By Hilarie Rath
“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Matthew 7:7
What beautiful words for all of us to trust! Yet sometimes doors close, and when that happens, it’s important to see the new door and give it a pull.
During the summer of 2020, the Community Development Manager of Hands and Hearts with Haiti, Vivaldie Marseille, informed the HHH Education Committee that the women we serve in Noyau missed the care packages we sent them in the past. When an inquiry was made, in order to help in this way again, we learned that the Parish Twinning Program of the Americas, PTPA, suspended shipments during the pandemic.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered a fellow lay missionary, Mary Jo Runnoe, tell me that the Salvatorians worked miracles when it comes to delivering goods to overseas missions. I looked them up, and sure enough, they were still in operation. Information was exchanged and a new door opened.
I can’t speak highly enough about the Salvatorian Mission Warehouse of New Holstein, Wisconsin. There are not words to describe the labor of love made possible by individuals and corporations who bring comfort to some of our most vulnerable populations throughout the world. Once the shipping container was secured, the requests to HHH started pouring in.
Can you send us chairs for the school?
We need roofing material due to hurricane damage.
It will be more budget friendly to send the oven for the women’s cooking program from the US.
Every time a request was made, a benefactor was found. Then we learned that the PTPA was receiving other shipping requests. One parish was in desperate need of solar panels and needed assistance in getting them to Haiti. Could we help? Of course, the good fortune needed to be shared. Then Friends of Haiti, another missionary organization, learned about the shipment. Tires for vehicles and medical supplies needed to get to their destination. All of these needs were met through the shipment.
It took a little while to get the goods out of customs and safely to their destinations, but on February 7, 2021, we learned that the goods we sent, all 28,750 pounds worth, had safely arrived.
Father Romel Eustache of Saint Louis Parish in Mirebalais wrote, “On behalf of the priests of the parish, on behalf of the parishioners and the student beneficiaries, for this beautiful gift of goods from the Salvatorian Mission and HHH, I want to thank all of you…” Over and over again, he thanked all who made this possible.
Moving forward, new doors are opening in Mirebalais. The local bishop has asked Father Romel to open three new chapels. He is working to secure the land. We also learned of the need for updated security in the elementary school that was recently built. The need for expanding and renovating Monsignor Remy High School was also made known to us.
With deep gratitude, we thank our benefactors, and share the joy experienced from our neighbors in Haiti.