Reflections on HCO in the Beginning

Carol and John Remington were the first forwarding agents for RoRo and Eline when they started Haitian Christian Outreach. This summer, Carol finally was able to make her very first trip to Haiti to see first-hand the work that she and her husband helped make possible through their tireless efforts. We asked her to share about the early days and her thoughts about finally getting to see what God has done in and through RoRo, Eline, and HCO.

A Dream Come True
by Carol Remington

After first meeting RoRo the summer of 1977 at Round Lake Christian Assembly summer camp, I finally had the privilege of spending a week with HCO in Haiti. Traveling with a team from Parkview Christian Church in Wooster, Ohio, our mission was to finish the painting on a newly constructed surgical wing at the hospital in Peredo, now the largest hospital in southeastern Haiti,  and help work on building the foundation wall for the newly founded Emmanuel Christian Church in Belle Anse. This trip is a dream come true for me, as I can now see the fruits of many years of labor as God has directed the work through RoRo, Eline, and their family.

I was serving on the staff at Round Lake when Bill Hostetler and the elders brought RoRo to the states for Bible College education so that he could later return to Haiti and plant churches there. Bill was a carpet layer, church elder, and one Christian man who wanted to “make a difference for Haiti.” He and the Millersburg Christian Church certainly stepped out in faith to fund Ro’s education and provide him a home while in the States.  I am sure Bill and his wife, Jo, are looking down from heaven today and rejoicing at the far-reaching effects on the Kingdom from this single decision.

Ro was a favored missions speaker at camp. The kids loved him as he related to them.  Ro and I would spend late hours sitting on the porch of the ad building talking missions. He had lots of questions, and since I had a little experience on the mission field, I had some ideas to share with him about raising support, building an on-going support base of Christians, and writing newsletters. As a result of these conversations, Ro asked my husband, John, and I to be his forwarding agents. So, we were involved in the work even before it was named.

We selected Haitian Christian Outreach as the mission’s name. When Ro finished Bible College and returned to Haiti we started raising support for his work there. The Holmes County and neighboring churches rallied around Ro, as they knew of him since he had lived in the area. I started a birthday giving program where people would commit to sending a special offering to Ro on their birthday date.

When Ro returned to Haiti, my husband, John, and his brother-in-law, Bill Heller, spent a week in Haiti helping Ro purchase property for the Emmanuel Christian Church in Port-au-Prince. I was teaching and working summers and never had the opportunity to go. But, I always dreamed of going. Soon HCO grew to a size where we felt we were no longer able continue our responsibilities.

This trip allowed me to experience first-hand how God and thousands of Ro’s Christian brothers and sisters have grown the work in Haiti over the past 40 years. Being here in person is so much better than observing photos and videos. It is truly amazing!

First, RoRo and Eline truly are committed to their homeland and its people. They are passionate about saving souls and providing necessary medical treatment for their physical bodies. Second, they are relational with everyone…Haitian and Americans alike.

But, this mission could not have been grown by one man – one person. It has had to be a God thing. Only God could have brought all the people together at the right time to build what has been built and continue making connections for plans for future growth. It is truly amazing!

And with tears of joy streaming down my cheeks I say, “THANK YOU, GOD, and THANK YOU, for all you have done and for allowing God to use you in this way!” From one church in Port-au-Prince to 11 churches, 6 schools, a camp, clinics, and a now the state-of-the-art Christian hospital in Peredo, it all is truly amazing! THANK YOU, GOD!

Why should we ever doubt? I can assure you that every penny anyone sends in support of this work in Haiti is thoughtfully and well-spent. God increases its effect. It takes all of us. Ro has said many times: “Faith without connections is dead.” He’s right. Let’s get the word out, make those connections, and step forward so that God’s work in Haiti can continue to grow and so that many will be brought into God’s Kingdom.