A Look Back at How Heartline Ministries was Born and the Changes it Has Experienced…
Beth and I, our two children ages nine and three, and a collie that we had gotten from a local animal shelter, moved to Haiti almost twenty-five years ago on a Haitian airline long since gone out of business. We brought with us twenty-five suitcases, which contained our worldly possessions.
We came to operate a small crèche that helped facilitate the adoption of Haitian children to families in the States. We, over the span of twenty-one years, helped over 300 children travel to adoptive families where they have been loved and cherished.
While doing adoptions we, of course, became involved in other activities, such as vocational training for ladies so they could have the means to care for their children and not have to consider adoption as their only option. As we learned of the great need for safe childbirth and teaching on maternal health care, we opened up a maternity center, which serves as a model to others who have the same heart and passion for safe childbirth and maternal health care. Weekly it seems we have visitors wanting to see the program and have even had visitors from other countries come to see what we do.
In these twenty five years we have been through several coups, an embargo that crippled the nation, dozens and dozens of violent demonstrations, days at a time when the city was shut down due to fighting, the arrival of 20 thousand American soldiers who came to restore the peace, and the arrival of the UN – which is still here. And I can’t forget the earthquake of 2010 that killed hundreds of thousands of people. We were forever changed by the earthquake as we got to share in the lives of our patients at the Heartline Field Hospital. We watched people suffer well. It was an unforgettable year.
In these twenty-five years, we have seen our two children graduate from high school here in Haiti, move to the States, go to school, get jobs, get married, and give us five grandchildren.
In these twenty-five years, we have seen a shift in the direction of Heartline and now we find ourselves working so that families can stay intact. However, we realize there will always be a need and a place for adoption, and we are glad for the organizations that lovingly place children in adoptive homes.
In twenty-five years we have seen Heartline grow and become a model for others. We are seeing lives being touched and changed through the ministry of Heartline.
Beth and I came to Haiti with $345.00 in the bank but with a firm conviction that this was where God wanted us. We never talked about how long we would stay. We would stay until God said it was time to go. He hasn’t.
We have over these twenty-five years learned that God is faithful and that He has always been there during the times of struggle and difficulties. We have seen God do a slow and steady work in our lives and in our mission as we have switched gears and gone in new directions. We have seen His new mercies every day.
Twenty five years of learning, growing, making mistakes, and seeing God move in miraculous ways. God is faithful and we get to see Him move in our lives and in this country we love. Every day that we get to be here we count as a privilege.
We do things that matter, and for that we are grateful to the God we serve.
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
John & Beth McHoul