Tuesday, September 27, 2011

absolutely awesome.

For the first time ever, Fr. Wilner traveled to Church of the Nativity to be introduced to our church community -- Fr. Wilner is the pastor of our strategic partner church, St. Anne's in Labrande, Haiti. His time in Maryland flew by... with a trip to Baltimore City to see CRS World Headquarters and the Basilica, lunches and dinners with our ministers, missionaries, and staff members at Nativity, and speaking at all weekend, the itinerary was packed. It was great to see our community connect with Fr. Wilner, and especially exciting to highlight the progress of our summer projects in their community...

When we first traveled to St. Anne's, the summer after the earthquake, school was not in session, which meant a program integral to their community was not being offered: school lunch. Without serving a meal at school, children are more likely to work or beg for food during the day than attend class. But by providing a meal of rice, beans, and a simple protein, the students at St. Anne's are able to come to school, eat a healthy meal, receive an education and the blessing of hope for the future.

Here are some pictures of the kitchen and cafeteria building before Nativity's partnership.




But last Advent, when the Nativity community learned about the situation at St. Anne's, they responded in an overwhelming way. And now, in just a few short weeks, all the students at St. Anne's will be going to school and eating lunch in their brand new cafeteria...




As Fr. Wilner said this weekend, "Merci et mille mercis a vous" -- translated, "Thank you and one thousand thanks to you." I am so proud to be a part of the Nativity community that has such a heart for Missions. Thank you for your generosity and support of our partnership... It's thrilling to think that our work here is just beginning.