Thursday, October 30, 2008

THE HAITI PROJECT


From St. Mary’s Convent at Sewanee, TN, Sister Miriam sends me news about the trip that she, Sister Julian, and Sister Elizabeth will make to Haiti in a few weeks. In the communication, Sister Miriam tells me more about the orphanage there in Port Au Prince --the facility is called an orphanage but is really more of a last hope for poor families, according to Sister Dorothy who takes care of 22 sick children, some of whom are dying babies.

Sister Dorothy is a former real estate paralegal from Jacksonville, FL who moved to Haiti in 2004 to help poor children and families. In October, 2005, she established the Faith-Hope-Love Infant Rescue Mission in Port Au Prince where she works under the auspices of Christian Light Foundation, Inc. The Children’s Home there functions like a family at home, and Sister Dorothy acts as surrogate grandmother to sick and malnourished children. The Sisters of St. Mary who were formerly in the order of the Sisters of Charity have been on medical missions to this orphanage each year for the past seven years and have “picked up” interested missionaries along the way, including St. Mary’s energetic Sister Elizabeth who will be making this journey for the first time in November.

Regarding the orphanage, Sister Dorothy writes: “We are very crowded with 21 babies (Kervens makes 22 children) and were very lucky to find three portacribs for sale this morning. A lady gave us money to buy a new washer so we went shopping after leaving Tasha (Sister Dorothy’s helper who returned stateside) at the airport. The store didn’t have a washer but it did have cribs. We desperately needed them, and I haven’t found them in any other store or on the streets. Sweet Chris immediately gave me permission to buy the cribs instead of the washer. What a blessing! We have now tested all of the new children (Miltha, Patrick, Kimberly, Josie, and Lavinsky) for HIV and TB. Lavinsky had already tested positive for HIV, but he is still young enough to revert to negative. We hope the weak positive on his home test is a good sign. Miltha’s skin test is positive for TB. Her mother will come here tomorrow morning to go with us when we take Poutchino and Miltha to the TB clinic where Poutchino is being treated. Miltha will need more tests to confirm whether she actually has TB. Isn’t God wonderful to bring these children to us!”

Sister Miriam makes a plea for funding to get more supplies for the Haiti trip (in addition to two water purifiers she bought with funds we helped raise this past summer) – perhaps a washing machine and a bit more food. The pictures of the children on Sister Dorothy’s site show adorable, smiling children, along with stories about several of them and closing thoughts from Sister Dorothy. She quotes the Scripture reading from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” She further says: “We give thanks to you for a houseful of healthy and HEALING children, for always having food to eat and water to drink, for having a house filled with joy and peace, and much, much more. We thank the Lord for you who are our partners in prayer and ministry.”

If you’re interested in reading more about the orphanage and the children, log onto http://dorothypearcehaiti.blogspot.com or contact Sister Miriam at St. Mary’s Convent, sisofchr@hotmail.com. And thank you again for contributing to the water purification systems which will soon be flown down to Haiti to supply clean water for these children whose beautiful, smiling faces show they are being loved and healed despite being ravaged by HIV, TB, gastro-intestinal viruses and infectious parasitic diseases caused by drinking contaminated water.

And Bon Voyage and blessings to the good Sisters of St. Mary who will soon embark on this mission of mercy to Haiti.
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