Helping our Parish Friends in Lazile, Haiti

After the destructive and deadly Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on October 4, 2016, Christ Church sprang into action raising funds to help meet the needs of our sister community in Lazile, which was hit hard.

The first request we met was for immediate food for 35 families (about 210 people). By October 13th, we had an estimate from Jean-Rony (lay leader) detailing the rice, bean paste, and cooking oil needs of the community, along with an estimate of the cost. Our very first week of fundraising brought us $1800. On October 19th, $900 was sent to Fr Milor to cover the food costs. Due to very heavy rains, the large bags of rice and cases of cooking oil could not be brought up the mountain for the October 23rd service. Father Milor traveled up by Moto (motor bike) in the mud, and had a fall off the Moto— he was bruised, but no bones were broken. By October 30th, the service for All Saints Day, the food was brought up (by truck) and distributed. Attached are pictures of the large bags of rice purchased—20, 55 lb bags (1100 pounds of rice!). In addition, five cases of cooking oil (120 bottles) and five jars bean paste (Marmite), enough for 170 people.

The next task was replacement of roofing (metal sheets) for the school, church member’s homes, and the existing church. The metal sheets, nails, lumber, transportation and labor costs by truck up the mountain were calculated. On November 4th, an additional $2155 was sent to cover these expenses (part by MoneyGram to speed completion of school repairs, the rest by bank wire, which takes 7-8 days to clear to Haiti).

By late November, we had the cost estimate for seed to replace the corn and bean crops (there are other crops, but those are the staples). The request was to provide seed for all the families in Lazile, not just the members of St Luc’s church. Pastorally, St Luc’s church leaders wanted to reach out to the members in the community around them— about 150 families in total. After discussion with Fr Milor and others, we met their request with $3600—all 70 farmers from St Luc’s will receive five buckets of bean seed and three of corn, for a total of $2402 spent for St Luc’s farmers. The other community farmers (about 80) will receive $1200 in aid, which could be spent completely on a full corn crop. Money was sent December 12th ($3600 total).

Fr Milor has expressed his thankfulness to Christ Church’s heartfelt generosity for his congregation at St Luc’s Lazile. Donors include many folks who have never been to Haiti but are obviously moved by the stories they have heard. He expresses that he is moved by our caring for their community, and hopes to visit us again to tell us, in person. In total we provided about $6600 in assistance. Truly, this was accomplished by the grace of God.