Our cover story this month features the work of Kyung-Chik Han, a South Korean pastor who worked tirelessly mobilizing churches to meet overwhelming needs in the midst of the Korean War. This issue went to press before the scope of the COVID-19 epidemic in that country was fully known and well before the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic.

Nevertheless, Asbury University historian David Swartz offers us a provocative reminder that many of our most important institutions—crucial in good times and bad—stand on the shoulders of unsung giants. It’s not unthinkable that every institution that has endured for more than a generation owes much, if not most, of its success to overlooked heroes.

Apple had Ronald Wayne, who helped forge the company and secured its first contract before leaving 12 days later. The Walt Disney Co. had Roy Disney, the founder’s lesser-known brother who built the iconic Florida theme park. And the United States had Robert Morris, the obscure founding father who may never have his own Broadway musical but who financed America’s revolution and was one of only two men to sign the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution.

But stories must have heroes, and too many characters weigh down marketability. So less becomes more. In particular, some of our most trusted institutions have been especially good at naming only white men when they write their histories.

As I read Swartz’s piece, one name kept surfacing in my mind. I met Roselin “RoRo” Eustache years ago. Eustache is a pastor in Haiti, the archetypal “fixer” that the vast majority of missionaries and foreign aid groups around the world depend on. Eustache was educated at American universities and passed up opportunities to work at the United Nations and other large international organizations. Instead, he and his wife, Eline, stayed in their country and planted ten churches. They have helped build hospitals and Bible colleges and schools. They have drilled wells and facilitated adoptions. And behind the scenes, they have gotten who-knows-how-many American mission programs onto their feet, even if you won’t find their names on those groups’ websites.

“What I do most of the time is help missionaries who are in trouble. When they have a problem, I’m the one they call,” RoRo said. Securing government approval? Clearing a cargo container through customs? Hiring good employees? RoRo has tapped his broad network for all of it and has done so while running his own ministry, Haitian Christian Outreach.

This month, the Eustaches are celebrating 35 years of ministry, throwing a party at the first church they started in Port-au-Prince. “Anything that can extend God’s kingdom,” RoRo said, “I’m never tired to be a part of it.” Perhaps now a few more of us can join them—and the countless others who have been quietly expanding the kingdom somewhere between South Korea and Haiti.

Andy Olsen is managing editor of Christianity Today. Follow him on Twitter @AndyROlsen.

A modified version of this article was published in the April 2020 print issue of CT.

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