Report from Haiti Mission
Fr. Gregory shares this news:
Well, it finally happened, after 16 years -- politically unstable conditions in Haiti (consequence of postponed elections), compounded by legal issues here (over the attempted, and so far successful, theft of the Cave Spring which is our baptistry), forced postponement of my visit to Haiti planned for next week. Not so much fear of personal security (though that is of course an issue), but rather the inordinately high probability that I might get there only to be pinned down at Maison Mission, unable (with reasonable security) to get to either St. Dorothy's at LaPlaine, or to St. Augustine's at Cyvadier/Jacmel. I've cancelled my reservations and made fallback reservations for end of Feb/early March.
As it falls out, I might not even have been able to get (with reasonable safety) to Nashville Monday for the Tues. dawn flight... we have 6.25" of snow on the ground here, and the road out of our mountain hollow is likely to be impassable except by a heavy 4WD vehicle until Tues. or Wed.
Fr. Amboise was at St. Augustine's for the Sunday before, Theophany services, and house blessings. He returned home only with considerable difficulty... tap-taps were getting pelted with rocks, and only the motos (for-hire motorbikes, second only to horses as the most dangerous transport known) were getting through. Thanks be to God, he got back home safe and sound.
Two of the classrooms at St. Augustine's School (hope for photos next visit) have been brought up to par... earthquake cracks repaired, walls finished, etc. That leaves about 9 to go... as well as a badly-needed library/ computer lab. Down the line, expect an appeal (with numbers) for your opportunity to underwrite one of those projects (with, if you wish, a memorial plaque for your family or a reposed soul).
I'm about to file a request for another year's donation of food subsidy from FMSC -- the food is free, but the transport costs are considerable. Thanks to your generosity, we've always been able to meet this badly-needed commitment (provides at least one sound meal each school day for about 500 children). I'm praying this year to be able to get delivery before the opening of classes for the next term in Sept. or early Oct. This school year, transit costs from FMSC warehouse to delivery yard in Haiti were just under $6000; in-country trucking costs added about another $500. Please keep this in your hearts and prayers as the year goes along.