Throughout her career alongside her husband as a real estate investor in the city of Atlanta, Georgia, Linda Gunter was faced with homelessness, drugs and prostitution daily. In choosing to make a difference the only way she knew how, in 1998 Linda and her husband turned one of their rental properties in Vine City, Atlanta, the 5th worst crime ridden neighborhood in the United States, into a homeless shelter. They named the shelter and the non-profit George’s Place in honor of Linda’s daddy, and they operated with funding from their friends and family. As years passed, they moved out of the Atlanta area and closed the shelter in 2003. Love Him Love Them became their new name, and their new ministry in northeast Georgia included an after-school program, jail ministry, providing for foster children, hosting community activities for special needs adults, and an annual Thanksgiving meal delivery for the local homeless and homebound. In 2004, a tragic event occurred that left 5 children who just happened to be Haitian without a mom and dad. On the 17th day of the 7th month of the year 2007, Linda’s family grew from the size of 2 to 7 with children ranging in ages from 7 to 17. Because of their new Haitian children, the Gunter’s were soon to have an encounter in Haiti that would change their lives and their ministry forever.
In 2011, the year after the devastating earthquake rolled through Haiti, the Gunter family decided together to forgo their traditional American Christmas to travel to Haiti instead. What they saw, smelled, and experienced throughout their trip completely wrecked them.On a whim, Linda decided to stop into an orphanage on Christmas Day with a meager suitcase of flip flops in hand. Sitting on a urine- stained daybed cradling one of the newly orphaned babies, Linda and her husband listened to 30 children with no possessions and no parents sing praises to the Lord for fulfilling their prayers over the past 3 months and what happened to be their greatest need – a simple pair of 99 cent flip flops. It was then that the Gunter’s knew something had to be done and chose to put much of their ministry focus on Haiti.
With Linda’s gift for vision and commitment to turn every obstacle into an opportunity and her husband’s prayerful guidance and heart that people come to know and grow in Jesus, their ministry continued to expand. In the summer of 2017, their dream for the children they met at LifeSaver orphanage just a few years prior became a reality when the doors finally opened for the children to travel to the United States. With $128.00 remaining in the ministry’s bank account, Linda and her husband took another leap of faith and toured with the children throughout the southeastern United States to raise funds to support the orphanage and mission work in Haiti. For the first time, the children were able to share their joy with the countless people they encountered. Paired with the Gunter’s story and Linda’s vibrant and magnetic personality, the Love Him Love Them Haitian Orphan Choir Tour quickly became a source of inspiration and a place for life change.
Today,Linda Gunter continues to change lives through the ministry work of Love Him Love Them. Its ministries on the ground in Haiti include a newly built hospital, church construction, a vocational school, transitional housing, storefronts for job creation, sponsor schools, and orphan care, to name a few. Linda is now an author to two books that share stories of miracles she encountered in Haiti and during the choir tour in the United States. Linda continues to minister to the families of northeast Georgia through many of the programs that accompanied Love Him Love Them’s start.