A retired assistant bishop of my diocese always begins his sermons with the words, “God is good all the time” to which the congregation responds, “All the time God is good.”
Those are not just words for us here at Espérance et Vie in Terrier Rouge, but our creed, an experience that we live every single day of our life. The goodness of God is manifested by the fact that we can survive one crisis after another and can still be alive. God, in His goodness, uses the channels of faithful, dynamic, heartfelt men and women to reach out to us. We are blessed, chosen people called to be witnesses of God’s love.
As we were struggling to find food, gas, to educate our children, to take care of the sick, to alleviate the sufferings of our elderly and the poor, COVID-19 exploded to complicate our life more. But, sustained by the faith that God is good all the time, we are facing our new situation with hope and determination to resist and survive.
Following the Government’s prevention measures, St Barthélémy School closed on March 19th, as we were about to complete our second trimester and with exams starting the following week. After meetings with the staff and teachers and later with the parents of our seniors, we decided to utilize technology to work with our senior class, preparing them for their national exams. Since only a handful of our seniors have access to technology, we created study groups of 4-5 to meet with their teachers via Zoom. We encouraged all other parents to help their students remain focused on their studies at home. We have continued to pay the teachers, however. It is our hope that we will be able to finish the school year in late Summer and begin the 2020-21 school year in late Fall.
In the meantime, Clinique Espérance et Vie has stayed open, offering continued services to the community in general medicine, pediatrics, ophthalmology, and dentistry. Due to the pandemic, we have noted a small decrease in attendance as people stay away out of fear of exposure to COVID-19. Prescription drug prices have skyrocketed, but fortunately, we are not lacking supplies to respond to the needs of the community.
Currently, the main focus of the NGO, Espérance et Vie, is humanitarian aid and COVID-19 prevention. As soon as the Haitian government declared that COVID-19 had reached our soil, we began our prevention campaign by spreading the word, informing the community about the danger we were facing. Our next step was to make masks and buy soap. In a record period of time, we made the first 5,000 masks which were distributed to the population along with 5,000 bars of soap. As the needs were increasing, we made and distributed 2,000 more. But our task was not limited to just that. The NGO reached out to the most vulnerable people giving them kits of food. In the last three months, we reached out to more than 2,500 families in despair because of the confinement. As the toll of confirmed cases is growing, we are getting prepared for the worst.
We give thanks to the Lord for using us to serve His people. We are obliged to you, our faithful benefactors for providing the means for the work. Please receive our heartfelt thanks and be sure that we lift up our voices to Heaven for you.
In His Name,