Praying with Refugees: Hope for Haiti
01 July 2011
Jesuit Refugee Service is supporting a preschool in Fond Pairsien, Haiti, offering hope for a brighter future for children. (Christian Fuchs — Jesuit Refugee Service/USA)
(Washington, D.C.) July 1, 2011 — The earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010 caused much heartache, pain, and death. But, also present among the rubble was hope. For every story of hope there seemed to be one of heartbreak; every act of courage and progress teetered on the edge of frustration and hopelessness.
The world responded with money and aid. Jesuit Refugee Service provided emergency assistance, and has attempted to go further.
More than one year later, aid still arrives. Volunteers from around the world are still working. Jesuit Refugee Service is working both in the camps for displaced people in Port au Prince, and along the Haitian—Dominican Republic border. Education has become a primary focus of our work in Haiti.
"Only through providing universal education to all children in Haiti, and through a massive literacy campaign for adults, can we ensure that Haiti will have the tools it needs to build back stronger." ~ Fr. Wismith Lazard, S.J.
Suggested Reading for Prayer
"…The Cross stands before us as an eloquent symbol of God’s love for humanity. At the same time the dying Redeemer’s entreaty rings out: 'My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?' We often feel this cry of suffering as our own in the painful situations of life that can cause deep distress and give rise to worry and uncertainty. In moments of loneliness and bewilderment, which are not unusual in human life, a believer’s heart can exclaim: the Lord has abandoned me!
"However, Christ’s Passion and glorification on the tree of the Cross offer a different key for reading these events. On Golgotha the Father, at the height of His Only-begotten Son’s sacrifice, does not abandon Him, but brings to completion His plan of salvation for all humanity. In His Passion, Death and Resurrection, we are shown that the last word in human existence is not death but God’s victory over death. Divine love, manifested in its fullness in the paschal mystery, overcomes death and sin, which is its cause…"
~ John Paul II
Confronted by the conflict, slaughter, and seemingly endless anguish in so many other places in our world, we wonder how God can allow such things to happen. The Old Testament describes how the people of Israel suffered war, violence, famine, persecution, and exile, and how they tried to find the presence of the loving God of the covenant in all those harsh realities.
This section of the website offers readers an opportunity to reflect and pray on the good and evil which happens. As we meet and work with refugees who have confronted evil and suffering, it is important to remind them and ourselves as well to keep in touch with God, the source of all good and love. This is the only way to withstand evil.