OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dr. John Leininger, Founder
Dr. Leininger graduated from Indiana University’s School of Optometry in 1972 and after settling in Ocala, Florida, went on his first trip to Haiti in 1974. That trip would change his life.
Having seen the spiritual and physical needs that exist there he felt led to be involved. After ministering for thirteen years under other organizations he founded Harvest International Inc. in July of 1987 and traveled often to Haiti to oversee the ministries projects. After moving to Texas and seeing capable people taking Harvest’s helm, he founded Mercy International and continued his passion for ministering to the poorest of the poor in Haiti. One passion has always been to take medical teams to remote locations and give medical care to those who have no chance of receiving care in any other way. Working with orphans and widows and bring the lost to the saving knowledge of our Savior continue to be in the forefront of the ministry.
Presently he resides in San Antonio, Texas with his wife Diane. He is blessed with four children and nineteen grandchildren.
Joey and Becca Burda
Joey and his wife, Becca, were married in May of 2004 and currently live in Flower Mound, Texas. Joey graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Finance. He works for Santander Consumer USA as Vice President of Strategic Operations. His first trip to Haiti was in April 2014 after being invited by his brother-in-law, Brian. Joey’s heart was set on building beds for the families in Merci de Dieu Village, but little did he know that God had much bigger plans! He came home with a love and passion for the Haitian people. As Becca once wrote, “He Left His Heart in Haiti.” Joey has since returned 3 more times with no plans on slowing down!
Teaching children has always been Becca’s passion. She was a first grade teacher and piano teacher before becoming a stay at home mom to their 2 girls, Presley and Hope. Haiti has always held a special place in her family’s heart so she was excited to finally have the opportunity to visit Haiti for the first time in January 2015 along side her husband. It was during this visit that she fell in love with the people living in the Village of Merci de Deiu.
“We both returned from Haiti with the knowledge that we learned more about God’s love and less about what we have done for Him. What a blessing it is to be in the midst of seeing God work in the lives of this sweet village. Our deepest desire is to have all of the children in the village attend a local school with a Bible based curriculum. Education will enable the children in the village to provide for their future, learn more about God’s love and grace, and hopefully put them in a position to help others.”
Ryan and Shantel Leininger
Jim and Mary Esther Class
Shortly after the 2010 earthquake that devastated much of Haiti, Nathan traveled to Port Au Prince with a Mercy team to build homes for displaced families and deliver supplies to several local orphanages.
The deep joy that he observed in so many Haitian people despite their desperate need made a life-changing impression on him. He has returned for six more visits, and brought others with him from his community⎻including his oldest son.
Nathan lives near Houston with his family, and remains deeply committed to serving the people of Haiti.