As we continue our Lenten journey together and individually, let us remember “We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us.” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Our daily lives, especially during Lent, should reflect our faith in and love for God. These reflections can take the form of prayer, giving alms, and fasting.
The Diocese of Norwich Outreach to Haiti ministry is one of many Diocesan opportunities available to us to be ambassadors for Christ. Our ministry work is carried out in a very poor and densely populated neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, Christ the King. We twin with the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince, and many parishes both in our Diocese and in others twin with parishes in Haiti.
We have a medical clinic and a health program that brings comfort, food, and nutrition to thousands of people who enter our gates each year. Our educational outreach program provides scholarships to more than 200 young people who otherwise could not afford tuition. They are able to attend primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools.
We look for new opportunities to strengthen our efforts, such as offering a course on English as a Second Language and creating internships for post-secondary students and recent graduates. One of our more recent ventures, supported by a grant from the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, is a business development program offered to women whose families depend upon them to live. Called Advancing Women Now or Famn Avanse Kounyea in Creole, the program provides basic training and skills so these mothers can develop small businesses to support their families.
One participant shared the following insight: “Prior to this program, I even questioned my faith thinking that maybe this is how God planned my life, because you know life in Haiti sometimes feels like hell, with no hope. But after the coaching sessions, it became clear that I had a choice. I had the power to overcome any obstacles.”
Through our work in Haiti we bring hope to men, women, and children living in poverty and under the daily stress of desperate circumstances. Hope allows Haitians to know God has not forgotten them, and it reminds us that in serving our Haitian brothers and sisters we serve God.
Throughout Lent, let us especially remember we are ambassadors for Christ and let us show this through our prayers for those seeking One participant shared the God’s help, giving alms to those in following insight: “Prior to this need wherever they may live, and program, I even questioned my faith sacrificial fasting. Please do not thinking that maybe this is how forget our friends in Haiti!
-- By Susan Wallace