Category : Haiti

Will Willimon's wonderful story of an angry Duke University student parent

From here:

[Will] Willimon once preached about an encounter he had with the father of a graduating student. The father called his office and exploded over the phone. “I hold you personally responsible for this,” he yelled at Willimon. The father was angry because his graduate-school-bound daughter had decided (in the father’s words) “to throw it all away and go and do mission work in Haiti with the Presbyterian church.” The father screamed, “Isn’t that absurd! She has a bachelor of science degree from Duke University, and she is going to dig ditches in Haiti! I hold you responsible for this!”

Willimon, not easily intimidated, asked him, “Why me?” The father replied, “You ingratiated yourself and filled her with all this religion stuff.” Dr. Willimon was quick to reply, “Sir, weren’t you the one who had her baptized?” “Well, well, well, yes,” the father stumbled. “And didn’t you take her to Sunday school when she was a little girl?” “Well, well, yes.” “And didn’t you allow your daughter to go on those youth group ski trips to Colorado when she was in high school?” “Yes, but what does that have to do with anything?” replied the father, becoming more and more aggravated. “Sir,” Willimon concluded, “you are the reason she is throwing it all away. You introduced her to Jesus. Not me!” “But,” said the father, “all we wanted was a Presbyterian.” Willimon replied, “Well, sorry sir, you messed up. You’ve gone and made a disciple.”

–shared by my coworker Craige Borrett in the morning sermon and one of my favorite Willimon stories

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Children, Christology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Haiti, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Missions, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Young Adults

(LA Times) Why this West Point graduate cried during his commencement

The tears streamed down Alix Idrache’s face. In the photograph, the streaks reach almost to the high collar of his gray dress uniform.

The moment, captured by a military photographer Saturday during commencement exercises at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., marked the culmination of a journey that began in 2009, when Idrache came to Maryland from his native Haiti, barely able to speak English.

Now 24, he graduated at the top of his class in physics, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army, and is headed to Alabama to train as a helicopter pilot.

Read it all and absolutely, positively do not miss the picture.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Caribbean, Defense, National Security, Military, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Haiti, Theology, Young Adults

A Prayer for the Feast Day of James Theodore Holly

Most gracious God, by the calling of thy servant James Theodore Holly thou gavest us our first bishop of African-American heritage. In his quest for life and freedom, he led thy people from bondage into a new land and established the Church in Haiti. Grant that, inspired by his testimony, we may overcome our prejudice and honor those whom thou callest from every family, language, people, and nation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Church History, Haiti, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of James Theodore Holly

Most gracious God, by the calling of thy servant James Theodore Holly thou gavest us our first bishop of African-American heritage. In his quest for life and freedom, he led thy people from bondage into a new land and established the Church in Haiti. Grant that, inspired by his testimony, we may overcome our prejudice and honor those whom thou callest from every family, language, people, and nation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Church History, Haiti, Spirituality/Prayer

Amnesty International says Tens of thousands face eviction from Haiti camps

Some dodge the stones and bottles thrown at their tents in the dead of night, others watch helplessly as their tarpaulin shelters, huddled in camps sprawled across the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, are destroyed with knives and sticks.

Rights group Amnesty International has collected dozens of such testimonies from Haitians who have been kicked out of makeshift camps set up by those left homeless by the January 2010 earthquake. Many camp residents have moved out, but just over 320,000 Haitians still live in them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Haiti, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Poverty

(AP) Plans to rebuild Haiti's cathedral begin to form

Almost three years after an earthquake toppled the Roman Catholic and Episcopal cathedrals in Haiti’s capital, visions for their resurrection have started to take shape as officials from both churches begin considering proposals to rebuild them.

A six-member panel led by the dean of the University of Miami’s School of Architecture met this week in South Florida to choose the winner of a design competition that sought ideas for rebuilding the Notre Dame de l’Assomption Cathedral.

Meanwhile, Episcopal Church officials have selected a Virginia-based architectural firm to design a new Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Caribbean, Episcopal Church (TEC), Haiti, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Urban/City Life and Issues

(AP) Islam making inroads in Haiti since devastating 2010 earthquake

School teacher Darlene Derosier lost her home in the 2010 earthquake that devastated her country. Her husband died a month later after suffering what she said was emotional trauma from the quake. She and her two daughters now live in tents outside Haiti’s capital, surrounded by thousands of others made homeless and desperate by the disaster.

What has helped pull her through all the grief, she said, has been her faith, but not of the Catholic, Protestant or even Voodoo variety that have predominated in this island country. Instead, she has converted to a new religion here, Islam, and built a small neighborhood mosque out of cinderblocks and plywood, where about 60 Muslims pray daily.

Islam has won a growing number of followers in this impoverished country, especially after the catastrophe two years ago that killed about 300,000 people and left millions more homeless.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Caribbean, Haiti, Islam, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Two Years after the devastating quake, Haitian government struggles with job, housing woes

In the two years since the quake, $4 billion has been spent on reconstruction.

So what did the world get for its money? The answer is, not enough.

Half a million Haitians still live in the large makeshift camps that people fled to when their homes fell down.

The camps are fetid messes of humanity where rapes are common, murders not infrequent and sanitation seriously lacking. These camps aid in the spread of cholera, which still infects about 9,000 people a month.

Read it all.

Posted in * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Haiti, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(RNS) U.S., Cuban church leaders seek ”˜normalized relations’

Church leaders from ecumenical councils in the U.S. and Cuba wrapped up a five-day meeting in Havana on Friday (Dec. 2) with a call for “normalized relations” between the two countries.

“We declare the following shared conviction: that the half century of animosity between our countries must end,” said a joint statement issued by the National Council of Churches and the Council of Churches of Cuba.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Caribbean, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Haiti, Orthodox Church, Other Churches

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Paul Farmer on Haiti after the Quake

As the slow recovery continues in Haiti after last year’s earthquake, there’s a new book out called Haiti after the Earthquake. It’s by the much-admired Paul Farmer, a medical doctor, a professor at the Harvard Medical School, and a cofounder of the humanitarian aid group Partners in Health. For a quarter of a century, Farmer has worked, primarily in Haiti but in other countries, too, to provide good medical care to the poorest of the poor.

Farmer was in Washington this week signing books and talking about what he says are the two big challenges of relief and reconstruction: helping individuals in need, as so many faith-based groups do, and at the same time building up public health, public education, and other systems that help everyone. Farmer spoke as the head of one of the hundreds of aid organizations in Haiti.

Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Haiti, Health & Medicine, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Religion & Culture

(Living Church) Rebuilding the Cathedral in Haiti Brick by Brick

Cathédrale St. Trinité, Port-au-Prince, has been a central place of sanctity, sanctuary, and justice since the 1920s. With a seating capacity of about 700, the cathedral was the home of regular worship services, special events, and meetings of national import and refuge for countless Haitians. Just after the earthquake, its grounds were used as a makeshift clinic and temporary residence for hundreds of displaced and wounded Haitians. Located at the corner of Ave. Mgr. Guilloux and Rue Pavée in the center of Port-au-Prince, minutes from some of Haiti’s most important national monuments and historic and governmental buildings, the cathedral invited a widespread Haitian following and regular visits by international travelers.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Episcopal Church (TEC), Haiti, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

Jean-Claude Duvalier Meets With Advisers as Haiti Holds Its Breath

The sudden arrival of Mr. Duvalier, who ruled Haiti from the time he was 19 until he was forced to flee by mass protests in 1986, threatened to further convulse a country that is struggling to recover from the earthquake, a lingering cholera epidemic, the political uncertainty stemming from last year’s contested presidential election and an epidemic of violent crime.

Mr. Sterlin said he did not know how long Mr. Duvalier, who has been living in exile near Paris, planned to stay in Haiti, or if he planned to meet with Haiti’s president, René Préval. An aide said Mr. Préval was among those surprised by Mr. Duvalier’s arrival.

A friend said that Mr. Duvalier would stay for three or four days, but that he would eventually like to resettle in Haiti. The friend spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not Mr. Duvalier’s official representative.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Foreign Relations, Haiti

ABC Nightline–Franklin Graham's relief mission one year after the earthquake in Haiti

Caught this one on the morning run–I thought it was fair. Watch it all–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Caribbean, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Evangelicals, Haiti, Health & Medicine, Other Churches, Poverty, Religion & Culture

In Haiti, earthquake survivors pray, lament 'a day that nobody can forget' on disaster's anniversary

With shops closed and traffic light, Haitians streamed down the streets in spontaneous processions, women wearing white, holding their children’s hands, men in crisp shirts and ties, the clothes they would wear to church or a funeral.

They went to the ruins of the National Cathedral, to pray the rosary at its front steps. The building is now a gutted, roofless shell. Some worshipers began to weep and shout out as they approached.

At Saint Antoine de Padoue, they held Mass in an alley. “A day nobody can forget, no matter how young, even my son,” said Carline Amazan, who held a young boy’s hand and recalled how people ran naked through streets.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Haiti, Religion & Culture

(Anglican Journal) Haiti one year later: Is recovery possible?

A year after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake reduced Port-au-Prince to rubble, leaving more than 200,000 dead and 1.5 million displaced, questions remain about whether or not recovery is possible, and if so, what that would look like.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Haiti