Message from Haiti: Mesi anpil

Earlier today, I delivered this message from Bishop Duracin to the 215th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia, meeting in Richmond, Va.:

My brothers and sisters in Christ, on behalf of the Bishop of Haiti, the Rt. Rev. Jean Zache Duracin, on behalf of the people of the Episcopal Church of Haiti, and on behalf of the people of Haiti, I say to you this day: Mesi anpil. Thank you very much.

Thank you for your love. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your incredible generosity.

You know of the dark night that descended on Haiti more than two weeks ago. You know of our tremendous losses of life, of the ruins of our buildings, of the suffering of our people.

Bishop Duracin, with whom I spoke just this morning, has asked me to tell you this: The darkness that has covered the land of Haiti since Jan. 12 has not and will not overcome the Light of Christ, for the people of Haiti are people of faith, and they know that God has been with them, God is with them and God will be with them until the end of the ages.

In Haiti, we have a proverb: Bondye di ou: Fè pa ou, m’a fè pa ’m. “God says to you: You do your part, I’ll do mine.”

The people of Haiti have always done their part, and they believe, they know, that God has always done God’s. Now your Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ, related to you not by the blood of their birth but by the waters of their baptism, ask you to join them so that together, we can all do our part.

Bishop Duracin asks that first you pray, because Jesus said to pray.

Second, Bishop asks that you pay attention: Please do not let Haiti fall off the front pages of your lives.

Third, he asks that you share from the bounty and beauty of your hearts. He is urging all of us to give generously to and work with Episcopal Relief and Development and with Bishop Johnston’s Bishop’s Relief Fund, because they are working miracles in helping the people of God in Haiti right now. Bishop Duracin and Bishop Johnston are personal friends, and you are asked to support the Bishop’s Fund.

Bishop Duracin also says this: Please do not come to Haiti right now. Please wait until such time when we can use the skill of your hands, the strength of your backs and the sweat of your brows. Please … pray now, prepare now, and come only when we are ready for you so that together, we can build anew the Kingdom of God in Haiti.

This is how we can be faithful to God’s call to us to do our part, so that God can do God’s part.

This is the message that Bishop Duracin asked me to convey this day.

But most of all, Bishop Duracin and all the people of Haiti say to you again:

Mesi anpil.

Thank you very much.

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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.

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