Our time to mourn

Within a few hours of the earthquake striking Haiti on Jan. 12, I began working on relief efforts, trying first to find Bishop Duracin and our missionaries, and then to help coordinate relief efforts through Episcopal Relief & Development, The Episcopal Church, and The Diocese of Haiti.

Since that dark day, I’ve been working with Haiti partners around the world, gathering information, being in constant contact with people on the ground in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, gathering in friends and strangers alike to help. Everyone has responded magnificently, giving even the tiniest bits of information. People all across this land have received calls from total strangers, who abruptly are asked for help. Everyone we’ve reached out to has helped, and for that we are most grateful. And I’ve been trying to post as much information as possible on this web site, which began as an endeavor to help us speak about mission and has become a way to share information about Haiti.

Yesterday, I went silent on this site. In part it was because there was so much other work to do. But mainly, I needed to take time to grieve. Yesterday morning, I learned that 14 of my parishioners at St. James the Just Episcopal Church in Petion Ville, where I serve and live, had died in the quake. I do not know which of our approximately 100 parishioners died. So I can mourn only in general. Somehow, when it came time to do the updates on the web site, I could not.

I ask your prayers for my friends, my parishioners, for the people I serve in Haiti. We have lost so many, and may never know who they are, or where they are buried. I am still waiting word for about 125 other people, friends who have loved and cared for me, and whom I love and care for. I have received news now of about a dozen of my beloveds, and pray that I will continue to receive more.

Please pray for those who have died, and for their families, and for all who are mourning this day. We have a “big grief” in Haiti right now, and need our time to mourn. We need time to cry, which I did a lot yesterday, several times. We need your comfort and your prayers and your strength, so that we can go on doing the work God has given us to do, to help those in need, our brothers and sisters in Christ, many of whom we cannot find.

I ask your prayers …

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About Lauren Stanley

All my life, it seems, I’ve been on mission. And it’s all my mother’s fault. You see, when I was a child, my mother was adamant: We were to help those in need, those who had less than we did. We were to speak for those who could not speak, feed those who had no food, give water to those who were thirsty.