What lead you to where you are?
I was born and raised in Pennsylvania and graduated from Gannon University with a Masters in Occupational Therapy in 2010. I fell in love with missions when I went on my first international mission trip to Mexico when I was 12. I have been serving at the Miriam Center in Haiti as Therapy Coordinator since 2009. My mission and vision is to make the invisible visible through Christ. To fight for and advocate for the needs and rights of special needs children in Haiti and to empower nationals and families to care for these children as God would. 4 years later I branched out my ministry to include educating and training nationals in the field of Therapy (Occupational and Physical Therapy) partnering with the only Rehab Tech school in Haiti. 2 years later I partnered with the first bachelor level OT program that opened in Leogane, Haiti to establish and open the National Haiti Association of Occupational Therapy where I am currently the President and Alternate Delegate. This association was a pre-requisite to getting national accreditation for the university through the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT). My dream is that every child with special needs in Haiti would receive the therapy and support that they need and deserve because they are VISIBLE and VALUED as members of their society; that nationals would be trained and equipped to be therapists; and that therapy would be recognized as a medical necessity and thus be integrated into Haiti’s medical systems.
My passion for Haiti and children with special needs happened on my first mission trip to Haiti in 2007. During that trip my heart hurt when I discovered how children and adults with any type of disability were seen as worthless, cursed, possessed, and therefore were often abandoned, left to die, or ostracized from their communities. The children whose families chose to keep them never got the opportunity to go to school, rarely had friends and many times were malnourished, and rarely got outside their homes. Families who chose to keep their children with disabilities were looked down upon. They were seen as the reason why their child was disabled because they must have done something wrong, and often they as a family were ostracized from their community. As an Occupational Therapist, I saw the potential that each of these children had. I saw children ready to thrive. I saw walls that needed to be broken down so these INVISIBLE children would become VISIBLE.
I am currently raising funds for and running 2 programs and I hope to use these 2 programs as a blueprint to replicate across Haiti.
- Therapy Residential Program– This is a therapy clinic in northwest Haiti that runs to provide customized weekly 1:1 and daily group therapy to the 37 children who live at the Miriam Center.
- Therapy Outreach Program– Outreach is a multi-faceted program that exists to help families who have children with special needs in the community to feel empowered to care for, advocate for and raise their children with special needs. The goal is that they know they are not alone but have a support system and family within the outreach program. She prays that each family will grow in their wisdom and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and have a better understanding of how God loves them and their children. She strives so that each child will receive specialized quality education & medical care to address their unique needs (medical, nutrition, therapy, etc.). Ultimately the goal is that each child will participate in their family and community to their fullest ability. This is done by filling in the gaps where the families need them:
- Physically: nutritional food, therapy , medical care, schooling, etc.
- Spiritually: weekly worshiping and praying together as a group and then during home visits getting specific prayer requests
- Emotionally: by building a community and support system among other families in the same situation.
God has opened doors for me to expand beyond the therapy clinic and first outreach center in the northwest zone of Haiti to include:
- Partnering with various organizations across Haiti providing training to existing professionals and organizations seeking to help or improve their work with children with special needs. She currently Partners with Children of The Promise (COTP), Jerry's House, and New Life Children's Home.
- Training and educating nationals through being a professor at the therapy universities FSRL.
- Helping open new outreach centers and therapy clinics across Haiti so that more children receive needed services- Currently STAND the HAITI PROJECT is the first expansion out to the neighboring town.
- Training on building equipment out of resources that can be found in Haiti and also training the nationals to build the equipment.
- Developing Occupational Therapy (OT) as a medical profession recognized and utilized in Haiti- Currently Vice President of HAOT- Haiti Association of Occupational Therapy and Alternate Delegate for Haiti with the WFOT (World Federation of Occupational Therapy).
Biggest support needs:
- Spiritual development tools. I do not have good internet to download sermons and worship services. I really appreciated when Grace would send me sermons on a jump drive. Continued support in this way is greatly appreciated.
- Financial Needs: with the growth of my outreach program I am in need of hiring more staff and I am in the process of trying to find some new rehab staff and raise the funds to hire them.
- Help- I am also actively praying for and looking for an assistant to help stateside
- Staying spiritually filled and take care of myself emotionally and physically. I just started missionary Christian counseling which has been very helpful and plan to really focus on my physical and spiritual and emotional health so I can have increased longevity in the field.
- My boyfriend Nathan who lives in Brazil and I are praying about how we move forward in our relationship and ministry and transitioning him to the field and merging our lives and making my ministry our ministry. There is a lot of challenges and details to work out.
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Check out more info about the Japan Intiative at brianlusky.com
I’m incredibly humbled and excited to join the Converge IM staff as the Initiative Leader for the country of Japan.
The Japanese are the second-largest unreached people group in the world—less than 1 percent of them are Christian and most have never been to a church, read the Bible, or have even one Christian relationship.
As Initiative leader, my role is to raise up and coach a team of missionaries who will work with Japanese nationals. Our team will be:
- Contextualizing and preaching the gospel among the Japanese
- Helping to support and equip Japanese leadership
- Pursuing multiple strategies of church planting
- Developing partnerships between Christians in Japan and churches in North America
Through these and other efforts, we plan to see a multiplication of disciples in Japan and a new gospel movement begin. Please consider joining my family and I in this effort through prayer, financial support, and even your own calling.
Meet the Harveys
Ever since he was 7 years old, “Joey” wanted to be a missionary doctor to the Congo. God used the exciting tales of wild animals, saving lives, and other adventures in the jungle as told by veteran missionaries Gene & Sandy Thomas to capture this young boy’s heart. Eventually Joe completed his medical degree in 1992 and finished Family Practice Residency at Saint Vincent Health Center in Erie in 1995.
Becky also gave her life to Jesus Christ as a child and grew up in a Christian home. She was receptive to missions, but didn’t sense a specific call...until she met Joe at Houghton. She graduated with a degree in English & Psychology, married Joe in June of 1989, and then completed an R.N. degree. The Harveys family expanded to include four children: Olivia, Claire, Isabelle and Noah.
God called the Harveys and their children to serve in the Congo, the US, Gabon and Bongolo. Eventually God called the Harveys back to the Republic of Congo, in the city of Impfondo. The Harveys worked in Impfondo with nurse Sarah Speer to re-open a health clinic that had been closed for over 5 years. While working at the clinic and continually seeking God about starting a Christian hospital, Joe went to a wedding reception held at an abandoned communist youth camp. Joe looked around the site, saw how structurally sound its 29 buildings were, and immediately envisioned what the camp would look like if God were to open the way for His people to transform it into a Christian hospital. Joe began regularly visiting this site, about 3 miles from his home, and walking around its fence, praying specifically (according to Matthew 16:18) against the spiritual gates that Satan had established around it and that God would open the way for the missionaries to build a hospital there.
At one prayer visit, Joe found that the large, steel gates in the wall of the camp removed. Encouraged by this rather tangible answer to prayer, Joe approached the governor about using the camp. However, as the camp was national property, Joe would have to ask the president. Joe was able to meet with the president’s wife a few months later. Mrs. Sassou-Nguesso had personally overseen the construction of the camp and had since become a follower of Jesus Christ. She was delighted at the idea of the camp becoming a Christian hospital!
With Mrs. Sassou-Nguesso’s help, Joe was able to meet with her husband in Brazzaville a short time later. President Sassou-Nguesso gladly told Joe he could have the camp and told his cabinet to do everything they could to help Dr. Harvey get that hospital started.
The Harveys came back to the United States from 2001 to 2002, during which they visited churches, sharing the news of what God had been doing in Congo, and asking people to pray, donate money and equipment, and especially to come join them in Congo. Joe collected 13 tons of donated equipment and in August, 2002 sent it by boat from New York in a 40-foot shipping container.
In October 2002, work began to renovate the 17-acre campus along.
Today, that vision to bring the hope and healing of Jesus Christ to the people of Congo exists as Pioneer Christian Hospital. Each person who visits the hospital for healing is provided with excellent medical care and more--much more: the Gospel invitation of eternal healing, eternal hope and eternal life with Jesus Christ.
Pioneer Christian Hospital Today
Today, Pioneer Christian Hospital, with Dr. Harvey as its director, is a 60-bed general mission hospital in the heart of the Congo River Basin Rainforest. Its mission is “To know Jesus Christ and make Him known by serving the medically underserved in central Africa”. Pioneer Christian Hospital serves as a referral center for an estimated population of 300,000, including residents, villagers, and vulnerable groups including refugees, the poor, elderly, chronically ill, and AIDS orphans and widows.
Staffed by missionary volunteers and paid Congolese staff, the hospital offers a full spectrum of services 24/7. The most common ailments the hospital treats, many of which are unheard of in the United States, include malaria, STDs, motorcycle accidents, tuberculosis, typhoid, HIV/AIDS, leprosy, monkey pox, and other infectious diseases. The hospital also offers obstetrics, pediatrics, surgery, laboratory services, a pharmacy and chaplaincy.
More than just a medical center, the hospital aims to offer healing to the whole person, integrating physical, social, and spiritual treatment as needed. As a result, Pioneer Christian Hospital has a positive impact on the mortality and morbidity of the entire region.
The hospital welcomes medical, nursing, pre-medical, and allied health professional students for clinical rotations and/or volunteer service. All students who to come to serve at Pioneer Christian Hospital are assigned a mentor from the missionary healthcare team. They also work closely with, and learn a lot, from local staff. The hospital requires all those who volunteer to attend daily devotions and weekly chapel meetings, extending its Biblical teaching to those on staff.
Opportunities also exist for those interested in administrative duties, teaching, and maintenance.
Gavin grew up in Erie, but in 2016 made the decision to move to Charlottesville to attend the University of Virginia to study Chemical Engineering. However, throughout his time at UVA, he had a sense that though engineering is what brought him to UVA, it was not what the Lord had called him to do. During his time in college, Gavin served as a Core Group leader in Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship and spent one of his summers serving as a Fellow for the ministry. It was through serving that Gavin fell in love with the discipleship process and sensed God growing a passion in him for serving in full-time ministry in his life. After a long discernment process, Gavin felt the call to go into vocational ministry after graduation. So in 2020, Gavin began a 10-month training program with Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship serving in the ministry he was a part of as a student. Following the completion of this program, he made the commitment to stay on full-time staff with Chi Alpha. Gavin is passionate about seeing students reconciled to Christ through small group discipleship, and loves getting to serve with the ministry that blessed him so richly as a student.
The University of Virginia is home to over 20,000 students, with over 100 different countries represented. By reaching students with the gospel while they are in college, we have the potential to partner with the Lord in building lifelong followers of Jesus who will go and be a light in so many different spheres of influence. Serving on the college campus is truly one of the most strategic mission fields in our world today.
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I was born and raised in a Christian family in North East, PA. We were involved in the church and I spent a lot of time in Sunday school, children's church, and women's groups with my mom. When I was in high school, I started teaching Sunday school and children’s church. I have always enjoyed serving in different ministries, but never felt like I was exactly where God wanted me to be.
In February 2014 I had the opportunity to travel with Grace Church to Cap-Haitien, Haiti for a short term mission trip. We spent 9 days on the OMS compound learning about their ministries and also working with our partner church, Grace en Sion, and the Grace en Sion School which is a Starfish Kids sponsored school. Starfish Kids is a child evangelism ministry that uses sponsorship and education to share the Gospel with children in northern Haiti. On that trip, I spent an afternoon in the Starfish Kids office organizing paper work. My heart broke seeing all those names and faces of children who were waiting for a sponsor to help them go to school. I had an overwhelming desire to stay in Haiti. I finally knew what direction God wanted me to take in life.
One year later, I quit my job in the customer service department of a bank to spend 10 weeks in Haiti working with Starfish Kids. I was able to form relationships with students, teachers, and pastors of the sponsored schools. I witnessed God’s powerful work through the Starfish Kids Program to transform not only the children’s lives, but the lives of their families. God used this trip to confirm this is where he wants me to serve during the next season of my life.
I will be serving in Cap-Haitien, Haiti as the In-country Administrator with Starfish Kids, a ministry of One Mission Society. My duties will include assisting the office staff in Haiti and communicating with the program coordinator in the US as well as helping in any other areas I am needed. We have plans to expand the Starfish Kids program in the future and I pray God will use me to help this program succeed. I am also excited to work more closely with Grace en Sion Church and School. I love our partnership and I can’t wait to watch it grow.
I realize the tremendous need for prayer in a ministry like this. Join me in asking the Lord to:
- use me to communicate Christ effectively
- make the hearts of the people of Haiti receptive to Christ
- maintain my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being
- raise my support
- successfully accomplish my preparation and logistics before school starts next year
- maintaining my efforts to learn Creole to break language barriers