testify that as much as we minister to the Haitians, they minister to visiting team members. This has been a journey for us as a couple. For many years, I, Cindy have traveled to Haiti mostly by myself, leaving Rick here in the United States to keep the home fires burning. He has been very supportive of my passion to minister to the lost and hurting in Haiti. It is my desire to be the liaison between the Haitian community where I serve and our supporters in the United States. About 10 years ago I quit my job as a nurse to work in the ministry full time. It was a huge jump in faith but God has blessed our family to allow us to do this and we are ever so grateful for His faithfulness. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think our lives would take such a path. I can tell you, I am the least likely person to be used by God in this way. This but it has truly been an adventure of a lifetime. I love serving the people of Haiti and hope to continue as long a God allows me to.
Zacharie & Stevie Estime
Zacharie & Stevie met when Stevie went to Haiti for a one week trip with Cindy in 2011. They became friends, but never thought they’d meet again. However, after college graduation, Stevie returned to Haiti for a 4 month trip to teach english to the children in Charrier. Zacharie was her translator over that time. Soon into the trip, Stevie & Zacharie were drawn together by their passion for children’s ministry. Both had lost their fathers at young ages. So in their different countries yet similar family situations, they both witnessed firsthand, the struggles of a single parent home and the challenges it can cause. Their hearts go out to the many children in Haiti who grow up in like scenarios whether with one parent or without any.
Zacharie is the Haitian director of New Life Mission – Haiti, Inc. as well the project coordinator for New Life Children’s Home. He also assists Cindy in leading teams who come to Haiti. He and Stevie are back and forth from Haiti at this time but plan to be in Haiti full time by 2018 to be directors of New Life Children’s Home. They have two children, Abraham & Moses.
The Estime Family
The Estime Family is vital to making our teams experience the true Haitian cultural experience. Zacharie’s sister, Antas, is our head cook and is in charge of the authentic and delicious meals. Antas and Zacharie’s mother, “Mama” or “Madamn Vide” as we all call her and other woman spend hours in preparation for each team: cleaning, going to market, and making sure everything is ready for our arrival. The boys of the family help with translating, transportation, organizing building projects, and helping to meet the needs of our team members. They are instrumental in every aspect of our mission. This family opens up their hearts to every single person who walks through the gate and we are so blessed to have them part of our mission.