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Change can be hard. Change means the unknown. Sometimes however, it is amazing, beautiful, and uniting.

In the first chapter of my life I was a wife, a mother, a band teacher. I played the French horn in symphony orchestras and chamber groups. I loved this season of my life. Seeing my kids grow up and being a part of my students’ lives are things that I will always be so grateful for.

But God had a change in store for me. I retired from teaching and I was left searching for the next chapter of my life. In that season of seeking, I traveled to Haiti. I went in June, 2010 which was five months after a massive earthquake devastated the nation. Hundreds of thousands were killed, thousands more were injured and displaced. I met people in tent cities and saw more suffering than I had known existed. I soon learned though that the suffering went deeper than the earthquake. The people I met were being held captive by severe economic poverty. There were no jobs. Food, water and homes were scarce. I saw parents faced with leaving their children in orphanages because they could no longer feed them.

This suffering broke me.

One this first trip I saw many beautiful NGO’s providing aid, offering that initial assistance that was so desperately needed. However, I asked myself, would this offer long-lasting or permanent change? I dove into this idea and learned that a real way to offer lasting change would be through employment. Dignified employment that would allow parents to provide for their children. Dignified employment that would offer empowerment and a voice to the people of Haiti.