“Because of you” became the mantra of the Celebrate Mission: Haiti event hosted by the Felician Sisters at their convent in Livonia, Michigan, on Oct. 10.
Because of you, we are able to provide daily meals to 100 children at the Mother Angela Soup Kitchen. Because of you, we are able to provide 60 children with uniforms, shoes and other necessities for school. Because of you, the Mother Angela Mobile Clinic is providing health care to 28 rural sites. Because of you, our children have a safe place to go amid the violence that has kept them out of school for the past six weeks.
This was the message of hope and gratitude that Felician Sisters Mary Inga Borko and Marilyn Marie Minter brought with them from the mission they have co-directed in Jacmel, Haiti, for the past seven years, and it did not fall on deaf ears. Each of the nearly 50 people in attendance has felt called to support the Felician mission. They included donors, advocates, volunteers and friends, all hoping to learn how they can do more.
Especially in this time of unrest, there is no shortage of needs in Haiti. Roadblocks have made travel treacherous and sometimes impossible. Much-needed supplies – food, water, medicine – are absent from market shelves. Most markets are closed either because of lack of supplies or fear of violence. Banks have been closed for four weeks, leaving the already struggling economy paralyzed. There is no gas and no electricity in many areas, and the streets are regularly filled with demonstrators throwing bottles and stones, setting fires and even firing guns. Even the hospitals are closed.
For now, the Felician mission in Jacmel, Haiti, is functioning as an oasis in a desert of chaos. Children who have nowhere to go and nothing to do find their way to the Sisters despite the violence, looking for a meal and a safe place to be. “Because of you,” reiterated Sr. Marilyn, “they have a safe place.”
The unrest in Haiti has not dissuaded the iron-willed, ever-faithful Sisters, who are eager to return. “Despite the situation in Haiti, we try to continue our work, our mission. We want to return to our people because we feel this is our place,” said Sr. Inga.
Placing their trust in God, Srs. Inga and Marilyn intend to continue to heed the call to serve the people in Haiti. “It’s amazing what happens when you depend on God’s providence,” said Sr. Marilyn. “It’s amazing how God’s providence cares for his poor.”
If you would like to find out more about the Felician mission in Haiti and how you can support their efforts, please visit their blog at www.feliciansistershaiti.com.