Our Story

In 2004, Carl and Michelle met Derek and Heather Liebenberg, a couple who had moved from Canada to South Africa in order to respond to the AIDS crisis. Carl visited the Seed of Hope Centre in Bhekulwandle that year, then returned several more times over the next two years. As our bond with the Liebenbergs and their incredible team of dedicated staff and volunteers grew, we sensed a major transition was imminent. The idea of taking our young family to join the mission took root, and we excitedly began taking steps forward.

Then, in late 2005, our friend Derek passed away suddenly, and we wondered what would become of the work he’d begun – and our plans to work alongside it.

The answer came in a life-changing invitation from Heather and the Seed of Hope South Africa leadership, for Carl to apply for the CEO position and begin a new season of life as a family. Carl became CEO in 2006 and after completing fundraising (and a slight delay during which we welcomed our third child, Elise!) we moved to South Africa in 2007. We count ourselves blessed and privileged to be part of an amazing team, and two incredible organizations – Seed of Hope South Africa, and HopeShares Canada.

We’re glad to share our stories with you. Thanks for reading.


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