Saturday, January 30, 2010

pictures from Darbonne after the earthquake

I hope to edit this post later on with "before" pictures, but at the moment they won't upload.  The turquoise building is the grade school; the white one is the parish church.

ADDITIONAL NOTE 2/2:  I have posted the "before" photos two entries above this one.

BBC on what it will take to rebuild

This is a great article, offering details of needs in the areas of food, water, health, shelter, rebuilding, infrastructure, security, economy, funding, agriculture, and government. 

BBC News: The Challenge of Rebuilding Haiti

Friday, January 29, 2010

benefit concert

"A global concert to benefit Partners in Health's Stand with Haiti

In keeping with its mission to Heal the Community through Music, Boston-based Longwood Symphony Orchestra and New England Conservatory present Symphonic Relief for Haiti at NEC’s Jordan Hall, Sunday, January 31, 2010, 12:30–2 p.m. Artistic Director Jonathan McPhee will conduct LSO, an orchestra whose membership is comprised mainly of health care professionals representing nearly every medical institution in the city. Featured artists will include NEC faculty Paula Robison and Richard Stoltzman, NEC student Jean Bernard Cerin and Project STEP/Preparatory student Aurélie Théramène, A Far Cry chamber orchestra, and the Boston Children's Chorus. Student musicians from NEC, Longy School of Music, Boston Conservatory, and Boston University will augment the instrumental ensembles."

Read more at the link below.

Longwood Symphony benefit concert, Sunday, January 31

Scituate schools pitch in for Haiti - Scituate - Your Town -

Scituate schools pitch in for Haiti - Scituate - Your Town -

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, January 28, 2010

united in solidarity

United in Solidarity - Trinity Wall Street Slide Show on SSM in Haiti  - link to an interview with Sr. Carolyn, Sr. Adele Marie, and Sr. Promise with a background of slides.  And they used some of my photos, too!

Here is a photo of the Sisters on the soccer field by the College St Pierre, where their "doorbell ministry" has turned into a "tent ministry."

This photo is by Jois Goursse Celestin, an Episcopal seminarian in Haiti, taken with Mallory Holding's camera and shared by request of Bishop Duracin.  I believe it is from the day after the earthquake before there were so many people there (3000, last I heard).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Episcopal Diocese of Haiti caring for 23,000 in camps

This is the latest on the Sisters, who are still living on the soccer field by College St Pierre two weeks after the earthquake.  At least we know they are alive... I got an email today from someone who still has not heard from her family members, who lived even closer to the epicenter.  Heartbreaking.

The article talks about the camps.  How do you feed 23,000 people?  Can you imagine the amount of water that is needed?  Never mind the sanitation issues.  They estimate it will be months of emergency care.  Rebuilding is way down the pike.  I hope our attention span is longer than usual.

They also say that all the churches in the Leogane area were destroyed.  That's the area in which Darbonne is located.  I'd pretty much figured that would be the case, but I had heard that the church in Mathieu had not been. Perhaps one of the major aftershocks took it out, or perhaps the information was wrong to begin with.

I'm going to to post a happy picture from my time there to remind us all of the beauty of this area.  I want everyone to remember that Haiti is a beautiful country, not only a pile of rubble.  That's all we ever see in the news: disaster.   There is so much more to Haiti than that.  We must not forget the disaster, but we can't limit our vision to it, or we'll forget why people love it so much and why it is so very worth every ounce of energy put into it. 

(taken on the road from Port-au-Prince to Leogane out the car window, summer 2009, probably somewhere around Gressier)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

what's left of Holy Trinity Cathedral...

photo via the Episcopal News Service

how you can help in Haiti via Partners in Health

Partners in Health on Volunteering and Donating Supplies

a litany for Haiti

via Episcopal Life (
Bulletin inserts for Feb. 7 contain 'A Litany for Haiti'

January 25, 2010

[Episcopal News Service] The world’s gaze is on Haiti as its people continue to work towards recovery from the Jan. 12 earthquake that crippled much of the nation’s infrastructure and killed and injured tens of thousands of its people. The Episcopal Church, through the Diocese of Haiti and Episcopal Relief & Development, is committed to immediate relief and long-term reconstruction, and asks the prayers and support of all Episcopalians for its mission there. Episcopal News Service Weekly bulletin inserts for Feb. 7 include a litany and prayers for Haiti created for a Jan. 17 service at Washington National Cathedral.

(full bulletin inserts may be found here:
A Litany for Haiti
The world’s gaze is on Haiti as its people continue to work towards recovery from the Jan. 12 earthquake that crippled much of the nation’s infrastructure and killed and injured tens of thousands of its people. The Episcopal Church, through the Diocese of Haiti and Episcopal Relief & Development, is committed to immediate relief and long-term reconstruction, and asks the prayers and support of all Episcopalians for its mission there.

God of infinite mercy, who calls forth order out of chaos, peace out of turmoil, calm out of fear, we come before you aching and tender, crying out for Haiti and her people, saying, We lift our prayers to you, O God: You are the hope of all Creation.

We pray for Haiti, land of mountains and sea, where the very earth has shifted. May her tremors cease. May her tumult end. We pray for her people, shattered yet courageous, frightened yet bold, destitute and longing for relief. May their voice be heard. May their need be met. We lift our prayers to you, O God.

You are the hope of all Creation.

We pray for the injured, broken and lost: thirsting for clean water, hungry for food, stripped of shelter, desperate for medical care; they look to the world for hope. May their dry mouths find drink, their empty bellies find food, their families find cover, and their bodies find health. We lift our prayers to you, O God.

You are the hope of all Creation.

We pray for rescuers, those who do the work of recovery, laboring in the midst of agony; for healers, doctors, nurses, and all who tend those wounded in body, mind, or spirit. May their hands be steady. may their resolve be sure. May their work be filled with grace. We lift our prayers to you, O God.

You are the hope of all Creation.

We pray for the dying and those who have died, whose frail bodies now line the city streets. May mercy be abundant. May death have dignity. May they never be forgotten. We lift our prayers to you, O God.

You are the hope of all Creation.

We pray for the global community, grieving and responding in love. May our action be swift. May our purpose be certain. May our devotion endure. We lift our prayers to you, O God.

You are the hope of all Creation.

We pray for the days to come, the future, and the promise of what lies ahead. May new roads be paved; new industry be born; new fortunes rise; and new friendships sustained. We lift our prayers to you, O God.

You are the hope of all Creation.
- - - - -
God of compassion, now let us answer your call and respond to our sister Haiti through steadfast commitment, diligence in prayer, charity in action, and constancy in hope. Her needs are deep and ours is a land of plenty. With open hand and open heart may our prayers be known in the eager generosity of our giving. In your holy name we pray. Amen.

Abiding God, your light is ever present with us, piercing through the darkness of tragedy. We give you thanks for the bright beacon of hope found when your people join together for the welfare of all. And now, when all seems dark, illuminate for the world your vision of hope, dignity, and life abundant set forth for Haiti from the beginning of creation. In your light all shall be revealed and all shall be made whole. Amen.

Litany by Wendy Tobias, Carol Wade and Alexandra Zepeda, from Strength Through Unity: A Service of Prayer for Haiti on Jan. 17 at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. For a video of the service and the homily by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, visit

For continuing reports from Episcopal News Service on the church’s work in Haiti, visit Donations to Episcopal Relief & Development may be made online at; by calling the agency at 1-800-334-7626, ext.5129; or by mailing a gift to Episcopal Relief & Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058. Please write “Haiti fund” in the memo line of all checks.

Monday, January 25, 2010

donating material goods through Agape Flights

If you are interested in donating material goods, go to Agape Flights on the web at:

They post a DAILY list of the most needed items. The Sisters have used Agape Flights for many years.

Their website says, "YES, Agape Flights is flying often and able to land in Port au Prince. Agape Flights' planes are being met by the missionaries we serve. The supplies are reaching the medical clinics, orphanages, schools, and churches through the 130 missionary families we regularly serve in PAP. Mike Labady, Agape's Emergency Field Director is on the ground in Port au Prince working to coordinate activities. Since the Haiti earthquake disaster Tuesday, January 12 Agape Flights has:

Made 54 flights

Delivered 120,000 pounds of emergency supplies

Transported 24 medical personnel to Haiti

Evacuated 1 orphan and arranged to evacuate 30 more."

letter from Pere Samuel in Darbonne

I just opened my email and was thrilled to hear from Pere Samuel, my supervisor in Darbonne.  I wasn't thrilled with the news, of course, although it is actually better than I had hoped in some ways, but it is the first time I have heard from him, and I am so grateful.   Here is his letter to the Friends of Darbonne, the group which has supported the parish in Darbonne for so long. 

* * *

Dears Freinds,

Greetings from all of us at Darbonne in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Tuesday Junuary 12 at 4h53 PM, the earthquake shake Haiti especially west department and South East. It was very difficult moment for Haiti. Many Hundred thousands people die. Many hundred thousads are injured. The houses are broken, some of them are damaged.

At Darbonne, in the campound we have 3 injured persons but we don't have the loss of human bein. In the parish of Darbonne, we have 21 people die, 52 injured persons and 18 missing persons. On 8 buildings in the campound, 5 are completely broken: The professional school building where the goat project office is, the church, the primary school building and kindergarten, The dormitory of the children that come from in the mission, The Training center for the community health workers. The 3 others are damaged and the fence destroyed. To come in help as partners, we would like to have two forms of help: URGENT HELP and REBUILDING HELP


We need food, water medicines, tents, clothes and money because the things such as food water etc......can take too many times to arrive in Haiti and also our urgent is to demolish to droken buildings and to evacuate them.


In the middle term, the solification of the damaged buildings.

In the long term, rebuild from time to time the buildings destroyed and our priority is to rebuild the schools.

I know you have the financial crisis but the situation is really chaotic. If you can make some more effort that will be great.

I will send you the pictures next time.

Your brother in Christ.

Rev. Fr. Samuel St. Louis

letter from Bishop Duracin, Diocese of Haiti, to Episcopal Relief & Development and to the Church

86,Rue Rigaud Pétion-Ville, Haïti
Boite Postale 1309
Evêque d’Haïti                       Pétion-ville
Tél. : 257-8116
23 January 2010
Mr. Robert W. Radtke
Episcopal Relief and Development
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear Mr. Radtke:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I am writing to you from the tent city we have set up behind the rubble of College Ste. Pierre, our marvelous senior secondary school that is no more. As you know, we have gathered approximately 3,000 people here alone. Across the land, the Diocese of Haiti has set up at least 21 refugee camps, caring for more than 23,000 people.

In this letter, I wish to make clear to the Diocese of Haiti, to Episcopal Relief and Development and to all of our partners that Episcopal Relief and Development is the official agency of the Diocese of Haiti and that we are partners working hand-in-hand in Haiti’s relief and recovery efforts.

I also am announcing in this letter that I am appointing The Rev. Lauren R. Stanley, Appointed Missionary of The Episcopal Church, to work directly with ERD on my behalf. I am asking all partners in The Episcopal Church to communicate directly with Rev. Stanley, so as to keep communications with the Diocese of Haiti open. Rev. Stanley is to communicate and work with ERD on my behalf.

In addition, I am asking that all of our partners in the Presbyterian Church USA work directly with ERD, with Rev. Stanley as the central communications person. PCUSA has worked with us for many years, and we are deeply grateful for their compassion and their commitment to the people of Haiti.

We in the Diocese of Haiti have a vision and a plan for this relief and recovery effort. We know the situation on the ground, we are directing emergency relief to those who need it most, and we already are making plans and moving forward to help our people. Since the earthquake struck, we have been and will continue to work closely with your two representatives here, Ms. Katie Mears and Ms. Kirsten Muth. I have complete confidence in you and your agency.

Finally, I wish to make it plain: I know that many of our partners wish to come to Haiti right now to help. Please tell them that unless they are certified professionals in relief and recovery, they must wait. We will need them in the months and years to come, but at this point, it is too dangerous and too much of a burden for our people to have mission teams here.

Please tell our partners, the people of The Episcopal Church, the people of the United States and indeed the people of the world that we in Haiti are immensely grateful for their prayers, their support and their generosity. This is a desperate time in Haiti; we have lost so much. But we still have the most important asset, the people of God, and we are working continuously to take care of them.

I hope that this letter will help all of us work together to help God’s beloved people in Haiti. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. If others have questions or concerns, please ask them to contact you or to work directly with Rev. Stanley.

Mgr. Jean Zaché Duracin
Evêque d'Haïti

* * *
"That's the way life is. There are moments like this, moments of sadness. There are moments of celebration. What's important is to keep the faith. We must keep the faith, knowing that God is with us in the good as well as in the bad days. We must keep the faith."
— Bishop Jean Zache Duracin
in video interview Thursday

Via Lauren Stanley's blog

an even greater need for St. Vincent's School

We have got to get St. Vincent's School up and running again.  Started by Sr. Joan, it was the only school for the disabled in Haiti.  They also had a brace shop, an eye clinic, and physical therapy, which I think others were able to access as well, and they had a few guest rooms for visiting doctors and mission workers. With all these amputations due to untreated wounds, the need is going to be great for the school, the shop and clinic, and for braces and prosthetics.  

You can read more about the situation for amputees here:
In Haiti, Many Amputees Have No Place to Go (NY Times)

St.Vincent's was destroyed along with the rest of the Episcopal schools and churches in the area.  Pere Sadoni and most of the children and staff got out alive, thanks be to God, but I've heard there were at least six deaths (both children and staff).  I hope the man with whom I talked in the brace shop made it out, too.  He had undergone extensive training abroad and could have stayed in a lucrative position elsewhere, but he chose to come back and serve these children in Haiti. I'm reposting one of the pictures I took of him last summer in the brace shop (see post on St. Vincent's from last summer for more information).

contact info for aid organizations via the NY Times

I recommend Episcopal Relief and Development and Partners in Health.

I'd also like to recommend Food for the Poor, which is not on this list.  I contributed to them regularly for years back when I had salary, and I saw a lot of their contributions in Darbonne this past summer, so I know the aid makes it there.  Don't let their cheesy website be off-putting.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

more Holy Trinity Cathedral before and after pictures

stonework near the sacristy

top photo from summer 2009

Below is a sad photo below of its current state from the Episcopal News Service.

But look! It's still standing. Perhaps it can be saved and put in the new cathedral, whenever that is built.

Letter from Pere Ajax

all of the text below is via Episcopal Relief and Development's FB page

Below is a message from Father Kesner Ajax, Executive Director of the Bishop Tharp Institute, an Episcopal Relief & Development program partner.

January 23, 2010

Dear Sisters and brothers in Christ,

Please let me take some time to give you some update of the situation of Haiti and your beloved partners in the Episcopal church of Haiti. God has saved the lives of the bishop, the 32 active priests, 9 retired priests, the 6 deacons, the 17 seminarians, 3 nuns and the 4 missionaries and their families. All private houses have been damaged to some degree, but all churches, schools, rectories clinics, and hospitals from Croix des Bouquets to Miragoane are not permitted to be used. In Port au Prince and Leogane, all structures of the Episcopal Church have been completely destroyed. We cannot evaluate how many parishioners and staff members we lost. In the south, BTI is ok but the Saint Sauveur rectory is not safe to sleep in. The seminarians went back to their home town; one of them is a physician, and he has stayed at college St Pierre in Port au Prince to give first aid to the people. The Episcopal church of Haiti has set up more than 7 centers to support victims, mostly in the worst hit areas where the bishop is based with whatever supplies they have been able to receive.

On behalf of Bishop Duracin the partnership program and the people of Haiti, I would like to begin to thank you for your continuing prayer and assistance, especially Episcopal Relief & Development and our brothers and sisters of the Dominican Republic who share our same island home. We appreciated very strongly the sacrifices of Canon Bill Squire , Dr. McNelly and other team members who flew across the DR border to visit us. Your notes and emails of sympathy are very important to us. Please continue to send your notes of encouragement.

The Episcopal Relief & Development is doing a very remarkable work to support Haiti during the dilemma, both with emergency support and beginning to plan to be part of the rebuilding of the Episcopal church in Haiti. You can see that Rev. Lauren and Dianne are encouraging you to share information about your work in Haiti. It is very important to cooperate in that survey, because while Port au Prince and Leogane areas are more directly affected by the damage, many victims are returning to their home towns to breath a little bit, find food to eat and a safe place to sleep. However, the movement of people from Port au Prince to the countryside is overwhelming our ability to provide for them, and no relief agencies are yet providing supplies to the countryside.

Episcopal Relief & Development is working together with the bishop and a Haitian emergency commission of 15 people where The Canon Oge Beauvoir is the coordinator. Please continue to support Episcopal Relief & Development with your emergency support. Do not forget your partners in Haiti. You can still send money to your partners by check via lynx and your wire via Citibank. For two days all of the banks have been open in other towns in Haiti, and today they opened in Port au Prince. Remember when you send support to your partners; please copy me and also the diocesan accountant Mr Frantz Antilus in order to facilitate the process. You already know what to do when you want to send your emergency to Episcopal Relief & Development who are helping us a lot now.

School will not open in the West department, but schools and universities will open soon in the other 9 departments and will welcome children and students from other departments.

Thank you for your attention to my note, do not hesitate to ask questions: Ask for the state of your projects. Ask for your beloved friends if they are safe or hurt.

I continue to serve as the partnership coordinator and the DJ'O(Diocesan Jubilee officer) and Rev. Frantz COLE serves as the development officer for the Episcopal diocese of Haiti. The Rev. Roger Bowen is still cooperating with me for the National Association Episcopal School. And Rev. Lauren Stanley who assists in the Partnership and Development program will coordinate with Episcopal Relief & Development in USA.

Thanks you all, may God continue to bless you.

The Rev. Kesner Ajax
Executive Director, Bishop Tharp Institute (BTI)
8 Rue du Quai, Cayes

Tel. Office: 011-509-2286-4676
Mobile: 011-509-3445-3346

Mailing address:
100 Airport Ave
Venice Fl. 34285


Partnership Program Coordinator
Episcopal Diocese of Haiti
C/o Lynx Air P.O. Box 407139
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33340

to learn more about Episcopal Relief and Development, go to their website:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Evening Hymns for Haiti

Phos Hilaron (French)

Joie et lumière de la gloire éternelle du Père
le Très-Haut, le Très-Saint !
O Jésus-Christ !

Parvenu à la fin du jour,
contemplant cette clarté dans le soir,
Nous le chantons le Père et le Fils
et le Saint-Esprit de Dieu.
Oui, tu es digne d'être chanté
dans tous les temps par des voix sanctifiées,
Fils de Dieu qui donnes vie :
tout l'univers te rend gloire.

Nunc Dimittis (Haitian Creole)

Kounye a, Mèt, ou kenbe pawòl ou;
ou mèt kite sèvitè ou la mouri ak kè poze.
Paske mwen wè ak je mwen moun ou voye pou delivre nou an.
Ou pare l' mete devan tout pèp yo.
Se yon limyè ki pou fè tout pèp yo konnen ou;
se va yon lwanj pou Izrayèl pèp ou a.

(Photo taken on the road between Leogane and Port-au-Prince, summer 2009)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

good news on Darbonne from Global Health Action's page

Global Health Action is the organization that sponsors the goat project in Darbonne that I've intended to blog about since last summer (just a little behind...).  I may yet do that, but what I want to share now is their good news.  I reported earlier that they had received a text message from Franck, their director in Darbonne, that he was alive, but the buildings were down.  Well, now all of their staff, including Miron Beaudoin, who was on my parish lay committee when I was there doing field ed, has been reported safe, and so has my supervisor, Pere Samuel! Thanks be to God!!

Text from their Facebook page: "Global Health Action Update: Miron Beaudoin, Assistant Coordinator of the Community Health Worker Training Program, Pere Samuel, the Episcopal Parish Priest, and the Water Project Staff, all at Darbonne are also safe!"  Yea!!!

I am still waiting for news on the rest of the family, especially of the little one you see in the "how to eat a mango" blog entry below.  Communication with Darbonne is very difficult in the best of times (no postal delivery or land lines or internet...), so you can imagine how difficult it is now that they also have no buildings.  For another priest of the diocese sent me an email earlier this week in response to my query about Darbonne, Pere Samuel, and the family, saying, "You may know that in Darbonne no house is stand all are gone. Please pray for us. We need your prayer."  So I ask your continued prayers, especially for food distribution, medical aid, and, most importantly, clean water.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Isaiah would have understood - reflections on Epiphany 2C and the earthquake in Haiti

Epiphany 2C 2010
Isaiah would have understood. Israel had seen the worst: the nation overrun and conquered, its leaders and most of its people sent into exile, and Jerusalem and its temple destroyed. At the time of the writing of chapter 62, the people have come back to face the remains of their old home and the task of rebuilding. It's not easy. And they ask, Is it always going to be like this? Where is God? Is there hope?

In chapter 64, Isaiah describes the situation they face on their return: "Your holy cities have become a wilderness, Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and beautiful house, where our ancestors praised you, has been burned by fire, and all our pleasant places have become ruins. After all this, will you restrain yourself, O Lord? Will you keep silent and punish us so severely?"

You'll notice that this is placed after chapter 62 – but that's just the way Isaiah does it. Like us, there is throughout the book an alternation between grief and hope, between despair and joy. But Isaiah is, in fact, very clear: God will have the final word. As biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann points out, Israel's prayer ends with a mighty YET – "the yet that is at the bottom of the theological tradition of Isaiah, the yet that makes hope possible when logic and circumstance dictate a harsh ending."* This has happened, yet we will trust.

Sometimes in the Episcopal Church, we read Isaiah so very out of context that we forget that all the joyful promise passages are not the "happy, happy, joy, joy" of a contented people basking in comfortable circumstances. We read these passages at Advent; we read them alone. And so we can miss the power of the promises behind them. For in fact, Isaiah is no optimist wearing rose-colored glasses. There is no optimism here. What there is is hope. Hope in God. All this has happened AND YET God promises that the destruction of Jerusalem, the Exile, and the oh-so-slow pace of the rebuilding of the city are not the end of the story.

This morning's reading asserts that God will not rest until things have changed. "For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch." God's concern here is not just for individuals, but for the whole community. Likewise the promises: "You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married." The land that other nations looked at in astonishment, thinking, this is a forsaken, desolate, hopeless place, will see something completely new happening, something that warrants a new name. My Delight Is in Her. God's delight, God's crown of beauty. And calling Israel "Married" is a way of speaking not only of relationship, but of new life, new fruitfulness.

These words of Isaiah speak to us powerfully this morning about new possibilities for places others deem hopeless, places that have been destroyed – places like Haiti. Isaiah would have understood. Isaiah would have wept over the destruction in Haiti as he undoubtedly did over the state of his own land. And then he would offer a vision of hope. For the God who promised new life in a barren land 2500 years ago is the same God who promises to be with us now. This is a God who is all about transformation. God transforms each of us individually – slowly, over time – too slowly for our own impatience sometimes, or at least for mine! But God also transforms communities. God transforms nations. And God promises to do this when it is least expected – when it is impossible according to our own limited human means and vision – for this is precisely when we need it. God's power shows up in the face of our weakness, now as then. Just when we think the party's over and the wine has run out, Jesus takes water and transforms it not only into wine, but into really good wine.

We don't know how this happens. We can't see it right away. We can't understand it. But we can trust. When Mary tells Jesus about the problem with the wine running out, and Jesus seems as though he is going to be a bit slow to respond, if at all, she simply turns to the servants and says, Do whatever he tells you. And they do, even though what he says must not make much sense to him. And look what happens!

As we face the destruction of someplace we love, we can participate in God's transformative work by doing whatever he tells us. We’ll have to listen. We'll have to pray – and then respond in faith, even if we can't see the outcome and it doesn't make sense immediately. Because just as Jesus changed water into wine, just as Isaiah relays God's intention to delight in and rejoice over Israel by bringing it into new life, we can count on God's active, transforming work in Haiti. Today, as we give thanks for what God has done in the past and what God is doing right now, let us keep in mind one thing: with God, the party is not over till the word has been spoken, and God has the last word. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and the Word is still here. Amen.

*Walter Brueggemann, Isaiah 40-66, 1998, p. 234

best news source for the Episcopal Church of Haiti

Go Into The World

This is a blog by Lauren Stanley, the missioner who assists Bishop Duracin.  She was in the US when the quake hit, but she has the information, links to articles, etc.

update from Darbonne
This is the link to the goat project, which I'd intended to write about on this blog, and may still at some point.  I am so happy to hear that Franck is ok; I am very distressed but not surprised to hear of the destruction of the school and church in Darbonne.  Which probably means the rectory is gone, too: it was even older than the other buildings, as the church had been renovated/rebuilt.  I'm not going to think about that too closely for the moment, as I am still hoping for good news of my friends there. 


[Sunday, 01-17-10, 1 pm ET]

Dear Friends,
We finally heard this morning from Franck Toussaint, GHA’s long-time Goat Project Coordinator. His brief text message, which was actually sent Saturday morning, said that he, the other staff of the Goat Project, and their families are all alive and relatively unharmed. [Great news!]
Unfortunately, the damage to the buildings and infrastructure at the Episcopal compound in Darbonne, where GHA’s Goat Project and Community Health Worker (CHW) Training Program are located, is severe. Franck reported that the Goat Park, the CHW Training Center, and his office, as well as the Episcopal Church and the primary school, have all been destroyed. He has no word at this time of Rennette Olivier, Miron Beaudoin, or any of the other CHW program staff and trainers.

We will, of course, continue to post updates on what is going on with our people and programs in Haiti as we know more.

In other news, GHA has been contacted by the disaster relief staff of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (a long-time GHA partner), regarding coordinating relief efforts with our on-the-ground staff and network of Community Health Workers. UMCOR will be sending a team to Haiti next week.
Please continue to keep the people of Haiti in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

photos of Cathedrale Ste Trinite, Port-au-Prince, before and after the earthquake

an attempt to be useful

This morning Sr. Claire Marie and I hurried out the door right after our Eucharist to join two EDS students in volunteering at the city's crisis center, set up to offer practical aid and counseling to those affected by the earthquake in Haiti in some way.  They were asking for those with language skills and pastoral care skills, as well as for general greeters and other helpers. 

To make a long story short, many volunteers, but few takers.  Very disappointing on one level; on the other hand, it was heartening to see how many people really wanted to help.  And on the freeway on the way home, we noticed that the electronic billboard over the highway was giving information regarding the crisis in Haiti and how to get help - presumably contacting people, etc., though we drove by too fast for me to read much.  I am glad to know Boston is trying to do its part, even if I wasn't able to do more than offer.  I suppose just showing up is all one can do sometimes.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Holy Trinity complex following the earthquake, via geoeye, thanks to Janet

Matthieu, Leogane

 I've just received a reply to one of my queries about Darbonne, Leogane, that Matthieu, very close by, is in very good shape, and no deaths!!!! Fabulous news for them, and also very hopeful for Darbonne and my friends there.  This waiting and waiting is really hard, and I've been scouring the internet (particularly the Facebook groups set up for earthquake information exchange) for information. It really helps to have these rays of sunlight!

photo of Port-au-Prince I took this past summer, labeled

more news on individuals

Mallory Holding is now safely back in the US.
Jude Harmon is at the Embassy in Port-au-Prince. 
So they will be OK.

The Rev. Kesner & Mme Jardine Ajax (Les Cayes)
The Rev. David Cesar (Holy Trinity Music School)
The Rev. Oge Beauvoir & his wife Serrette (Oge is Dean of the Episcopal Seminary)
Mme Hilda Alcindor (Dean of the Episcopal University's nursing school in Leogane - Faculte des Sciences Infirmieres de Leogane)

May they rest in peace, and may the light perpetual shine upon them:
Cassandra Devil & two babies (Sr. Kethia's cousins)

news with details of the Episcopalians in Haiti, so far, for people seeking it

The Sisters are camped out on the soccer field at the College St Pierre, which is on the other side of the Palace from the convent & cathedral, not too far from the seminary and the Foyer Notre Dame. No one can go inside right now because aftershocks are continuing, and buildings are still falling. 
Also reportedly there:

--Bishop Duracin
--at least some of the elderly Foyer ladies spent the night there
--Jude Harmon
--Mallory Holding
--other diocesan people
--enough people that they are spilling into the street
They have food and water.
Sr. Marjorie Raphael will go to Canges when it becomes possible; Sr. Marie Margaret and Sr. Marie Therese have an offer of a place to stay eventually. Both are reportedly flying high on adrenaline.

Pere Elie Charles, Minou, and others of Sr. Claire Marie's family are safe.  Her family in Gros Morne (I think...) is safe.

Sr. Kethia's brother is safe.  Her sister  has been reported seen and safe, but has not contacted the family here to confirm that.  Three of her cousins have died; please keep the family in your prayers.

No word from Dumy or others of Sr. Promise's family.

No word from Val's family.
There are others I haven't heard about yet, as I haven't been in touch myself to ask.

Reports I pass along to you:
As I reported earlier, the entire Holy Trinity complex (cathedral, school, and convent) have been destroyed. Conflicting reports on St. Vincent's School, but Pere Sadoni and the children have been reported to have escaped with no serious injuries. Nicole St. Victor is injured, but alive and with friends. Rev. Fernande is ok, but her house has collapsed; she too is with friends.  Mme Duracin is injured and in the hospital.

From Haiti Nursing re: Leogane:

"As you saw from my update (now on our website) the hospital is NOT gone, though cracked. The guest house and Children's Nutrition Center quarters are collapsed though. John & Suzi Parker are still there, John slightly injured but insisting on staying to help."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti Earthquake Response - Episcopal Relief and Development

Haiti Earthquake Response

If you are interested in helping, you can send funds via the convent or you can send them to Episcopal Relief and Development. Last I heard, 100% of their donated funds went to projects - overhead comes from the general church. See webpage link above.

extensive report from Episcopal Life

Episcopal Diocese of Haiti suffers heavy damage
Haiti struck by devastating earthquake; diocese suffers heavy damage

Prayers, support urged for western hemisphere's poorest nation

By Matthew Davies and Mary Frances Schjonberg, January 13, 2010
[Episcopal News Service] Episcopal Church leaders are urging prayers and support for Haiti as the largest earthquake ever to hit the island nation has caused widespread devastation amid fears that thousands may have perished in the disaster.

Four people were killed by the earthquake during an Episcopal church service in Trouin, about 23 miles southwest of Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, the Rev. Lauren Stanley, an Episcopal Church missionary in Haiti who was home in Virginia at the time of the earthquake, told ENS. The earthquake destroyed Cathédrale Sainte Trinité (Holy Trinity Cathedral), the diocesan cathedral in Port-au-Prince.

(read more by following the link above)

The Sisters are alive!!!

No more news than that - no idea where they are or how they are, but they are alive.

Many are not.

Please pray.

text of email from Haiti

> Dear Friends in Christ:

> We have devastating news to share with you from Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake yesterday. According to reports I have received here in Les Cayes, the damage in Port au Prince and areas around it is terrible.

> There is no Cathedral. The entire Holy Trinity complex is gone. The convent for the Sisters of St. Margaret is gone. The Bishop's house is gone. College St. Pierre is gone. The apartment for College St. Pierre is still standing. Bishop no longer has a house in which to live.

> In Trouin, four people were killed during a service.

> In Grand Colline, the church is gone.

> In St. Etienne, the church is gone.

> In Les Cayes, BTI is OK, but some people were injured trying to get out of the buildings during the quake. The rectory in Les Cayes is in very bad condition

> The Rev. Kesner Ajax
> Executive Director, Bishop Tharp Institute (BTI)
 8 Rue du Quai, Cayes
> Tel. Office: 011-509-2286-4676
> 011-509-2286-4677
> Mobile: 011-509-3445-3346
> 011-509-3724-8376

> Mailing address:
> 100 Airport Ave
> Venice Fl. 34285

> Or

> Partnership Program Coordinator
> Episcopal Diocese of Haiti
 C/o Lynx Air
> P.O. Box 407139
> Fort Lauderdale, FL 33340

a map of the area, with Port-au-Prince, Darbonne, and the epicenters labeled

brief Boston Globe article on our wait for the Sisters

Boston Globe brief re: our Sisters

Still no news of them, but I will post when I get some,and Sr. Grace will be posting on our website. Sr. Kristina Frances is quickly learning how to use Twitter so we can search that way, too. 

Sr. Adele Marie did get word, unconfirmed, that our cathedral, across the parking lot from us, is down.

We do ask that people not call us, though email is ok - we're hoping to get through to the Sisters or hear from them, if possible.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

prayers, please - earthquake in Haiti

We will post news of the Sisters on our website:

The epicenter is 10 miles SW of Port-au-Prince.  That has to be really near Darbonne.  Lord, have mercy.