Staff

Matt and Cara and Family

Smithson FamilyThanks for your interest in HRCH here is a brief background of our family and the call God gave us to minister to the people of Haiti.  We have three children, Kaylea, Dean, and Joel. We thought we would live the “American dream” and grow old together in Lavaca, Arkansas, but God had a different plan for us.  I can remember as a child a church camp the first time I felt God calling me to missions.  Years went by and it wasn’t until I was a teenager that God called again.  Regrettably, I ignored His calling and pursued a different career.  I was happy working the last 15 years in the medical profession I was in and continued to run from God’s call. Looking back, I now know it was all God’s perfect timing at work.   About a year ago God began to burden my heart to leave my job and serve Him wherever He called our family.  However, I wanted to know for sure this was not something I was dreaming up on my own.  Through godly council and guidance of the Holy Spirit in quiet times God confirmed that these were His thoughts and not my own.   Unknown to me, God had also been calling my wife, Cara, preparing her heart for the changes ahead.   We are now seeing His will come to fruition.

Many people ask why Haiti?  Well, ultimately it was Gods prompting and our obedience to his call.  The bible says “we have been bought with a price”, we are His possession to do with as He sees fit.  Christians are to serve wherever He calls us.  Not every Christian will be called to serve in a foreign land, but we are called to obedience, whatever that may be.   We went to Haiti for the first time in October 2010.  The country was still in shambles from the large earthquake that occurred in January.   The trip was initially for evangelism but after a few days God began to show us these people did not seem to understand who He was or how He loves.  It’s not that they have never heard who Jesus is, but they are consumed with rituals, customs and telling you whatever you want to hear to get what you might give them.  In this turmoil every day imagine not being allowed in church because you did not have nice clothes or because your ears were pierced. As strange as that may seem, this is very common in Haitian churches. The one place where people should come for comfort and support is absent.  We believe they need to be shown through example the unconditional love Christ showed us. Then teach them how to pour that love into others. This is discipleship.

So how are we to accomplish this?   Following Christ’s example.  Jesus walked with His disciples daily, teaching them how to live and love the way He did.  He then commanded them to go and do the same. The future of Haiti is in the children so this is where we will start. Investing our lives into children and teaching them to live like Christ and to love others as Christ commanded us to. Showing them to reach out to their neighbors and nations all for the Glory of God. Building up a generation that exemplifies Gods’ love and character.

Email Matt: matt.smithson@hrch.org

Email Cara: cara.smithson@hrch.org

 

Ben and Andi and Family

Andi, Morgan, and I are truly humbled that God would choose to use us in the amazing work He is doing in Haiti. God doesn’t ask us to understand His call, He only asks us to be obedient, and He has made it clear to us that this is our journey. For me, I never dreamed I would ever be doing mission work. Andi and I have been married for 17 years and have lived most of our married lives in White Hall, Arkansas. We have three wonderful children, Alex, Austin, and Morgan and we have lately been blessed with a son-in-law, Brent. Alex and Brent currently live in Jonesboro, Arkansas and Austin has recently joined the US Army. I’m blessed to have a wife that has a loving relationship with God and a heart for missions. She has stood by me when I didn’t deserve it and has dis- played grace, patience, and love for me. I say this because it is part of my journey.

Most of my life I have just gone with the flow spiritually. I felt I was a good husband and father, but I knew that I was not being the spiritual leader of our home. My relationship with God was not where it should have been, and I knew that to be right with my family I needed to be right with God. Unfortunately, I am hard-headed and this has taken longer than it should have. God has finally shown me that He has ordained husbands and fathers to be the spiritual, servant leaders of their homes. We are to model our lives after Christ (Matthew 20:26-28). In 2015, Alex, Brent, Andi and I made our first trip to Haiti. God began to speak to us about Haiti being part of His plan for us then, but I had issues with surrender. I was studying the crucifixion and how Peter followed at a distance. I realized that often we follow God at a distance because we are worried about the cost, we are consumed with our comfort zones. But God wants ALL of us, He wants complete surrender. Through close prayer partners, Sunday School lessons, and our Pastor’s sermons, God began to make it clear to us what He wanted us to do. We are so excited and amazed to see what God will continue to do in Haiti. Wherever we are, we want to bring glory and honor to the name of our glorious Savior.

Email Ben: ben.lunsford@hrch.org

Email Andi: andi.lunsford@hrch.org