By Kelly Loeffelholz
In 2011, I decided to Do a New Thing. My heart had been pulled by the Haiti mission for a few years. It was time to act. I accepted this “calling”, joined the committee, traveled to Haiti, and new experiences are never ending.
- Making dear friends – both Haitian and Iowan
- Seeing the beauty of the countryside
- Haitian cooking/food
- Life in small, happy, Haitian villages
- Bustling, crowded, beautiful, ugly, historic, HOT Port au Prince
- Communication through interpreters, hand gestures, humorous attempts at Kreyol
- Learning Kreyol and communicating without an interpreter
- Leading teacher workshops for many dedicated teachers
- Hiking some of the most strenuous, breathtaking paths I have ever walked
- Learning and incorporating sustainable development practices
Helping Haitians start new businesses
- Attending mass in large churches and humble chapels
- The euphoric, rhythmic voices of Haitians in prayer and praise of our Lord
What effect do these new things have on me? They help me understand a different culture, socioeconomic conditions, and political system than my own. I will never see the world as I did before 2013 and my first trip to Haiti. My conversations with Haitians have helped me find new ways to try to help them. I believe supporting education in every way possible is key.
Today, new things are being asked of me and the whole committee. In a time of unparalleled crisis in Haiti, we must find creative ways to stay connected and helpful. We must stay focused on our mission of education for Haiti to have any kind of future.
Future? I hope to continue to improve communications with our Haitian friends, develop strong relationships with our new pastors and liaisons, and search for new partners to help us in our mission.
Doing this new thing has led me to do for others, care for others, learn from others. I think it will do the same for you. Do you feel a “calling”? Act on it, get involved in the mission, or another activity at church or in the community. Do a new thing! Fè yon bagay nouvo!
We invite you to “do a new thing” this Lent. Join us in supporting Haiti or choose another way to get involved in the parish. As always, we appreciate your ongoing prayers and contributions.
Your contribution of $150 (the annual cost to educate one child), or whatever you are able to give, is greatly appreciated.
Be sure to use the drop-down menu and select “Haiti Lenten Alms”
send a check to the parish office with “Haiti Lenten Alms” in the memo.
Renmen Bondye, Sèvi Lòt Moun, Fòm Disip
Love God, Serve Others, Form Disciples.