We occasionally highlight individuals who have gone above and beyond as part of the World Wide Village family. We hope these stories encourage you as you take your own steps toward following God’s call to “make disciples of all nations” and to “open wide our hands to the poor.” Leo Burgunder has taken advantage of the opportunity to do both, even right from his local church in Florida!


Here’s Leo’s story…

“Soon after first visiting Labadie, Haiti on a 2005 20th Anniversary cruise, I was attending Trinity Presbyterian Church (Satellite Beach, FL) when a church couple presented their own recent mission trip videos of small kids trying to haul water from old broken hand pumps in Tovar, Haiti. Just maybe 20 miles over the mountain from Labadie.”

“They were trying to raise awareness and get help and I sat there feeling like a spiritual spotlight from the Holy Spirit lasered me sitting in the pew. I started to sweat. Hiding like Jonah this time was not possible. I understood in that moment God had blessed me with an engineering education and a plumbing supply business specializing in pumps for a reason and it was time, for the first time in my life to step up and help. That step led to an amazing journey of God opening one door after another and along the way the opportunity to practice “toolbox evangelism.”

Traveling to Haiti nearly 10 times, Leo installed solar-powered pumps in Tovar, built a school in Bojween, built cisterns and rainwater collection systems in L’acul, provided double-bucket water purifiers in Tovar, and then helped source materials through his business to build even more.


He watched God work in amazing ways during his time in Haiti – even fixing a Gould Pump – the same pump that was sold in the 1980’s at his dad’s business that he learned to fix when he was 18! I just love how God matches a specific need with just the right person for the job!


Leo said, “With God there are no coincidences, and he will use us to further his kingdom if we just take that step!!” Amen!


Due to instability, Leo has not been able to travel to Haiti. Yet this has not stopped him from helping the people of Haiti. Leo and his wife sponsor two children and give to support other programs in Haiti through WWV. He has also helped spread the word about God’s work in Haiti at his local church – Church at Viera in Viera, Florida.

Church at Viera recently hosted an Impact Sunday to raise awareness of their global partners like World Wide Village. Leo used his gifts and skills once again to construct the façade of a Haitian home, bringing Haiti to life at Church at Viera! He also set up a sample water filtration system, battery charging station, brought in baby goats to promote the WWV Goat Program, and so much more. Church at Viera will also be hosting a Haiti Experience in March!


We hope Leo’s example encourages you to consider how you might use your gifts and skills to bless the people of Haiti right from home!

Leo also shared why he continues to serve.


“There are two verses that stand out for me. First, Jesus’s last words in the great Commission (Mathew 28:18) ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…..’  and Paul’s instructions in Ephesians 2:10 ‘For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’”


“For me, these verses communicate that discipleship means using our God given gifts and abilities to help be the hands and feet of Jesus and offer his Hope. If by sharing my experiences with church family perhaps others will take that first step too.”


To end, we want to share another story of a “divine appointment” from one of Leo’s trips to Haiti.


“God has proven time and time again in my life that he answers prayers and will use every ounce of spiritual gifts and capability he has blessed us with to further his kingdom.  As long as I’m able, I want to continue to use my gifts to help on short term trips.  What took me awhile to learn is that it’s not about the project, it’s about sharing hope and blessing the individuals that you meet on a trip.  Here is my best example.”


“In preparation for the L’acul beach party trip I packed a few frisbee’s to toss with the teenagers and one teen just “happened” to be the son of a neighboring Methodist pastor who wanted to become an engineer.  He learned from our mission family that I was an engineer and asked if we could spend time practicing polynomials because he needed to study for the Haitian national exams to possibly earn a college scholarship.  He had been practicing polynomial math on pieces of slate with chalk!  I couldn’t even fathom how small he needed to write on that slate and track all those parentheses. I would have never packed my solar powered calculator, sketch paper, & engineering binder if it weren’t for the last minute need to visit the Visitation Hospital water supply project, but we were able to use that week to crunch tons of math problems with pencil and paper and I was able to bless him with my solar engineering calculator from the 1980’s that got me through Penn State Chem E.  I never saw him again, but he was able to pass his exams and was awarded a full scholarship to study engineering in Quebec!  There is no amount of multitasking that is too hard for God!”