Meet the Smiths

Kristin, far left, and Tanner, far right, surround their children.

Kristin, far left, and Tanner, far right, surround their children.

Ray and Becky House proved themselves to be selfless and outstanding Regional Directors at our Wellness Center on Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands. We are sad to see them go—after all, they do an incredible job, and they've become dear friends. Yet we also recognize that a good time to say 'goodbye' is when everyone wears a smile. We're definitely wearing our smiles as Ray and Becky depart. (It helps, of course, to know that we'll see them every now and then in the coming years.)

At the same time, we're excited to welcome two new Regional Directors—and their three beautiful children—to the Wellness Center. Tanner and Kristin Smith joined us this month from Virginia, USA.

While they're new to the position, they're familiar with the work. They actually lived on Majuro and volunteered at the Wellness Center from 2009-2011. Their original plan, back then, was to serve as missionaries on Majuro for 3-6 months. After a year, they found themselves elbow deep in the work, committed, half-surprised they were still working at the Wellness Center well past their due date. After two years of work, they found themselves pregnant with their second child and returned to the States.

Now, they have three children, ages 1, 3, and 5. They had "always entertained the idea of returning," according to Kristin, ever since they left. We're glad they're fulfilling that idea.

Both Tanner and Kristin are registered nurses. This medical professional background, combined with previous experience at the Wellness Center, make them the ideal family for this job. They have grand ideas for health and wellness on Majuro, and they'll be jumping straight into the work—they arrived this week, and their first diabetes wellness intervention begins on Monday of the next!

In addition to running diabetes wellness interventions, the Smiths will give lectures in schools and businesses, implement new health and wellness programs in the community, and network with the Ministry of Health and local churches, nonprofits, and community organizations. To find out more about what happens at the Wellness Center, click here.

We asked what they were most excited about.

On the topic of returning, Kristin said, "I look forward to reconnecting with people."

Tanner is excited, because, "Our ideas are possible."

The Smiths are a marvelous family, and we welcome them back to the wider Canvasback family.