I often think how wonderful it is that God loves me and how awesome it is that He loves all of us. This recently came to mind when I was visiting the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website and learned in the celebration of Mass, “we receive grace that enables us to imitate the love that Christ shows us.” This love should extend to all, especially the most vulnerable.
Friends, supporters, board members and staff of the Diocese of Norwich Outreach to Haiti (OTH) experience this love firsthand. For four decades our ministry has worked in Christ Roi, a neighborhood of Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince; and in 14 parish neighborhoods throughout the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince that belong to our Parish Twinning Program and twin with U.S. parishes in our diocese and other dioceses throughout the United States.
The average Haitian lives on $2.42 or less per day and when confronted with the storms of life, like all of us, needs a safety net or helping hand. Through OTH, we provide medical and healthcare, educational scholarships, specialized learning opportunities, food and nutritional supplement programs and emergency food kits when needed. Expectant mothers and malnourished babies are brought to full health, young people dream of better futures thanks to earning an education, and all those needing help have a place to go knowing that we will do what we can.
Please know this relationship is not one-sided. In walking with our Haitian brothers and sisters, we have come to know well that poverty is not the essence of a person. A person’s essence is his or her inner joy, goodness and hope that tomorrow will be better.
We can learn much from our Haitian brothers and sisters, especially when it comes to faith, hope and love. Haitians put their trust in God despite much suffering from natural causes (hurricanes, earthquakes) and man-made problems. In spite of this, Haitians are loving and hopeful people. We are reminded that through Christ’s grace, each of us is called to do what we can to make this world a better place.
Please remember Haiti in your prayers and ask God to alleviate its suffering and strengthen our hope and love so that we, like Haitians, will live each day to the fullest and have hope the following day will be better.
If you would like to learn more about our ministry and to support our work, please feel free to call Susan Wallace, OTH Executive Director, at (860) 800-3604 and or visit our website https://outreachtohaiti.org/
By Susan Wallace