December 17, 2019
 
“There is No Hope: Crisis Pushes Haiti to Brink of Collapse.”  This was the headline of a recent New York Times story. It is one of the few articles describing the protests, unrest and violence that has been occurring in Haiti for almost a year. Haitians say the violence and economic stagnation from the clash between the President and the opposition are worse than anything they have ever experienced.”This is coming from people who have lived through the earthquake in 2010 and hurricane Matthew in 2016, among other natural and political disasters. “Months of unrest in Haiti, coupled with the rampant corruption and economic malaise, have led to soaring prices, a disintegration of public services and growing sense of insecurity and lawlessness.

No one it seems has been able to escape what is going on in Haiti, including our partners: the Sisters of the Companions of Jesus, parents, teachers and students at Annunciation Leogane and Coeur de Marie, our University students, the ladies at the Village of Jesus, and the laborers at the farm.

Mission Haiti Inc. has cancelled all of our scheduled trips to Haiti in 2019 due to the risk and uncertainty. Fr. Rick Frechette describes what is going on in Haiti the best. "Roads are often barricaded, burning and dangerous.People are prisoners of their homes or neighborhoods. Port au Prince is cut off from the provinces and vice-versa. Businesses, banks and markets are often closed and frequently robbed. Schools have not been able to be open since September. The sick cannot get to hospitals, nor can oxygen, fuel, supplies or even doctors reach them. Fruits and vegetables from fields and gardens cannot reach the city or market, and if they do, there are no customers to purchase them. They rot on the docks and in the trucks. Hunger is a problem of the majority." He goes on to say "It is also evident that the poorer you are, the deeper the devastation to yourself and your family as a result of this crisis, and the slimmer the chance for recovery."*
The headline reads, “There is No Hope”, but with your help and support, we can bring back hope to Haiti.The Haitian people are very resourceful and resilient. The Companions of Jesus leadership has been working tirelessly and our schools will reopen on January 7th next year. Having the school day start earlier and end later, and extending the school year into July, will help make up for what time has been lost. We are sponsoring 28 primary students and 43 secondary students in this current school year. However, because of the ongoing economic crisis, Sr. Edna has reported that more families are seeking financial assistance to continue to send their children to school.
Bethleem Farm is a peaceful oasis in the middle of the violence and unrest. Vegetables have been planted and staked, and are growing in the fields. These crops are thriving as the Sisters tend to them while praying the rosary. Nearby, the Sisters have made delicious honey from the beehives that MHI provided through your generous donations. The farm is a true blessing, providing food for the students at Annunciation and the ladies at the Village of Jesus.  

There is also good news from our University Scholarship Program. We are currently sponsoring a group of twelve University students, and of these, four are Sisters of the Companions of Jesus. Two Sisters are studying Agronomy and two are in Education Sciences. In past years, three Sisters have graduated from the University Scholarship Program. Of those, two are working at the Village of Jesus; one as the head nurse and one as a nursing assistant. The other Sister is teaching at Coeur de Marie in Leogane. This is a wonderful example of the collaborative approach between Mission Haiti and the Sisters of the Companions of Jesus. Our mutual missions are supported and the circle is complete, as the Sisters graduate from our University Scholarship Program and then contribute more effectively to the Companions of Jesus and in turn, to the people of Haiti. Of our current group of students other than the Sisters, three are in medical school, two are in law school, two are in business school and one is in agronomy.
 
At Thanksgiving, Sr. Alta Emile, the acting Co-General Responsible of The Sisters of the Companions of Jesus, expressed her gratitude to all of Mission Haiti’s donors, through an author and in her own words.

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." -- William Arthur Ward. 

“Indeed, gratitude is the key to a life of meaning and happiness. On this day, I come to express my gratitude to God, because each of you is a blessing to the world, particularly for our brothers and sisters who are pushed to the margins of our society.” -- Sister Alta Emile, CDJ 
 
As you reflect on 2019 and prayerfully consider your year-end giving, we hope you will include Mission Haiti in your plans, so that together we can bring hope back to Haiti. Please give generously today.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Jimmy Dunn

 

 

Jimmy Dunn, President and the Mission Haiti Board
Vice-President Anita Witta, Treasurer Tina Ham Peterson, Secretary Terry Heer, Connie Pelner, Carol Schu DeVetter, John Jurich and Sr. Sue Torgersen

Checks can be written to Mission Haiti, Inc., PO Box 19401, Minneapolis, MN 55419-0401

 

 

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