Blessings! Again, heartfelt thanks for your generosity. Much to do, and much will be needed, not just this month or year but for years to come.
Finally heard again from Bill (of the orphanage & clinic) who is temporarily in the states trying to raise some funds. He expects to return to Haiti as soon as commercial service resumes.
From Nicolas at St. Augustine’s:
Good afternoon, Father! I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We continue to live here under the mercy of God; the times are very difficult, but the good Lord knows all.
I got the transfer last week and have distributed the funds as foreseen. Fr. Amboise decided to take $200 for the parishioners at LaPlaine, and $300 has been distributed to the faithful at St. Augustine’s under the direction of the parish council. We gave $50 to Philippe to help a little with his needs, and the rest to other faithful of the parish, except me; I decided to take nothing; the faithful have too many needs. Everybody needs help at the moment; almost all activity is totally blocked.
Concerning the school, last week I participated in a meeting organized by the private school sector, having as its representative the Catholic bishop of Jacmel. It was a day of reflection, of exchange of ideas to consider the possible conditions which might permit the eventual resumption of classes. That day much was discussed; we took the occasion to draft a document to be submitted to the government, which gave no thought to non-public schools in its reconstruction plan. We talked about the possibility of receiving other schools onto the grounds of those which have large enough courtyards to install tents; the students won’t be at ease or well disposed to continue their studies in concrete classrooms. There are numerous schools completely fallen or badly cracked, and we talked even about the possibility of receiving children who come from Port-au-Prince. We talked about a lot of things, but up till now the State has said nothing — just that it decreed the re-opening of classes on 1 March.
I have some photos with me of the damages at the school and church, but it’s going to be difficult to send them because the signal isn’t stable.
Your son, Nicolas
He did indeed succeed in sending some photos, of which a few below (not to overload your mailboxes, I hope!). As you can see, the damages are relatively minor — the worst to the apartment under construction (not sending those; pretty much looked like a rubble pile before, worse now!).
Later, again from Nicolas:
Concerning Philippe, he went to see some foreign doctors at the hospital at Magaronne (east of Cyvadier). After an X-ray, they asked to amputate his toe, infected as a result of his injuries, but he refused to do it that day. The next day, he went the the St. Michael hospital at Jacmel. The doctors saw him, examined the X-rays, and went right on to do a surgery. Now he’s already gone through two re-bandagings after the surgery. They say the toe is broken [I’ve got a couple of those myself!], but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s necessary to amputate it. I’m sorry I didn’t take any photos for you [we can probably get along without those!].
For the school, papa, it’s best to hunt for some tents in the US to be set up in the courtyard so we can continue the academic year — big tents which could hold around 100 students.
Your son, Nicolas
Big tents are probably a good short-term solution, but I can’t see any way to get them into Haiti (ourselves) in the near future. Problem of course is that they would only serve till the next big storm comes along (hurricane or not), at which time they would simply blow away in shreds. Open to all ideas!
And a couple of photos; this first of the crack in the altar wall of the church:
And of the school stairway which to my astonishment survived, except for balusters on one side:
Additionally, some collapsed portions of walls between classrooms, and a lot of cracked plaster in the altar and church (I was tempted to include one of those photos with a resident lizard included, but will spare your bandwidth!).
In Christ Jesus,
Fr. Gregory Williams
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Saint John of Kronstadt Press
The Haitian Orthodox Mission
The Orthodox Church of the Annunciation/Agape Community
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
1180 Orthodox Way
Liberty, TN 37095-4366 USA
Catalog of books & recordings: www.sjkp.org
Information on the Haitian Mission: www.haitianorthodoxmission.org
Information on Church of the Annunciation: www.annunciation.us