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'The Value of Wisdom Surpasses Pearls' (Job: 28:18)

Posted on September 25, 2021 in: Outreach to Haiti

'The Value of Wisdom Surpasses Pearls' (Job: 28:18)

Throughout my life I have often thought of the Old Testament figure Job who remained faithful to God and steadfast, even when faced with many trials and tribulations. 

In getting to know Haitians and all the natural disasters that have befallen Haiti and the many challenges that face Haitians on a regular basis, I am reminded of Job. Haitians, like Job, are faithful to God and steadfast, even when faced with many trials and tribulations. This wisdom surpasses the wealth of the world. 

In the two years I have been with the Diocese of Norwich Outreach to Haiti, the country has experienced many tragedies and life-threatening challenges. The most recent is the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the Western Department of Haiti in the southern section of the country on August 14th. It has caused the death of more than 2,000 men, women and children, injured more than 10,000 people, left thousands of people homeless, and damaged countless businesses. While much of our work is in the Christ Roi (Christ the King) neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, we have 13 parishes and one school in the United States (seven in the Diocese of Norwich) who twin with 13 parishes and an education program in Haiti. Two of our Haitian Twin Parishes and some of our staff have suffered damages from the earthquake.

Another recent tragedy was the brutal assassination of Haiti’s sitting President, Jovenel Moïse on July 7th. To date, no one is sure who exactly was behind this heinous act, but it has been followed by increasing civil unrest. As with Job, our staff does not give up and continues coming to work to serve the 60,000 men, women and children living in Christ Roi, because our staff is the only safety net for the residents who at any given time need critical food supplies or much needed medical care. The staff also provides guidance and encouragement to the 200 young people who are earning an education thanks to those who support our Education Sponsorship Program.

Last year when COVID-19 first appeared in Haiti, I shared with our director of operations how sorry we were. Instead of saying how terrible the situation was, he said, “We have to move forward.” He was letting me know that Haitians recognize they must remain steadfast in the face of trials and tribulations. 

This year when Haiti saw a surge in COVID-19 cases from the Delta strain, one of our staff, Dr. Anglade Cephora Musset, OBGYN, died of the virus within a week of being admitted to the hospital. She was only 38 years old and left behind a husband and two young daughters. Our resilient staff took time to celebrate her life and mourn her passing but returned to work because they know the people of Christ Roi live in fragile economic conditions and depend on Outreach to Haiti for assistance.  

Finally, in 2010, Haiti suffered a catastrophic earthquake which killed approximately 250,000 people and caused extensive structural damage throughout the country. The two buildings used by Outreach to Haiti were destroyed, but are now replaced by a new building, which is nearing completion. This new building is a sign of the strength and resilience of the Haitian people. The building is also a sign of our commitment to walk in faith with our Haitian brothers and sisters, despite disaster, violence, or upheaval. 

Like Job, Haitians inspire us with their steadfast faith in God despite the many trials and tribulations that face them at any given time. This wisdom is much richer than any wealth on earth. 

Please continue to keep Haiti and Outreach to Haiti in your prayers. We are grateful and thankful to all of you for your support as we walk together into each new day.  

If you would like to support our ministry in Haiti and help those affected by the earthquake you can make an online donation on our website at https://outreachtohaiti.org/help or send a check, make payable to Outreach to Haiti at 815 Boswell Ave., Norwich, CT 06360.

Please know that we have been working in Haiti for almost 40 years and you can be confident your donations will reach their intended purpose in a timely manner despite the turmoil in Haiti.

By Susan Wallace, Executive Director, Outreach to Haiti

Visit Outreach to Haiti by clicking here

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    Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich
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    Norwich, CT 06360-4328
    Phone: 860-887-9294