We got an e-mail today from Matushka Rose. You remember Matushka Rose? She is the widow of Priest Gregoire Legouté, one of the two first priests in Port-au-Prince. She and her late husband founded and ran one of the first – and few – schools for handicapped children in Haiti.
She’s our main contact with the ROCOR Mission in Haiti.
She wrote a long e-mail about what’s going on in Haiti and the mission there.
Here’s the gist:
“There is no legitimate power at the moment in Haiti, power is in the hands of groups who resort to violence and materially occupy the spaces of power.
“People are leaving the country in droves – trying to get away from the violence, the hunger, and to avoid being forced to take up arms by the militant gangs.”
Meanwhile, our small Orthodox population refuses to give up. Their life is nothing like they could have ever imagined:
Violence in their streets. Universal poverty. Constant danger. Constant hunger. Unrelenting uncertainty.
Their misery is absolute. They used to survive on 2 dollars a day. Now even 1 dollar seems like riches.
But… they are determined to go on.
They are determined to keep their parishes going, to keep educating their children, to keep the Orthodox Faith, and to work out their salvation – in fear and trembling – for their lives, as well as their souls.
The last several months (and years… OK, not years – decades) have been horrible in Haiti. But what’s going on now is worse than anything the country has yet seen.
To quote the UN, “Haiti is on the verge of an abyss…”
And Matushka Rose, as well as other brothers and sisters in Christ are stuck in the middle of it…
Won’t you, please, help them?
Matushka Rose and the others aren’t asking for much:
All they need to keep the mission afloat in this crisis is $10,000.
Your generosity today will buy food, clothes, and medicine. It will pay for medical treatment, and the school teachers’ salaries.
Won’t you give today?
Most people give $57, $78, or even $103.
Can we count on your kindness and generosity to these suffering people?
P.S. Here is another recent note from Matushka Rose. Can you only imagine if you had to face this every day?
Today our neighborhood of Fontamara was very dark, the residents of the neighborhood were very scared, one of the gang leaders fell in clashes with the police with several other soldiers of this gang that terrorizes the population, this gang has already killed several authorities in the country. People were very afraid to go out today. The country is collapsing every day in extreme violence, danger, and hunger. This week, armed gang violence has killed more than 40 people in the area of Source Matelas, a locality in the north of Port-au-Prince, people have died in their homes or in the streets, the police can not intervene to get rid of houses and streets of these dead, people sequestered in their homes are dying of hunger. I ask for your prayers for these families Other families who tried to save their lives in a small boat went to jail and they all lost their lives, eight children among them. It's so hard!
In Christ, Matuska Rose Legoute