Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bishop Duracin of Haiti writes

People wonder about the situation, especially for our fellow Episcopalians in Haiti. Here is a letter from the Bishop of Haiti. Bishop Duracin writes to Robert W. Radke, President of Episcopal Relief and Development, a ministry of our church. Please keep Bishop Duracin, Father Fritz Valdema (Pere Val), and his wife Carmel in your prayers. They are all doing heroic and faithful work shepherding their flock.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our LordJesus Christ.
I am writing to you from the tent city we have set upbehind the rubble of College Ste. Pierre, our marvelous seniorsecondary school that is no more. As you know, we have gatheredapproximately 3,000 people here alone. Across the land, the Diocese ofHaiti has set up at least 21 refugee camps, caring for more than23,000 people.
In this letter, I wish to make clear to the Diocese ofHaiti, to Episcopal Relief and Development and to all of our partnersthat Episcopal Relief and Development is the official agency of theDiocese of Haiti and that we are partners working hand-in-hand inHaiti’s relief and recovery efforts.
I also am announcing in this letter that I am appointingThe Rev. Lauren R. Stanley, Appointed Missionary of The EpiscopalChurch, to work directly with ERD on my behalf. I am asking allpartners in The Episcopal Church to communicate directly with Rev.Stanley, so as to keep communications with the Diocese of Haiti open.Rev. Stanley is to communicate and work with ERD on my behalf.
In addition, I am asking that all of our partners in thePresbyterian Church USA work directly with ERD, with Rev. Stanley asthe central communications person. PCUSA has worked with us for manyyears, and we are deeply grateful for their compassion and theircommitment to the people of Haiti.
We in the Diocese of Haiti have a vision and a plan forthis relief and recovery effort. We know the situation on the ground,we are directing emergency relief to those who need it most, and wealready are making plans and moving forward to help our people. Sincethe earthquake struck, we have been and will continue to work closelywith your two representatives here, Ms. Katie Mears and Ms. KirstenMuth. I have complete confidence in you and your agency.
Finally, I wish to make it plain: I know that many of ourpartners wish to come to Haiti right now to help. Please tell themthat unless they are certified professionals in relief and recovery,they must wait. We will need them in the months and years to come, but at this point, it is too dangerous and too much of a burden for ourpeople to have mission teams here. Please tell our partners, the people of The Episcopal Church, thepeople of the United States and indeed the people of the world that wein Haiti are immensely grateful for their prayers, their support andtheir generosity. This is a desperate time in Haiti; we have lost so much. But we still have the most important asset, the people of God,and we are working continuously to take care of them.
I hope that this letter will help all of us work together to help God’s beloved people in Haiti. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. If others have questions or concerns, please askthem to contact you or to work directly with Rev. Stanley.
Faithfully,Mgr. Jean Zaché DuracinEvêque d'Haïti

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