For many of us, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas has become a special time for us to reflect on the approaching birth of Christ and to thank God for His many gifts by allowing His love to shine through us to help others.
Faith, our most important gift, allows us to know God and each other. While God has given each of us at least one talent, we know through the gift of faith we are brothers and sisters literally and figuratively because all men are made in the image and likeness of God. This gift of faith is evidenced by the Diocese of Norwich Outreach to Haiti twinning program that encourages parishes and schools in the United States to twin with parishes and schools in Haiti. These relationships are based on faith and allow us to share gospel values.
Faith is reflected in a message recently sent from a priest in one of our twin parishes in Haiti to Outreach chaplain, Father Frank Rouleau. “Good morning Father, how are you? Thanks be to God we are here; life is tough in Haiti. We didn’t feel human while the storm Laura was passing by. Gardens were lost, and many trees were uprooted. The suffering of the people is becoming tougher each day. Next month there can be a lot of political problems. Continue to pray for the country.”
Hope shines in the smiles and hearts of young people in Haiti who are provided scholarships through Outreach’s Education Sponsorship Program. It enables more than 200 young people who cannot afford to go to school the opportunity to attend primary, secondary and post-secondary schools. These young people can now realize their dreams of a better future for themselves, their families and Haiti.
The gift of hope is given to the men, women and children who visit our medical clinic in the Christ the King neighborhood of Port-au-Prince and are served by our healthcare services and food and nutritional supplements program. Wisken Saint Brave was only three years old when he visited our staff at the medical clinic on Nov. 25, 2019. The youngest of seven children, he and his family had just moved to Christ the King from Cap Haitian, a city in northern Haiti. Our pediatrician, Dr. Jacquet, noted when Wisken first visited the clinic he was so malnourished he had the look of a “wizened” adult in a child’s body. He was admitted through our outpatient therapeutic program, and his very concerned father, who had hope, devotedly followed all treatments to help Wisken gain his health.
Today, Wisken Saint Brave looks every inch the adorable and healthy child he became when he was discharged from our program April 22.
The gifts of love and charity are evident in the services and compassion our Haitian staff show the men, women and children who visit us because they have nowhere else to turn. It is love that keeps our staff in Haiti determined to keep our doors open despite challenges that can, at times, be overwhelming. Charity and love help us not to judge, but to realize, there but for the grace of God go I.
We are thankful and deeply appreciative of the many gifts you share with us including your time (praying for our ministry), your talents and your treasure. In the upcoming season of Faith, Hope, Love and Charity, please know your gifts make a difference in the lives of Haitian children and their families. More importantly, by sharing your gifts, you let God’s love shine through you to your brothers and sisters throughout the world, and especially in Haiti.
- By Susan Wallace