Week of January 29

01-29-2017Haiti News

Since our involvement beginning in 2002, our Haiti mission teams have learned that, more than money, real change requires time and commitment to build on each year's progress. Over the years, we set aside small amounts of funds to pay for maintenance of water projects, diesel generator, electrical system (very large batteries, etc.) and the Clinic. Over the years, the fund proved to be useful and it grew. When Fr. Andre's sorrowful truck became worrisome, we asked him when his archdiocese would apply for a replacement—such is the process.

A year ago, we learned that his turn was far down the line of applicants, including his archbishop's vehicle. At that time, we made the decision to find a replacement—our Missionary teams ride in it! There have been some potholes and large bumps in this road to success. Food for the Poor had offered Fr. Andre their support for all kinds of supplies and even shipping the truck. We made of list of "must haves" which included a diesel engine. The cost of gasoline is out of sight in Haiti. We now have a 2005 truck in fine condition that fits Fr. Andre's needs. Moving it to Haiti is a bit difficult since no one on our committee has any experience shipping. Thanks to Fr. Nick and the Diocese for helping us work out the kinks. Check the bulletin board in the Narthex for more info.

On another note, we continue to feed the school children a nutritious meal once a day while they are in school. The main feature is protein provided in grains, beans, meat, vegetables and fish. Even the oldest children find the meals to be sufficient to fill their bellies. Large cereal spoons are used to scoop up the tasty meals, seasoned with special Haitian herbs and spices mixed into a gravy made with oil and flour. Younger children are monitored for signs of malnutrition and we have a special high protein diet developed by a doctor in St. Louis, MO. Toddlers are carefully monitored in our Clinic to intervene early as brain and muscle tissue are growing.

Fr. Andre runs a summer reading program to keep the reading skills developing. Children come to school speaking Kreyol. Once in school, they are taught French as it is the official language of Haiti. Reading skills lag as the French language skills are learned first. The summer meals are an incentive to be in school and provides basic nutrition missing at home.

We do make a difference in this village called Robillard. Let's admit that all our attention and funding is our response to the Holy Spirit. It is God's will that St. Rose send teams of men and women to Haiti each year. And St. Rose parishioners fund everything our team is able to do. Ultimately, you St Rose, are called to serve in the ministry—be it here at home or going to Haiti. Thank you for your generosity!