It all started when…
Mitch went to the country of Haiti shortly after the 2010 earthquake that devastated the island. He served in relief efforts and helped build houses for newly homeless families.
After what he saw in Haiti, his heart was broken. He knew he had to do something.
Mitch and his son, Hunter, went on several other trips in the next few years getting to know missionaries and researching how they could best serve the island. In their travels, they met several missionaries who simply needed stateside support. He met a Haitian pastor, Thomas, in Port-au-Prince, who had the dream to feed and educate every child in his neighboring village, along with his normal ministry. He met another pastor, Schera, in Cerca-Carvajal with a very similar vision.
In his travels to the neighboring country of The Dominican Republic, he met a young American couple who had been serving on the island for over 10 years and they had always dreamt of starting an orphanage.
After a few years of deliberation, Mitch stepped out on faith and started The Manna Foundation. He prayed asking for confirmation on his new journey. Within a few days of saying that prayer, he heard from a former business colleague asking if he knew of anywhere he could give and make a difference. By the end of that phone call he had received the confirmation, he asked for, and The Manna Foundation was off the ground.
Today The Manna Foundation feeds over 400 kids across the country of Haiti and the couple that always dreamt of opening an orphanage, now provides a home to 9 young girls, with the help of The Manna Foundation.
Meet Thomas Ogens
Thomas is an entrepreneurial pastor and a dynamic leader. His caring heart prevents him from turning a blind eye to the less fortunate neighboring village of Bigarade. He has two main goals, to Feed and to Educate the children of Bigarade. Haiti is a very different place than America, and feeding these children is a matter of life and death. Thomas knows that if he does not do his best to keep these children fed and keep malnourishment at bay, his efforts in educating them will be fruitless.
In November of 2012, Thomas and Mitch broke ground on the first school in Bigarade. This building continues to meet multiple needs in the community, primarily it is used to educate the school-aged children and provide job training to the men and women of the village in the evenings. It is also a thriving nutrition center that feeds over 400 infants, children, and special needs adults in the village. Mitch, Thomas, and the PC&D design team intentionally built the school above the flood plain so that in the event of a natural disaster the school could double as a storm shelter for anyone that is in need during the hurricanes and inevitable floods. Thomas also works with a fellow Pastor who was born and raised in Bigarade, so on Sundays, a church of over 100 members comes together in Thomas’ school.
Since the formation of Bigarade, education was simply out of the question for so many of the inhabitants of the village. However, since the inaugural class of 2012, Thomas has students getting ready to enter high school who are eager to further their educations. In March of 2019, Thomas broke ground on the High School that will help educate the growing and aging population of Bigarade. In July of 2019, Thomas, with the help of PC&D, finished the second phase of his school where he is able to accommodate to his aging scholars and provide a second nutrition center to the village so that they are able to feed many more kids in the coming years.
Thomas is one of the best men you will ever encounter, he has such a compassionate heart paired with unwavering optimism and record-breaking levels of humility. Throughout all of Thomas’ efforts he has never made it about him, he continually champions young teachers and exceptional students. Providence Consulting & Design is proud to partner with Thomas and The Manna Foundation and their continuing efforts to provide better futures for the children of Haiti.