A Grand Rapids Native is working to make a lasting impact in Haiti.
Tom Braak says he moved to the poverty-stricken country 16 years ago, to help spur economic empowerment.
“We work with 80 farmers every year. Helping them fence in the garden, teach them how to grow the crops, how to improve their soil,” says Braak.
He’s a part of Faith in Action International, a Christian non-profit organization. “We`re helping farmers increase their yields from $100 to $600 to a thousand, in one year`s time,” he explains.
He uses his love for agriculture to help improve the Haitians’ physical well-being. “Some people are tired of hearing about the problems in Haiti. It`s been going on for a long time and doesn`t seem to improve much. Things are improving in Haiti,” he says.
He says Faith in Action International hopes to build a pastor's training facility next year.
“Most pastors in the mountains don`t have any training at all. They`re just appointed by their community to be a pastor,” he explains.
“ So what we`re doing is offering them quarterly seminars three days long for a couple years and helping them become better equipped to run a church,” Braak continues.
He says the land has been purchased. Now he`s looking to raise funds to see his vision through. It`s his effort to help Haitians meet their basic needs – economically, physically, and spiritually.