2020 Notre Dame de Lourdes

Please Give Generously To Our 2020 Fall Education Fundraiser https://allsaintscr.com/resources/donate/

By Stephen

Each year we reflect on the past blessings and challenges and then look forward to the coming new year. Reflecting on 2020 will be as unique as the year was challenging. My prayer is that it we move forward with hope, determination, and Faith.

Our sister parish will certainly need to keep hope alive, be determined and keep the Faith after all that 2020 has unleashed on them, pandemic, hurricanes, flooding, road damage, rampant inflation, street demonstrations and gang violence. Sounds like a lot to deal with and IT IS and if we have learned anything in the past 20 years it is that our sister parish is filled with people of hope, determination, and Faith!!

It seems that everything this year is rooted in the pandemic. Neither Iowa nor Haiti has escaped this worldwide challenge. Haiti has hospitals and doctors but the government, communication pathways and financial support are much less robust, to the point of being more of a detriment than a benefit.

Hope is what we cling to. Hope in a vaccine, hope that people will do their part to protect each other, hope that some sense of normal will return.

Hurricane Laura had its way with Haiti August 22nd and 23rd. It bought flash floods and waist high water to many areas ruining crops and washing out roads (see above photo). We had sent money for seeds because the spring plantings had been droughted out. The second planting was doing well until Laura stopped by to visit. The hurricane washed out the roads and part of the gardens. Father Eddy said that the corn survived but many of the beans had not. So, they replanted again with seeds that remained.
Determination, grit, fortitude, resilience, all ways to describe the character of the Haitians.

The exchange rate for Haitian Gourde to US dollars on my first trip was 35 Gourde to one Dollar. For most of 2020 it was nearly 100 Gourde to the Dollar. It reached a high of 113 Gourde and has recently settled down to 66. It is hard to understand how a family can pay rent, buy food, water, and clothes with so much instability in their currency. Imagine if everything you had to buy to survive tripled in price.
This made it especially dangerous to travel the streets and risk robbery or worse just to go get groceries…. if they were available. So many stories came to us of the nearly impossible situation of finding food after the hurricane and then taking the risk to go buy it and carry it home.

Throughout the challenges 2020 spit at the Haitians, Faith held them together, as a community, as a parish, as families and as individuals. Prayer is powerful whether said alone or in communion with others, but it is especially healing when said in celebration of the Mass. Mass is NORMALLY a rather rare event in our sister parish because of the chapel locations and only one priest for the 24 chapels. So, for the pandemic to take it away completely and without any options was truly distressing.

Given all this our sister parish remains hopeful, determined and Faith filled. Now is our time to think about how we can make a difference in the lives of the families in our sister parish through support the education of their children. Luke 7:38 “Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

Your donation of $150, or whatever you can offer, helps give the children of Notre Dame du Lourdes a future.

Please keep the students and teachers of Notre Dame du Lourdes in your hearts and prayers. And please give generously. Thank you for your continued support of this very important mission.

Please Give Generously To Our 2020 Fall Education Fundraiser https://allsaintscr.com/resources/donate/

Renmen Bondye, Sèvi Lòt Moun, Fòm Disip
Love God, Serve Others, Form Disciples.

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