Missions -

Couple says ‘I do’ to each other and Haitian Christian Mission —

By Becca Haines

Before they were married, Nathan and Whitney (White) Smith traveled with their youth group to Haiti with CIY’s Engage program in June 2017. It was more than their first international mission experience – it was a moment God used to change the course of their lives.


The trip took place just two months before the couple were to say their vows and start their new life together. Nathan returned home and was baptized, and immediately signed up for an internship with the nonprofit organization Haitian Christian Mission, a CIY mission partner.


After his internship, he graduated from Missouri State University in 2018 with an entertainment management degree and now serves HCM as a marketing coordinator staff member.


“Before that trip I was a lukewarm Christian who wasn’t pursuing a relationship with God – I didn’t even know what that looked like,” Nathan said. “God changed my heart quickly and showed me a people who don’t have much in terms of material things, but so much joy and love for the Lord. Spending that time with God was just what I needed to experience that love and make the decision to accept Christ into my heart.”


Whitney continues to volunteer for the mission and expects to graduate from MSU with a global studies degree, with a minor in religion. She said the trip was full of moments that left her humbled to her core. The group learned about HCM and the many ways the ministry serves the people of Haiti. In its 47th year, there are hundreds of people worshiping the Lord through the mission that involves education, health care and church.


“It was our privilege to see the work God was already doing there – which was something CIY instilled in us since the beginning,” she said. “Overall we got to see so many incredible things that showed us the need, but also what was already happening. It was so much bigger than I ever expected.”


Nathan and Whitney celebrated their second anniversary this year and hope to return to Haiti soon. The political climate dictates their travel to the country, but they are able to advocate and work from their home in Springfield, Missouri. They are two of the handful of stateside staff and supporters who serve HCM and continuously coordinate with Haitian workers from overseas.


“It’s incredible to think about how much God has done through this ministry in the years leading up to this point,” Whitney said. “God has been faithful through so many different challenges and it inspires others to see that in tangible ways at HCM. They are a resilient group of people who serve in the face of pain and poverty because God calls us all to a higher standing.”


Learn more about Engage and its many mission locations around the world here.