These are our friends, Jason and Erika.
More than 6 years ago, they were called by God to trade in their comfortable lives, sell many of their worldly possessions and leave reliable, well-paying jobs in exchange for living with, serving and advocating for those most effected by poverty in Haiti. They started their own mission organization and put all of their talent, resources and energy into being the hands and feet of Jesus. In addition, they received physical and legal custody of two orphans, (Oak and Olive), shortly after arriving in Haiti. They gave up nearly everything to help those who needed it most, and though they never expected this path to result in an easy journey, the past few years in Haiti has been marked with hardships and tumult worthy of a major motion picture. I/We created this GoFundMe because now this family, who has given so much to help others, needs our help!
And, WE WILL MATCH THE FIRST $5,000 OF DONATIONS TO THIS CAMPAIGN!
After moving to Haiti, Jason and Erika settled in a remote village with little running water and no electricity. They had an in-patient treatment program for severely malnourished children, a work study program for at-risk young women, an agriculture and reforestation program and a dairy goat program. They were deeply entrenched in their community, themselves living in an incomplete house where they “bucket-bathed” and had only oil lamps for lighting.
A few years ago, they were struck by several tragedies in a short period of time: severe illness, poisoning, kidnapping, death threats and even held for ransom at gunpoint. (The spiritual battle is very real!)
Their vulnerability forced them to leave most of their remaining possessions, their organization, their village, and their livelihood behind. The departure from their own organization left them without the regular financial support they, as missionaries, depended on for even their most basic needs. When they tried to do an earlier online fundraiser on their own to meet their needs, they received further threats of extortion and kidnapping. The extreme nature of these security risks largely forced them to refrain from much if any public posting about their situation or from even sharing simple status updates, further separating them from their support base, and they have faced uncertainty and hardship ever since.
Additionally, Jason and Erika have been battling through the lengthy adoption and visa process full of red-tape for several years, and they continue to remain vulnerable until the kids’ U.S. visas are complete. The kids cannot travel with the couple to the U.S., even during times of extreme unrest in Haiti or for personal hardships, which has largely perpetuated this cycle for the past few years. As a result, they have spent most of the past several years apart from one another, meaning Jason is often away from Erika and the kids, working in the U.S., as they have tried to do everything they can to make ends meet. But, the complexities are overwhelming, and the traumas, separation and extreme demands of the past several years have taken a toll on the entire family.
I started this fundraiser for my/our brother- and sister-in-Christ because they are broke (and broken): consistently behind on rent and other necessary bills, and they, as a family, need our help! They need respite, support and time together as a family, not worried about how rent is going to be paid, what bills will have to go unpaid or what next tragedy might befall them that they don’t have the wherewithal to handle. Their sources of familial support have dried up long ago.
We have not posted about this fundraiser on Facebook because of the safety concerns. This is why I have shared this page privately and I ask that you do the same. Please help me raise money for their safety and security. Jen and I are pledging to MATCH DOLLAR-FOR-DOLLAR (up to $5,000) ANY DONATION GIVEN TO THE UNZE FAMILY IN THIS CAMPAIGN. So please give any amount no matter how big or small!
To see more about the Unze Family and their story, check out: facebook.com/groups/Uniting.Our.Family This is a Private Group, so please be sure to send Jason a PM indicating that I invited you.
Thank you for all your love and help in supporting this dear family!
DonationsSee top donations
- Casei Huddleston
- Ashlee Earnest
- Megan Seaver
- Chris Bakke
Organizer and beneficiary
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