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Daily Archives: November 11, 2012

Part III “Do not be afraid.” 1 Kings 17:13

Our plan was to return on Friday, November 9 from Jèrèmie to Port-au-Prince. Don and Dan were leaving on Saturday to return to the States. We started our journey after Mass and breakfast at 6:45 a.m. During the night there were very high winds, but we didn’t think much about it. When we left Jèrèmie it started to rain. We tried to find a place to buy bread for the journey but we could not find any. As we approached the mountains it began to rain harder. We had to drive slowly on slippery muddy rocky roads. Our prayers were becoming more and more intense. After three hours of driving we arrived in a small village called Duchity, and met a man who said that the river overflowed and could not be passed. We waited in the car in the village for 8 hours. During this time we decided to have something to eat so we found a Haitian village “restaurant” which Yvon told us is called “under the dog.” Don’t ask us what that really means because we have no idea. It was a very good dish of hot rice and beans, and eggplant with large pieces of fat. The fat we gave to the hungry dogs. There was a young American man we met from New York City, who was in Duchity for the week participating in a volunteer mission. His name was Martin and told us about the St. Michael’s Catholic Church that was down the road and invited us to wait there if we liked. But we decided to wait where the other trucks and vehicles were lined up to cross the river. (Martin is the young man in the pictures below in the yellow shirt.)

When we got close to the river we saw a red pick-up truck in the river. This truck past us earlier in the day. Thank God the people were able to get out of the truck. Some very large trucks were able to cross but one of them missed the bridge and got stuck leaning on its side. This was a scary site and people were stuck in the truck for hours and through the night. We learned that in this same exact place last May the river overflowed and a busload of people were caught in its rush and all 30 passengers drowned. The rain kept falling and it started to get dark and we knew we were going nowhere. We remembered Martin’s invitation to come to St. Michael’s Catholic Church. We decided to go there. Yvon is an incredible driver and even at night, with the dense fog we felt safe. When we got to the parish we met the volunteers who welcomed us. We were given a hot meal and beds to stay the night. Martin was indeed an angel we met earlier in the day who gave us an invitation that we would need to remember. If we didn’t hear about this place earlier we would have stayed the night in the car. Once again God’s providential care was with us.

Early in the morning at 6 a.m. with the rain still falling, we went again to the river to see if we could cross over. The truck was still stuck in the same place, but with the help of many people hanging on the side of our car to make it heavier we were able to cross over and make our way back to Port-au-Prince. On the way home through the mountains we saw 3 rainbows as the sun began to make its way through the clouds. This was a sign of God’s covenant and powerful presence in our lives. Don and Dan got to the airport on time.

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Part II “The jar of flour will not go empty, nor the jug of oil go dry…” 1 Kings 17:16

When we arrived in Jèrèmie, Don had to meet with another co-worker from Madonna University who was participating in a mission with the Methodist Church community in Jèrèmie. Yvon took us to the Myriam Bethlehem Family, a religious community that we met last month while we were in Jèrèmie. We tried to contact the Sisters by phone but we never got an answer. We found out that their cell phone had been stolen. When we arrived at the convent we knocked on the door, when the Sisters saw us they yelled out our names and welcomed us. Here we experienced God’s tender loving care. The Sisters are known for their welcoming spirit and hospitality and we certainly experienced that the whole time we were with them.

They already had a houseful of guests. It is their mission to open the doors of their homes to receive persons wishing to be refreshed spiritually by participating in catechesis, prayer and community. This week they had 7 young adults sharing community and prayer.

We asked the Sisters if we could take a retreat day the next day. We had the opportunity for Mass, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Eucharistic Adoration and faith sharing. In the evening we shared recreation with the whole group. It was truly an international experience of Haitians, French Canadians, Polish, and American.

We were blest to receive the grace of a welcoming spirit from this community once again.

We realize more and more how God is leading us, taking care of our souls, and teaching us more and more what is ours to do in our Felician mission in Haiti.

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Part I “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Matthew 14:28

On Wednesday, November 7 early in the morning we began one the most prayer-filled and faith-filled journeys of our lives. We went with Yvon, Don and his brother Dan to Jeremie by Land Cruiser. You may remember that a month ago we had to fly to Jeremie. To travel by car to Jeremie there is only one road. This road is paved halfway, the rest is just a path through the rocky mountains. Because the rivers cut through the mountains during the rainy season the roads are often not accessible. We traveled along the Caribbean Sea, that starts on one side of the peninsula to the other side. The people were always ready to guide and help us get through the water when needed. When you get hungry your rest stops are by the side of the road with people selling sugarcane, bananas, and other fresh fruits.In the middle of our journey we met up with a broken down “Tap, Tap,” Haitian public transportation, that had been stranded for three days. The people had no food or water so we gave them what food and water we had with us.

 
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Madonna University and Haiti Tech

On Tuesday, November 6, we accompanied Dr. Donald Conrad, Associate Professor of the School of Business at Madonna University, Livonia, MI. Don met with students who are enrolled in the online courses given by the University. The meeting took place in Haiti Tech. We got to meet the students and hear their appreciation to be a part of this business program.

 
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