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Couple leaving ET for permanent mission in Haiti

2:52 PM, May 7, 2013   |    comments
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An East Tennessee couple is headed to Haiti to live and to change lives.

They plan to merge home repair outreach with spiritual outreach.

A Knoxville Police Department detective will soon swap his crime fighting mission for a spiritual mission.
Lance Halseth and his wife Ronda are headed to Haiti.

"Am I nervous about it? Absolutely. But am I scared to death about it? No," Lance said.

They've been on several mission trips to Haiti with their church Calvary Chapel Knoxville.

They met a man named BJ who was very proud of his house with a leaky roof. They pooled their money and hired local workers to replace it.

"It was fairly cheap for an American dollar to buy a roof down there. It kept them dry. And we were able to get into the families and minister to them. Not only the physical needs but their spiritual needs," Lance said.

That was the seed that blossomed in to anon-profit organization called Housetops4Haiti.

"It's kind of neat to pour in to their economy. We're buying all of our materials from a hardware store their locally in Les Cayes. We hire the local people to do the work," Lance said.

Replacing roofs is a way to follow a verse in the Book of James to put their faith into action to help those in need.

"It's like out pastor says, these silver shiny roofs are going up now all over Haiti and they're just yelling and screaming the Gospel. What are they doing over there? Well, they're putting the roofs on but they're also sharing the Gospel," Lance said.

It didn't take much to persuade Ronda to move to Haiti for good.

"He was always so career minded and just climbing the ladder and for him to even talk about going down there I knew that it had to be from the Lord," Ronda said.

Lance said, "This is what we were called to do. So we put our house on the market. Let's just see. Within 30 days it sold for full price. So we were like well we need to keep walking through the doors until the doors get shut."

The doors keep opening.

They now have a house in Haiti with extra bedrooms to host people on mission trips and make a small income.

"When we have teams down there we'll be able to go with the teams to put the roofs on and completely see what God started, to see it come together," Ronda said.

This fall they plan to move to a house in Haiti and leave behind their home in East Tennessee.

"I'm going to miss football, the food, sweet tea. We're going to miss it all, really," Lance said.

He will also miss his job with KPD.

His law enforcement experience will allow him to train officers in Haiti.

"I have an open invitation to get in and disciple and to speak to the police officers," Lance said.

Housetops4Haiti is a way to minister to people there and maybe inspire people here in East Tennessee.

"Two career people, they're giving up... they're sold their home. they're giving up all their comforts here, and moving to a third world country. To most people that seems crazy. But there's some people that are thinking man I wish I could do that," Lance said.

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