The couple, who are both in their 60s and work in the medical field, live in a dark-brick house on a quiet, unassuming street in a nice Perrysburg neighborhood.
They aren't the kind of people who enjoy relaxing vacations. They get bored.
They aren't the kind of people who think too much about themselves.
For Dr. Jay Nielsen and his wife, Jan Meier-Nielsen, their passion is more than 1,000 miles from Perrysburg in Haiti.
With a population of 9.8 million, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. About 80 percent of residents live below the poverty line; its jobless rate was 41 percent in 2010, according to the Central Intelligence Agency's World Factbook.
Indoor plumbing is unheard of and things such as photographs carry a mystique. Schoolchildren sneak pieces of muffin into their pockets to take to their families. Workers asked for a pay cut so more local men could get hired in Savanette, a town of about 2,000 people.
It's a place where people suffer in drought and poverty yet find a joy often missing in a country like the United States, where people seemingly have everything, the couple said.
"I don't know if I should pity them or envy them," said Mrs. Meier-Nielsen, who has traveled to Savanette in Haiti nearly 30 times with her husband. "We just love these people. … They're amazingly hopeful."
The couple found the village when Dr. Nielsen was asked to volunteer on a mission years ago. Through their own nonprofit organization, Missions International of America, they started a K-6 public school that about 300 children now attend.
They also established a medical facility and have brought doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and other health-care providers to care for Haitians.
The lines creep outside the facility whenever the Americans visit and the volunteers see about 100 people a day.
Their next endeavor is to build a farm resource center where Haitian farmers can experiment on land plots and learn about sustainability and how to grow Artemisia -- a cash crop used to treat malaria.
"When we show up, the desert changes," said Dr. Nielsen, 61. "We bring work. We bring new supplies."
But "we don't believe in the money-handout model," Mrs. Meier-Nielsen, 66, added.
They hire local workers to build the infrastructure.
Mrs. Meier-Nielsen, a clinical counselor with her own practice in the office she shares with her husband, started a women's group whose members craft crosses, bracelets, and coasters from magazine scraps. She brings their work to northwest Ohio to sell so the women can make money to support their families.
The work is on sale at the couple's medical practices at 27121 Oakmead Dr. ; Angel & Co., 101 Louisiana Ave., Perrysburg, and Aring's Custom Compound Corners, 6725 W. Central Ave., Toledo. It also is available at www.haitiancircleoflife.com.
The couple's cause is personal too.
The Brad Reddick School, which they founded in 2006, was named for a friend in Perrysburg who was a father of eight, attended the same Grace United Methodist Church they did, and died of cancer in 2004.
The Ron Meier Farm Resource Center is in honor of Mrs. Meier-Nielsen's first husband.
"He always had a love for farming," she said.
Ronald Meier, an agricultural economist and business leader, suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash more than two decades ago.
His wife -- who later divorced him and remarried -- was his legal guardian and cared for him, alongside Dr. Nielsen, who had promised to do the same in his wedding vows.
Mr. Meier died at age 65 in July, 2011.