Build up, build up, prepare the way

The Episcopal Church Foundation announced today that Archbishop Desmond Tutu, retired Primate of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, is joining the call to “build up, build up, prepare the way” for the rebuilding of the Episcopal Church in Haiti. Having served in Haiti for nearly a year, this effort is near and dear to my heart and, I hope, to yours.

The announcement:



FOR INFORMATION:          Teresa S. Mathes, Episcopal Church Foundation

717-599-0627  TMathes@EpiscopalFoundation.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Endorses

The Episcopal Church Rebuild Our Church in Haiti Appeal

March 23, 2011, New York, NY – Archbishop Desmond Tutu has issued a statement in support of the efforts of The Episcopal Church to help the

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Diocese of Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake through its Rebuild Our Church in Haiti appeal.

Archbishop Tutu stated:

“We are all God’s children and we must be one. For this reason I am proud of my sisters and brothers in the Episcopal Church who are joining as one to help their sisters and brothers in Haiti rebuild the church that has helped them endure such difficult times. There is no “conservative” or “liberal” in this project. There is no rich or poor. There is one community of faith joining hands across a continent to raise up a new place for hope to dwell. I honor the church-wide effort to rebuild Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince; it deserves our wholehearted and generous support.”

Rebuild Our Church in Haiti is a church-wide appeal that seeks to engage Episcopal dioceses, congregations, and individuals in helping the people of Haiti to rebuild Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince.  Already gifts have been received from 70 dioceses, and congregations are spearheading local efforts to raise funds.

“The support of Archbishop Tutu, a Nobel Peace Laureate and internationally recognized advocate for human rights, will inspire and energize Episcopalians who are participating in the appeal,” said Donald V. Romanik, President of the Episcopal Church Foundation which is coordinating the appeal.

Ms. Barbara Byers, the Diocesan Coordinator for the Diocese of Southern Virginia noted that “we are honored and delighted to learn of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s support of this effort.  We are truly one church, joining as one to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti.”  The Very Rev. Stephen Carlsen, Dean of Trinity Cathedral in Indianapolis (Diocese of Indianapolis), which has announced a joint matching gift with Trinity Wall Street, NYC (Diocese of New York) of $500,000, said, “Archbishop Tutu’s support will help inspire us all to respond to the challenge of rebuilding the Church in Haiti.  This is our chance to come together – across the country, around the world, from all ends of every spectrum – and answer this simple, clear call.”

The Baptism of Our Lord mural at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port au Prince, Haiti, after the earthquake.

For more information, visit www.episcopalchurch.org/haitiappeal or contact Terri Mathes at tmathes@episcopalfoundation.org or 717-599-0627.

 

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Last weekend, I participated in the 92nd Council of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, where I did a presentation on Haïti and how we can be involved in partnerships there.

The joy of learning in Haiti

At the presentation, I showed a movie I have made, Bondye di ou: Fè pa ou, m’a fè p’am (“God says to you: You do your part, I’ll do mine). It is a 12-minute video on the history of the Diocese of Haïti, and how that Diocese is leading the way in helping the nation recover from the devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010. It also describes the ways in which parishes, other institutions and organizations can become partners with the Diocese of Haïti, the largest diocese of The Episcopal Church.

The video is available for free for anyone who is interested in seeing it or using it themselves. Simply go to

http://gallery.me.com/merelaurens/100031

and you can see it, and if you want, you can download it and make DVD copies of your own.

Haiti video

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Packed and not so ready to go

Thursday in Easter week:

Dear Beloved in Christ:

It is my last night in Haiti for two weeks, and even though I am packed and almost ready to go, there is a large part of me that wants to stay. Yes, I look forward to the amenities of the U.S., but it is hard to leave behind my friends here, my family here, my colleagues, and even the people on the street whom I do not know but see daily.

It’s been nearly three months since the earthquake. I do see some progress; I see buildings going up (some of which do not look safe in the least, to be honest). And yet, I still see more buildings that have yet to be taken down. Driving through Port au Prince several times this week, I’ve seen more and more government workers out — easily identifiable by their bright yellow T-shirts — removing rubble, clearing more streets, trying hard to improve life.

But those improvements are slow in coming. I don’t know that most of the world understands yet how complete this devastation is. One of the priests here told me just yesterday that every single one of his churches was destroyed in the earthquake. Every single one. He needs large tents — as do many of our other priests — in order to have a place in which to hold worship, so that the people don’t have to stand in the brutal sun or get drenched by the rains. We still have buildings that are pancaked, still have buildings that are atilt, still have to maneuver around rubble in the streets.

And we still have hundreds of thousands of people who are homeless. They live in tents, sometimes in camps, sometimes on their own property. A friend just sent me a text message telling me that the front porch of their house collapses this week after several more small but still deadly aftershocks. He and his wife still cannot live in their own home.

Walking the streets, you are overwhelmed by the smells — of food being cooked on the sidewalks, of unwashed bodies, of no sanitation. The tents are right on top of each other … people have a “living space” of approximately two square feet per person, if that. It is absolutely amazing that this many weeks later, people still have no place to live.

And then there is the rain. Last night, a sudden downpour flooded the capital. Literally. I was having dinner with some friends when the rains began. We joked about how it wouldn’t be so bad running across the street to get home, because at least then we could wash the dust off of us from our long day of travel. When the rains abated — somewhat — we headed for the door, and discovered a gushing river in what was our street. The water was filthy and running fast, so fast that I wondered if we would be able to keep our footing. I had my backpack with my computer in it, and didn’t want to attempt a three-foot jump onto a slippery step leading to my church and apartment. So I waded through the water, carefully trying to plant each foot. The Lord alone knows what was in that river of filth; all I can tell you is that within minutes of arriving home, my feet were on fire. I couldn’t wash them fast enough or even enough to rid myself of that feeling.

And I have the blessings of having an actual apartment, on the third floor, to which to retire. I have buckets of more-or-less clean water in which to bathe. The people on the streets? In the tents? They have nothing. Some in the tent city across from my church draw water from our reservoir every day … without that, I do not know what they would do.  On Easter night, a woman showed up at the gate at 9 p.m. There were 12 one-gallon jugs of water waiting for her. She took two jugs in each hand, and made three trips to where she is staying.

Such is life in Haiti.

And yet, at our Diocesan Synod this week — delayed 10 weeks by the earthquake — there was much joy as well. The parishes took up collections on Easter Sunday to begin the fund for the reconstruction of Holy Trinity Cathedral. Each priest presented that money at Synod, in a joy-filled service on Tuesday. For the offertory, the people of the parish of Bon Sauveur in Cange literally danced up the aisle with their offerings: fruits, grains, sugar cane, farming tools, live roosters, a live turkey (which might be what we ate the next day …), vegetables and more. It’s a traditional offering, complete with dance and song, and is a celebration of the fruits of our lives. It also gives new meaning to the liturgical saying, “All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee.” Truly, the people of Haiti give back to the Lord on a daily basis, even when they don’t have much to give.

Which makes it harder to leave every single time. Because if they can and do give so much, if they are suffering so much, how can I simply come and go so much? But … that is the assignment Bishop Duracin has given me, and right now, it is the best use of my gifts. So, I pack up once again, cover up my belongings here with sheets to keep the dust off, and head out to the airport. In less than two weeks, I’ll be back, so it isn’t as though I am leaving my adopted country forever. I just have to keep one foot in America, one foot in Haiti, going back and forth, for a while to come.

And even in the midst of all this devastation, there are good things to see. Walking down the streets, I see so many of my friends, and I know that strangers continue to be astounded at the joy of each meeting. This is Haiti — here we greet each other with hugs and kisses on the cheek. We laugh, we joke, we arrange to get together, we make sure that we know where each of us is, and what we are doing, we try to help each other. My street artist friends are delighted to know that the paintings I buy from them are to be sold in the U.S., and that their work in turn will fund the rebuilding of this nation. My vendor friends keep cold drinks hidden away for me, knowing that as I walk by, I will ask for my too-sweet-but-filling Tampico orange drinks. The children on the street play games with me — thumb warfare sometimes, other times just the word games we play about asking for money. The security guards at hotels nearby all greet me, and the waiters at restaurants (where I usually only go with visitors) all stop to greet me as well.

The other day, standing on my balcony, I realized for the first time that the big tree growing over the wall is an avocado tree! I had been watching a bee pollinate the blossoms, and suddenly saw … avocados! Turns out, it belongs to the hotel across the street, for it is actually growing in their parking lot. But the branches that cross over that wall? The fruit of those branches is ours! At first, I found just four tiny avocados — which still have a long way to go in their growing. Avocados here are between 8 and 10 inches long, and at least four inches around, and are so very delicious. Then I realized that there were all these buds on the tree branches. THEN, a few hours later, I came out to examine the tree again, and found five more teeny-tiny new avocados bursting forth. Finally, I looked up — remember, I’m on the third floor, so the branches are at eye level — and saw hundreds of buds! Oh, my gosh, I said to my friends, we’re going to have to open a market! We’ll be rich!!!! Thank God for that bee that drew my attention to the riches of God’s grace, literally right before my eyes.

There is another tree growing in our courtyard which bears what I think is breadfruit. I’m actually not certain what the fruit is, only that is is good to eat, and better to be turned into juice. I haven’t done the latter yet, but have partaken of that blessing as well. This tree literally grows through the steps leading to the parish hall on the second floor behind the church. I didn’t realize that it, too, is a fruit tree. I will eat more of this fruit when I return.

This morning, I saw hundreds of children lining up to enter schools, which reopened this week. Not all of the schools are ready to reopen, but some have, and to see the children in their varied uniforms — every school child wears a uniform here — brings joy to all of us, for it is a sign that some normalcy is returning, and that education will continue, even if it has to happen under tents or in some cases, under the trees.

And just a little while ago, there was yet another street party right outside my door. Granted, the music is just a tad loud for me — anything that makes your heart thump is too loud for me. But it was joyful music, and brought joy to the thousands living in Place St. Pierre, even if only for a few moments.

Earlier this week, I drove from Port au Prince to Cange and then back. My triumph: I drive like a Haitian now, one hand on the steering wheel, one on the stick shift, one finger on the horn, ready to use it, at all times. Several times, I told my passengers to close their eyes — it’s easier for them. This may not sound like much of an accomplishment, but trust me, it is. To drive in Haiti is to be really bold — or to be crazy. We have three basic rules of the road: One, all other drivers are crazy. Two, lock your doors. Three, see Rule Number One. Oh, and it IS necessary to have a good horn. Weak horns on cars bring derision from all around. Good horns earn accolades. My car, which Bishop is driving right now (his was crushed when his house collapsed in the quake, and his new one is not yet here), has a decent horn. The rental car’s horn: Excellent. Not as good as the horn in a friend’s car — that’s a monster horn. But still, it was very good. And I am proud to have driven up-country. It leaves me with a feeling of panache.

There are two things that are hard for people to believe about Haiti: The first is that this devastation was, is and will continue to be, beyond description. The second is that in the midst of it, there is still joy.

Such is life in Haiti.

Blessings and peace in this Eastertide,

Lauren

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A few days after the earthquake devastated Haiti, we at the Diocese of Haiti received a heart-rending message: Could we help find Dr. Frank Vaughters of Kansas City, Mo., who had been in Haiti on that day, volunteering as he had for so many years helping the women and children of Haiti? Dr. Vaughters had been at the Hotel Montana, and indeed had placed a call from there shortly before the quake struck.

I called one of Dr. Vaughters’ family members and offered our promises of help. Messages were sent to Haiti: Had any one seen Dr. Vaughters? Did anyone know his whereabouts? Could anyone help? Alas, every response was the same: We don’t know where he is. We are praying. We will keep looking.pastedGraphic.pdf

Dr. Frank Vaughters, left, with some of his staff.

Since that time, thousands around the world have been praying for Dr. Vaughters and for all those caught at the Hotel Montana, a high-class hotel perched on the edge of the mountain with the best view of Port au Prince. Rescue and recovery teams have been working since shortly after the quake, but as the hours passed, as the days passed, all hope was gone. For the past few weeks, the prayer now has been to bring home all the loved ones.

On Facebook, a Haiti Earthquake Hotel Montana page was created, where news and tears and prayers were shared daily.

Today, the news was released by Lisa Welker, Emma Vaughters’ mother: “Dear Friends, Yesterday the remains of Dr. Frank Vaughters were identified. Frank died participating in one of his passions-lessening the pain and suffering of Haitian women and children. In this we can take comfort. The kind words and support given to Emma, Katie, Andy, Libby, and our family during this long wait have been enormous-Thank You! The burden of waiting has been shared and we are grateful for this. As we begin closure, please continue to keep each Haitian person displaced by this disaster in your thoughts and hearts. A memorial service for Frank will be held April 10th, 1:00 pm at Saint Michael’s and All Angles Episcopal Church (67th and Nall) with Haitian friend and priest, Father Frantz Cole, delivering the Homily. Contributions will benefit children of Haiti. Fondly, Lisa Welker ( Emma Vaughters mom).”

I cannot be at that service. I never met Dr. Vaughters. All I know is what I have been told: That his passion was to care for those most in need. He worked with one of our priests, Pere Frantz Cole, and initially it had been hoped that Dr. Vaughters was in Leogane with Pere Fanfan. Alas, that was not so.

Like so many others, I mourn the passing of Dr. Vaughters, and of all those who died in the earthquake. So many other people are still missing, and we may never know their fate: Did they died instantly? Were they buried for days, hope fading? Are some of them, some of the Haitians, simply out in the provinces, unable to get word to everyone that they are alive?

There are still five others on the Facebook page for whom prayers are offered as the search continues: Roger Gosselin; Boucif Belhachami; Alexadre Bitton; Siegfried Francisco; and David Apperson. I do not know any of these people personally, but I hold them in my heart as well.

Tomorrow, I return to Haiti for a week to work for Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin, the Bishop of Haiti. I will be based in Petion Ville, which is where I live. My prayer is that I will be able to walk the streets and find so many of those I still hold in my heart. I pray I will find out the names of those of my parishioners who died. This will be the first of many trips back to Haiti, for that will be my life for a while: Time in Haiti, time in the United States, always with the focus of working for the people of Haiti.

And through it all, I will take with the special memory of a man I never met, Dr. Frank Vaughters, who signifies to me the love that so many have for Haiti, who gave his life helping those most in need.

Let us pray:

Almighty God and heavenly Father, in whom we live and move and have our being, receive into your loving arms your servant Frank, who cared so deeply for your beloved children in Haiti, along with all those others who lost their lives in Haiti’s devastation. Comfort those who mourn, and surround them with your love. Help them to know that life continues, even in the midst of grief, and that you are with them, every moment of their lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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Committing to Haiti’s future

By Mary Frances Schjonberg, February 10, 2010

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[Episcopal News Service] The wider Episcopal Church can most effectively help the earthquake-ravaged Diocese of Haiti by praying, contributing to emergency relief efforts and planning how it will help the diocese achieve the rebuilding priorities that it will eventually set.

That is the assessment Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori came away with after visiting Port-au-Prince Feb. 8 to survey the damage wrought by Jan. 12 magnitude 7.0 earthquake.

Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin and other surviving members of the diocese need help now and they need time to discern a plan for the future, the presiding bishop told ENS during a Feb. 10 interview.

“The challenge is that they’re still very much in emergency-response mode and I think will be for some time to come,” she said. “They’re still not able to get food and water and shelter to everybody who needs it, so that’s got to be the immediate focus.”

Jefferts Schori also said she felt moved by the people who were hard at work at every site she visited. For example, she said, at the ruins of the Episcopal University of Haiti “it was just incredibly touching to see those folks at the university using mauls to break up the building pieces so that they can look for bodies — and they are clearly there, you can smell them.”

The presiding bishop said she went to Haiti after being a co-consecrator at the Rev. Griselda Delgado Del Carpio’s consecration and ordination as bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Church of Cuba because it was essential to assure Duracin of the wider church’s support. Plus, she said she wanted “to get a sense of how we might be most helpful for the long haul.”

The diocese, known locally as L’Eglise Episcopale d’Haiti, is caring for about 25,000 Haitians in roughly 20 makeshift camps around the country. The earthquake left an estimated 230,000 people dead and many towns in ruins; countless people have left the capital for the countryside.

Jefferts Schori said that the wider church must remember that Haitian Episcopalians, including Duracin, are struggling to get their basic needs met, and that long-term planning will come later.

“The bishop is going to need his own support system in order to return to highly functional leadership,” she said. “Don’t expect the bishop to have a strategy; it is far too early for that. He’s dealing with his own immense losses.”

For instance, Duracin has only seen his severely injured wife Marie-Edithe three times since she was evacuated from Port-au-Prince a few days after the earthquake. Her severely injured leg was initially treated at Zanmi Lasante in Cange and later on the USNS Comfort hospital ship. From there, she and son James were transported Feb. 9 by the by U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force to Tampe General Hospital in Tampa. Diocese of Southwest Florida Bishop Dabney Smith is coordinating pastoral care for the Duracins.

Jefferts Schori said that once the emergency-response phase is behind them, Haitian Episcopalians will be able to begin stabilizing their diocese and strategizing about the future. While Episcopal Relief & Development is well-positioned to help the diocese with emergency needs and help it begin to set priorities for the future as well as develop strategies for meeting those priorities, she said, “ERD cannot do all of that. They do not, for example, rebuild church buildings.”

The presiding bishop suggested that “there’s going to be immense need for partnership for the longer term.”

“Dioceses [in the U.S. part of the Episcopal Church] can probably be most helpful by thinking about how they can mobilize people to assist in that work,” she said.

She suggested that those dioceses could “begin their own rebuilding funds with the trust that direction for how to use those funds is somewhere down the road.”

Meanwhile, Jefferts Schori said she wanted to discourage dioceses from deciding on their own that they will rebuild a specific Haitian church or diocesan ministry building.

“The priorities are going to need to come from the Diocese of Haiti — the priorities and the strategy — and it’s going to be some months before they begin to emerge,” she said.

Individual Episcopalians are called to prayer for their brothers and sisters in Haiti, she said, and to giving to Episcopal Relief & Development.

“You [also] can begin to challenge you parish and your diocese to begin to think about the longer-term rebuilding efforts,” she added. “Collecting funds for that is probably the most appropriate thing to do.”

Jefferts Schori urged Episcopalians to commit themselves to helping in what will be a multi-year process of recovery and redevelopment.

“The Diocese of Haiti has had a major impact for 150 years on the nation of Haiti,” she said. “They will be again, but it’s going to be a number of years before they are able to function at the same level they were before the earthquake.”

The presiding bishop acknowledged that such a long-term focus can be a challenge in itself.

“Maintaining an awareness of the ongoing nature of this tragedy is going to be the toughest for at least those of us who live in a society that moves on to the next issue,” she said.

Jefferts Schori visited Port-au-Prince with the Rev. Lauren Stanley, one of four Episcopal Church missionaries assigned to Haiti and the only one who was not in-country at the time of the Jan. 12 quake. Duracin has asked Stanley to help the diocese coordinate offers of relief and recovery made by others in the Episcopal Church, and to tell the diocese’s story.

“She’s a powerhouse. She’s working overtime. She’s working at 150 percent,” Jefferts Schori told ENS, noting that in Stanley’s first five months in Haiti she had established good working relationships with the Haitian clergy and learned to speak Creole.

“She understands very clearly the challenges and the systemic complications, so she is an immensely effective witness both here [in the U.S.] and in Haiti for the ongoing challenges and needs,” Jefferts Schori said.

— The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is national correspondent for the Episcopal News Service and editor of Episcopal News Monthly.


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‘You have already had your Good Friday,’ Jefferts Schori tells Duracin

By Mary Frances Schjonberg, February 08, 2010

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[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori paid a poignant visit to Port-au-Prince Feb. 8 to survey with Episcopal Diocese of Haiti Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin the devastation wrought by the Jan. 12 magnitude 7.0 earthquake.

After climbing over the ruins of the diocese’s Cathédrale Sainte Trinité (Holy Trinity Cathedral), the presiding bishop turned to Duracin and said “You should skip Lent this year; you have already had your Good Friday.”

“Yes, we can all sing Alleluias together,” Duracin replied, according to the Rev. Lauren Stanley, who accompanied Jefferts Schori on her five-hour visit.

Pointing to some of the cathedral’s 13 bells that were visible among the ruins and that appeared to be salvageable, Jefferts Schori said “they will ring again” and that the cathedral “will rise again,” according to Stanley.

While at the cathedral, Jefferts Schori and Duracin said prayers at what the Haitian bishop is calling the diocese’s “open-air cathedral,” which consists of some plastic sheeting stretched over a frame of two-by-fours that shelters some pews rescued from the cathedral ruins.

The two bishops each prayed aloud with those who happened to be at the site. Some of the older women members of the cathedral were combing the ruins for pieces of the building’s world-famous murals depicting biblical stories in Haitian motifs. The gathered congregation also sang “How Great Thou Art” in French, Stanley said.

During the visit, Stanley said, Duracin asked her to “tell the world that physically the church is broken, but the church is still there in faith. Our faith is still strong.”

She said the bishop asked for the support of Episcopalians everywhere to help Haitians rebuild the structures of the church because that work “will have a positive impact on our faith. It will bring us courage, confidence and a good future.”

“We are approaching Lent,” Stanley quoted Duracin as saying. “I ask people to be with us in the desert so that on Easter, all of us in Haiti and all the Episcopal Church may sing together in joy: ‘Alleluia, Alleluia, the Lord is risen indeed.'”

The trip was also meant for Jefferts Schori and Duracin to talk about the immediate and future directions of the diocese. The presiding bishop assured Duracin that the entire Episcopal Church stood with his diocese in prayer and support, and would continue to do so, according to Stanley.

Stanley is one of four Episcopal Church missionaries assigned to Haiti and the only one who was not in-country at the time of the Jan. 12 quake. Duracin has asked Stanley to help the diocese coordinate offers of relief and recovery made by others in the Episcopal Church, and to tell the diocese’s story.

Stanley said part of the discussion in Port-au-Prince centered on how she can continue to assist Duracin and the diocese by splitting her time between Haiti and the U.S. As part of that work, she will begin to help coordinate the work of Episcopalians elsewhere in the church who have interests in or connections with specific places and ministries in Haiti, she said.

Stanley said she was gratified to hear Duracin’s confidence in her ability to help the diocese connect more strongly with “our partners who are working together to help God’s beloved children in Haiti.”

Stanley, who spoke with ENS by phone from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, after the visit, said that Duracin wanted the presiding bishop to see the extent of the devastation the diocese suffered. While the full extent of damage is still being assessed, it is clear that most of the diocese’s churches and schools were destroyed or heavily damaged. The convent of the Sisters of St. Margaret, adjacent to the cathedral, was also destroyed.

The lost schools include the Holy Trinity complex of primary, music and trade schools next to the demolished diocesan cathedral, the university and the seminary. A portion of the St. Vincent School for Handicapped Children, also in the Haitian capital, collapsed. Students and possibly staff were killed at some of the schools.

Stanley said that Duracin, Jefferts Schori and she visited the Holy Trinity school complex, the Episcopal University and the survivors’ camp on a rocky field at College Ste. Pierre, a diocesan school destroyed by the quake. (The diocese, known locally as L’Eglise Episcopale d’Haiti, is caring for about 25,000 Haitians in roughly 20 makeshift camps around the country. Since the quake, many people have left the capital for the countryside.)

The three also surveyed Duracin’s home which collapsed in the quake, trapping and severely injuring his wife, Marie-Edithe. Duracin has told ENS that he is been spending his night sleeping in a tent outside another home that he was having built for his family.

The Rev. Kesner Ajax, head of the diocese’s Bishop Tharp Institute of Business and Technology (BTI) in Les Cayes, drove the three around the city. Everywhere they where they saw evidence of destruction and death, Stanley said.

The Holy Trinity music school once housed the country’s only concert hall, but now “you can see where it came smashing straight down and there are still bodies of our students in there as well,” Stanley said.

Duracin told them that “this is why we cannot just use a bulldozer” to clear the wreckage.

There is a common grave just outside of the Episcopal University and Stanley said they stopped to pray at that grave. One of the lower level classrooms that was destroyed usually had more than 100 students in it, she said, but only nine bodies have been found. People are going through the rubble by hand searching for the dead.

On the street outside the university, there is an outdoor holding cell for prisoners, Stanley said.

At the diocesan trade school, only the façade is still standing, Stanley said.

“There nothing left except bodies,” she said. “We could actually see one body at the ruins.”

Stanley said: “It was heart-wrenching to see the city that I love — to see the things that this church has done for so many years that makes me so proud to be an Episcopalian in Haiti — totally gone,” Stanley said. “It is beyond heart-breaking. I don’t have adequate words to describe the devastation.”

Jefferts Schori flew to Santo Domingo on Feb. 7 from Havana, Cuba, after being a co-consecrator at the Rev. Griselda Delgado Del Carpio’s consecration and ordination as bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Church of Cuba. She and Stanley, who met her in the Dominican Republic capital, flew into Port-au-Prince the next day for the visit.

They brought with them a number of gifts and supplies for Duracin and the diocese, including six episcopal clergy shirts for the bishop that were a gift from the Church Pension Group, three liturgical stoles and 3,000 communion wafers from the presiding bishop, and pants and socks for Duracin and a bottle of Taylor tawny port communion wine from Stanley.

She also gave the bishop an alb and cincture that was purchased by Rhonda Busch, an administrator at Church of the Good Shepherd in Burke, Virginia. The church, where Stanley was priested and which still supports her missionary work, offered a requiem mass Feb. 4 for the victims of the earthquake who were members of the Church of St. James the Just in Pétionville, Haiti. Stanley serves the English-speaking congregation there.

“In our culture it is very important that the leader look like a leader,” Stanley said. “In the church in Haiti, it’s very important that the bishop look like the bishop because when he is properly dressed and properly vested then we know that he can take care of us and we know that we have not been forgotten.”

Duracin told Stanley that the bread and wine will be used Feb. 12 during the Episcopal Church’s part of the nationwide prayer services planned to mark the one month anniversary of the earthquake.

Stanley also brought with her a nearly 150-year-old brass cross that had once been part of a processional cross used by missionaries. She was given the cross by the Woodson family of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, whose members attend St. Paul’s Episcopal Church there. While looking through the rubble at College Ste. Pierre, Stanley said, the presiding bishop found a staff that might have been a short processional cross or a verger’s wand and which the three discovered fit the cross perfectly.

— The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is national correspondent for the Episcopal News Service and editor of Episcopal News Monthly.


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