When violent demonstrations spread through Haiti, even charitable institutions were at risk of attack. Worried that their mere presence could endanger their brothers and sisters at the mission, and after strenuous urging from the American Embassy, Sisters. Marilyn Marie Minter, Inga Borko, Julitta Kurek, and Izajasza Rojek decided to return temporarily to the U.S.–but only after going to great lengths to secure what access they could to food and fuel for the mission and empowering local partners to continue their work.
Felician Mission: Haiti has, from its beginning, worked to empower the Haitians it serves, and this approach has helped to keep the mission running during the current political crisis. The Mother Angela Kitchen has never stopped feeding people, and it continues to provide for all those who are working in the mission. Additionally, those who come to the gate to beg for sustenance always receive something to eat–oil, rice, or beans.
In contact with clinic workers at least three times per week, Sr. Marilyn continues to manage the Mother Angela Mobile Clinic from the U.S. The clinic continues to serve 60,000 Haitians.
Sr. Inga, in the meantime, continues to oversee school sponsorship. With local partner, Annette, Sr. Inga is able to make sure that school tuition and exam fees are paid. “We work with people who could not go to school if we did not help them,” she says. “So we never stopped, even for a moment.”
Srs. Julitta and Izajasza keep up with the sewing school in collaboration with Junior, their local partner. Even the computer lab, which couldn’t be used for two months because violent demonstrations interrupted internet service, recently has reopened. The sisters look forward to re-starting their online English tutoring program.
For now, Sr. Izzy has returned to her home province in Poland, and Sr. Julitta is studying English in New Jersey. Sr. Inga and Sr. Marilyn will relocate temporarily to “Little Haiti” in Miami, Florida, to minister to the marginalized Haitian immigrant population.
“We have always worked to empower Haitians to help themselves,” says Sr. Inga. “And God gave us this time to adjust, to see how the Haitians can manage without us.” Sr. Marilyn, meanwhile, recalls the verse from Isaiah, “A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse.” She reflects, “As much as we feel like stumps, shoots are sprouting.” In this time of separation from their mission, the sisters continue to see the fruits of their ten years of labor–along with new possibilities for future growth.