Deacon Bill Hampton, Archdiocese of Atlanta was part of a delegation that recently visited Haiti to experience CRS work there. He filed this report.
Our first full day in Haiti was very eye opening. The headline describes exactly what I saw and felt from our contact with these beautiful people. First, their resolve was evident in their actions, faces and voices. In Dalmas 62 the neighborhood, though completely destroyed, asked CRS to help them; however we were unable to get our trucks and other supplies into the neighborhood. CRS said we will provide you with the tools to remove the rubble and then we might be able to help you. Several weeks later the committee showed up at the CRS office and said come see what we have done. When our staff arrived they were in awe. With wheel barrows and hammers they cleared the rubble of destroyed homes allowing CRS to assist with temporary housing. Two ladies and one man led the charge and the neighbors worked together to make it happen.
As Sinthia led us through the village named Delmas #62 she beamed as she showed us her home. Adorned with curtains, a green door and her family gathered around she told us her story. Her neighborhood now has 40 temporary structures as a result of three neighbors leading the charge. They weren’t looking for a hand out, but a hand up. Thanks to wonderful Catholic Christians in parish families around the U.S. CRS was able to provide.
Sinthia’s story is one of great resolve, but also of great love. She didn’t stop when she had her family in a home. She has helped over 40 families put a roof over their heads. She and her friends are determined to create a wonderful place for their families and friends. A wonderful place, out of tragic, desperate living conditions. Her love for those around her who are suffering is evident in her actions and by the smile on her face and the love in her voice as she told us her story.
Sinthia’s story is but one example, but it is the story of thousands of Haitians who aren’t looking for a hand out, but simply want a hand up, a chance for a better life and CRS is working side by side to do just that. With God’s grace Haiti and all Haitians will rise from the rubble.
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