The Love Him Love Them (LHLT) Haitian Orphan Choir served as special musical guests this week during Meredith College’s Wednesday chapel service. Thirty musicians and singers ranging from five to 23 years old made up the choir. It is the choir’s second year on tour in the United States.
“Our vision is that these children will build a strong foundation in Jesus and be game changers in their country,” said Linda Gunter, executive director of Love Him Love Them Ministries. “They are changing people’s lives through their voices, not realizing that this experience is going to change their lives.”
Twenty-five of the 30 children are sole survivors from the 2010 earthquake that destroyed Haiti with each of them losing everything, including their families. The remaining five are biological children of the Pauls, music teachers who opened their home to all 25 children. LifeSaver Orphanage was born.
On December 25, 2011, David and Linda Gunter arrived in Haiti for the first time. On a mission to bless orphans for Christmas, they visited the LifeSaver Orphanage in Pétion-Ville. It was there where they heard the children sing. Their lives were changed forever and they decided to form the LHLT Haitian Orphan Choir.
“Through our ministry we have been able to build orphanages, schools, and churches throughout Haiti,” said Gunter. “With the construction of a vocational school, we can educate the children in the choir and when they complete school we will be able to put them to work. We will be able to provide jobs.”
LHLT just applied for F1 visas for several of the musicians. If the visas are granted there is a strong possibility that the musicians will stay in the United States to attend college and earn degrees. With degrees, the musicians will be able to take steps toward changing the country of Haiti.
“Our mission is to help other schools, churches, and orphanages with the funds that we raise. From those funds, we have been able to make improvements to the children’s orphanage,” said Gunter. “Being able to be a part of this choir is life-changing for the children. And they will change Haiti.”
Residence Life Director Heidi LeCount heard the Haitian choir sing last week and reached out to Meredith College Chaplain Donna Battle about hosting them during chapel service this week. Aside from the performance, the choir brought books, devotionals, jewelry, and Haitian souvenirs for purchase.
“I welcome these kinds of opportunities for several reasons,” said Battle. “First, children experience joy and the Divine in a way that many of us forget. In this way, children remind us of how important our spirituality is. Second, this was an opportunity for the Meredith community to serve these children through exposure and donations. Finally, encountering the many stories and faces of people across the world helps us all become better at seeing the humanity of those different from us."
For more information about the LHLT Haitian Orphan Choir as well as tour schedule and how to donate to their mission, visit lovehimlovethem.org.