The Grooters family began traveling to Haiti in June of 2009. Dell and Renae, parents to Kayla, Megan and Luke, felt a strong calling to serve there more full-time. In December 2009, they purchased a home in a small village called Simonette, which is located 15 miles north of Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital. The Grooters founded Touch of Hope, a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit, in 2011, with the hope to serve and get more involved in and around Simonette.
In 2010 they met a remarkable Haitian man, Webert Raymond, who had a small school in the village. In a makeshift shack, he and a few others were educating close to 80 children at the time for no pay and without any support. Touch of Hope’s first big goal was to raise enough money to build Webert and his students a new school building and provide the funds to pay the well-deserving teachers.
The summer of 2011 Webert was given a beautiful piece of property by the government and it was there that they built the first school building.
After Kayla graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in May 2012, she moved down to Haiti full-time. Over the course of the past 8 years, the Lord has moved and shaken up the original ideas of Touch of Hope, which was to simply fund a small school. Today, the school educates nearly 1,200 students and employs over 80 people. The Grooters have been honored to walk alongside such a Kingdom advancing project and be involved in something so authentic. Touch of Hope also directs and funds the other programs listed under the “Ministries” tab.
Kayla and Webert were married January 4, 2014. Prior to the wedding, they gained legal guardianship to three beautiful children: Jephte, Loveson, and Wishla. They have since welcomed two biological children: Rubie and Zion. In the fall of 2019, the Raymond’s made the difficult decision to transition to the States more full-time, but continue to delegate all ministry responsibilities to trustworthy leaders and staff in Haiti.
Megan resides with her husband and son in Sioux City, Iowa and Luke lives with his wife in Rock Rapids, Iowa.
Dell and Renae purchased the entire building that Rosie’s in Rock Rapids occupies and remodeled the entire second level into their home in the fall of 2019. They continue to travel back and forth to Haiti, while also operating the non-profit from their in-home office.
The Grooters’s family has thoroughly enjoyed being His hands and feet in Simonette over the past decade. It has been an unexpected joyful and challenging journey, but with faith, we continue to move forward with God’s wisdom and guidance. We look forward to all that God has in store for Touch of Hope and the Haitians we humbly serve.