, Newburyport, MA

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March 15, 2013

Heading to Haiti

Merrimac couple selling possessions, relocating for mission work


“Fortunately, my wife is 100 percent on board with the decision to pack up and move to Haiti,” Groder said. “This is a permanent move, with no fixed time frame, so we expect to go down and stay there until we feel we should leave, and our stay will be measured in years, not months. The hardest part is getting rid of all our stuff.”

They plan to list their Merrimac house for sale very shortly and hope to be in Haiti by June.

To prepare for the move, Groder has been learning to speak the French-Haitian Creole language he described as “ghetto French,” noting that he has picked up a lot of the language over the years, and also has access to translators if he needs them.

While in Haiti, he plans to continue working for his stateside graphic arts and database clients, as only rudimentary room and board will be provided for the couple while they’re in Haiti. The versatile missionary is also a former martial arts instructor, specializing in Shaolin Kempo at Tokyo Joe’s in Salisbury.

While deeply committed to their mission and well aware that they may be spending the rest of their lives in Haiti, the Groders are also leaving the door open for a possible return.

“If we’re there for a year, and things don’t work out, we’ll come back to the States,” he said. “We need to come back to see our kids and grandkids anyway.”

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