Part Four of Seven
In January of 2011 we visited Haiti with a team of 13 people. This trip was different than any of the others because we had not had time to get to know our sister parish pastor through emails. It was not until December 28th that we learned Father would be available, so we had already planned things to do that did not depend directly on our ability to travel to the villages. We scheduled dental clinics at Wings of Hope and Trinity house, two places we knew of through many guest house stays organized by Renee Dietrich with Hearts with Haiti. But we did manage to coordinate with Father Magloire and we were able to meet him and take a small group of 6 and traveled to Ducrabon. Ducrabon had become our “home base” village and this time we were the guides and Father was the new visitor!
Over the next 8 years we visited our sister parish 6 times and were also able to visit 4 new chapels with Father Magloire, Cha Cha, Bois Dunes, Gran Chemin and St. Michel. Each of these “extra credit” trips were wonderful adventures that occurred the week before the main team arrived. They were also very informative because they allowed us to see so much more of our sister parish. Some chapels were sticks and sheets, some were walls with no roof, some were full strong buildings. At each village we visited and on the mountain paths, trails, and sometimes roads, we were met with dignity and grace. The people held our hands on the difficult parts of the trail, washed our hair in the river, prayed with and for us and made sure we were so very well fed and cared for it brought tears of joy to our eyes.
It was during these visits to the more remote chapels that we learned through conversations with Father how important the Sea-Crate items were. The school supplies were carefully divided among the chapel schools and given to the teachers to distribute. Iowa teachers might well understand how it feels to be able to give out school supplies. We heard of how the Take Away Hunger meals were important to many as they helped fill in the gaps when food was not available from the gardens due to droughts or torrential rains. We saw the sewing machines in use in Ducrabon and the hospital beds being used in the hospital.
As of April 2019, we have organized 12 Sea-Crate shipments. We have shipped a total of 2124 boxes. Included in those were 1228 boxes of Take Away Hunger meals you have all helped to pack. Each 32lb box of food holds 36 bags. Each bag of food (390 grams) contains 6 one-cup servings. This is the equivalent of 216 meals per box at a total cost of 31 cents per meal including the cost of getting them to each village chapel. So far, we have sent 265,248 meals to our Sister Parish!!
A big part of this success now includes all the work that St. John the Baptist in Mt. Vernon is doing. They joined our sister parish mission in April of 2013 and in 2015 organized the 1st annual Run for the Least 5K family run/walk on Oct 24th, 2015. It is the ONLY 5K (that we know of) that has home-made apple pie prizes!!
Please click on the link below to contribute.
Contributions may be mailed to:
All Saints Haiti Committee
720 29th St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403
Please include the notation “Education Support Fund.”
Renmen Bondye, Sèvi Lòt Moun, Fòm Disip
Love God, Serve Others, Form Disciples.