I believe God’s greatest gift to us is His love, which is given to us unconditionally. I am truly thankful for God’s gift of love, freely given, because I know if I had to earn His love, I would be in trouble more often than not.
St. Matthew (22:37-39) reminds us of Christ’s command to us, “’You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” It is reassuring to know that many people throughout the world take these commandments to heart. This is especially true of the Diocese of Norwich, which established Outreach to Haiti; a ministry reflecting God’s love for all of us.
Haiti, a country full of creative and hard-working people, is facing great political unrest that is harming the fabric of civil society. It is good to know that just as God does not give up on us, we do not give up on our Haitian brothers and sisters. Thanks to God’s love, Outreach staff in Haiti continue their mission of working daily with the poor living in Christ the King neighborhood of Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince. This is a tall order since there are more than 60,000 people living in that one neighborhood and most live on less than $2.50 a day.
Our ministry has remained open during this time of unrest and continues to provide food and nutritional supplements to children, expectant mothers and their families. This is critical since the leading cause of death for children age five and younger is malnourishment. Our medical clinic gives care to the sick and provides vaccines to prevent diseases that have been mostly eradicated in the developed world.
Outreach also gives more than 200 Haitian young people the opportunity to earn an education annually by making it possible for them to attend primary, secondary and post-secondary schools. This is critical to Haiti’s long-term development and will allow more and more Haitians to develop and use their talents to improve Haitian society.
Thank you for loving God with your heart, your soul and your mind; and for loving your neighbor as yourself. In the words of St. Teresa of Ávila, “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on Earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which He looks with compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which He blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are His body. Christ has no body now on Earth but yours.”
Thank you for reflecting God’s love at a time when our Haitian brothers and sisters most need our help. To find out how you help visit outreachtohaiti.org.
— Susan Wallace