About Us

Chris:IMG_5791

A graduate of Western Washington University (Industrial Technology), he came to Haiti because he wanted to help people in a practical way. He started working with Clean Water for Haiti in January 2003 and the following year took over as full time director. He never thought he would find a wife that would want to stay in Haiti with him. Good thing God had other plans. He’s good at what he does, is a great husband and a fabulous dad.

Chris is the technical brain in the family. He likes to tinker with things, especially cars, and especially Volkswagens. He’s also taken to gardening since moving to Haiti and has a very active banana garden and has grown the first ever fruit producing Dragon Fruit plant in Haiti. It’s nice when hobbies can provide deliciousness.

After so many years in the country Chris has lots of stories to tell and a very different perspective than me. He’s finally started writing some of that down on the blog.

IMG_5635Leslie:

Being a missionary was the last thing on the “to do” list. As in never. gonna. happen. Even after graduating from Prairie Bible College missions work just wasn’t on the radar. While working as a Student Ministries pastor at Vernon Alliance Church I came to Haiti with a group of my students to work with Clean Water for Haiti for a couple of weeks.

God had other plans for me and after two years of trying to figure out what those were I moved to Haiti (Oct. 2005) “long term” which I would have said was 3-4 years. I didn’t ever think I would be a “lifer”. Chris and I got married in July of 2006 and now here we are. We’ve been described as “anything but normal” and we like that. Missionary, wife, mom. It could be worse.

I love to cook so having guests around out table is part of my ministry. I discovered I like to build things with wood too. I’ve become a knitter too, which is a nice relaxing break from life here, but not the most practical hobby considering it’s above 80 degrees here most days.

I started writing the blog in my first year, mostly as a way to write down some of the things I was experiencing. I didn’t even tell people about it for the first several months. Now we have a regular stalker base that like to let me know how long it’s been since our last post. You know who you are. I’m the main blogger in the family.

Olivia:IMG_5708

Olivia is our “ti syklon” as they say in Creole. We brought her home and into our family in February 2008. She was 15 days old and 5 lbs, 4 oz.  She has non-stop energy. Just watching her will wear a person out. She’s also very charming and hasn’t met a person yet that she hasn’t been able to wrap around her little finger.

She’s a great kid and we often find ourselves wondering how we got so lucky. Our adoption finalized in September of 2010. Olivia is now in grade one, losing teeth and doing math and reading things. I have NO idea where the past few years have gone!

IMG_5878Alex:

Alex joined our family in July of 2011. He’s a big boy and will probably pass his sister in height and weight in the next year. He learned how to climb before he learned how to walk, and now likes to put those skills to use extensively. You know, things like climbing on the car, climbing on the motorcycles, climbing on…

He’s a funny little man who has already figured out how to bat his eyelashes and use the same expressions that Daddy does to make Mommy laugh. He’s also inherited a certain amount of stubbornness that we like to call determination. We haven’t decided which one of us he gets that from. Having an older sister means he has to be okay with things like necklaces and princess crowns. He can rock both at the same time as driving a Hot Wheels car. He loves trying to do everything that us big people do, and succeeds most days. He already speaks three languages – English, Creole, and gibberish.

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10 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Leslie, I’m a former “Vernonite” living in California and received your link from Judy Douglas. Odd that I spent the entire morning surfing the web (at work) trying to get information on Haiti and this awful disaster and then I recieve a link to your blog!

    PLEASE STAY SAFE. Know that the world is thinking of Haiti. I’m keeping you, Chris and darling Olivia in my thoughts.

  2. Hello and God’s Blessings. I pray for your safety and for the people of Haiti. I work with your parents at KW in Vancouver. I’m in the Battle Ground office. I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must be to see the devastation and feel so helpless. Where to start…Bless you for all your kindness and work. I’ll be praying for you and the people of Haiti. Stay Well. Laurie

  3. Hi : We are praying for U, your husband and your daughter .
    Our dear friends, Doug and Adel Carlaw , were here this past
    week end for a wonderful visit. We know them from our years
    of living in Enderby area. Good Friends !
    Strange, they brought their phots of Haiti and you and your
    beautiful daughter. Whom, Adel fell in love with !
    Our prayers go out to U and pray that God will continue to
    Bless, and protect U ,and the people of Haiti ..
    We told Doug and Adel, that we may travel with them, their
    next visit to Haiti ..Lord willing as we have our health problems
    as most seniors do..We love Dou and Adel a their family, as our own.
    They are family to us..will be until the Lord calls us home.
    I am going to give my grand daughter, Jesica Symons your
    link, she has asked for prayer for the people of Haiti..U may hear from
    her.
    Take care and God Bless U and the beautiful people of Haiti.
    In Christs Love

    Al and Bev hamm
    If U post pictures, please let us know !

  4. hi leslie, chris and olivia! we are soooo relieved to know you three are well! i read your recent posts and chris – you are a freaking warrior and a pillar of strength man! what am i saying? – all three of you are! you are living models of peace and god’s will for mankind. i look to you as examples of how i would like to live my life. you are in my thoughts and prayers. your work is hugely important – so much more so now than ever.
    love
    erin

  5. To Leslie & Chris & Olivia:
    I have been thinking of you alot these days, and pray you are all safe. I don’t know if you remember me ( I used to live in Armstrong BC) and my sister is Cheryle Baum?. I seen so many pictures of you and what you are doing there, and so proud to know you. God Bless you, and we have been praying for everyone there from here. Take care, and maybe I will see you at home soon.

    Cindy

  6. Leslie, I had no idea you were in haiti. I remembered that someone from the church had a connection with clean water so I was checking into them. I cannot imagine the terror of not knowing if my wife were okay. Good on all of you for being there to help that country before and after. Stay safe, I will pray for you all.

    Darcy holte

  7. Heard your story on “The story with Dick Gordon” on NPR today. Just wanted to wish you God’s blessings during your time in Haiti. Your heroic efforts to help the people before and after the earthquake are truly inspiring.

    God Bless your family mightily.

    Betty, NC.

  8. Hi Leslie! Wow! I often wondered what ever came of you…now I know! What incredible and amazing work you and Chris do – I’m so glad to have stumbled across your blog. Now we have someone specific to pray for in Haiti.
    Melanie
    PS It was the summer of ’95 that we worked together at Sunnybrae.

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