Gonaïves is the 3rd largest city in Haiti, with a population of 300, 000 people. It is the capital of the Artibonite Department, the country’s main agro-growing area and has a population of 1.7 million people. It is known as Haiti’s City of Independence because it was here that Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti independent from France on January 1, 1804 by reading the Act of Independence on the Place d’Armes in Gonäives.
In September 2004, Hurricane Jeanne caused major flooding and mudslides in the city.
Four years later in 2008, the city was again devastated by another storm, Hurricane Hanna, which killed 529 people, mostly in flooded sections of Gonaïves, where the destruction was described as “catastrophic”.
Today Gonaïves is rebuilding. Development of businesses, schools, roads, and a new hospital signal change. There are signs of restoration throughout the city. We are honored to have been called to be part of this great city.
From orphanage to orphan prevention, 2013 was Avry’s first trip to Haiti. Her life was forever changed as she fell in love with the Haitian people. Her heart was broken for the injustice of this world and the desperate need for the light of Jesus in these dark places.
Mark was able to visit Haiti in 2014. He immediately felt the brokenness that Avry had shared about. He knew he was called to “do more!” During this time Mark and Avry along with their children lived stateside but visited Haiti often and became advocates for the fatherless.
2018 Mark and Avry moved to Haiti with their 4 children, Jace, Max, Owen, and Emry. During the first 10 months of living in Haiti, they served as Co-Directors of an orphanage. It didn’t take long for them to realize that something needed to be done to tackle the root cause of these children being orphaned. They recognized that children living in an institution isn’t a thriving environment and their focus needed to shift to orphan prevention. As the Lord began to change their direction, Redeem United was born in the fall of 2018.
Redeem United was established as a non-profit and 501c-3.
To us, orphan prevention means investing in the areas of, maternal care, economic development, discipleship, community outreach and healthcare.