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Haiti Earthquake – January 12, 2010

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January 12, 2010

7.0 Earthquake Rocks Haiti, Killing Hundreds of Thousands

It is with great sadness that we remember this Monday, January 12 the day a 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti taking the lives of approximately 250,00 people and devastating the lives of millions.  The quake, centered in Leogane just miles from Port-Au-Prince, flattened Leogane, destroyed much of Port-Au-Prince and the surrounding areas and even impacted Jacmel on the southern coast.

The Lord works in mysterious ways as evidenced by the outpouring of support from other nations and individuals as they rushed to help, putting their own lives at risk and promised financial support to repair the damage done in a mere 60 seconds.

All of us at Action By Christians for Haiti Inc., ask only one thing on January 12.  Take a moment or two out of your day and say a prayer; a prayer for the lost souls, a prayer for all those whose lives were changed forever by this tragedy, a prayer for all those who rushed to help and a prayer for all those who continue to help one of the world’s poorest nations.

The few pictures above tell just a part of that day, please copy and paste the link below and remind yourself of the devastation that took place on that awful day in the history of Haiti.

May the Good Lord continue to Bless you abundantly and keep you and your families safe from all harm.


Advent – Now is the time for reflection on our blessings


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Thanksgiving has passed and we have entered the season of Advent, a time of reflection and  preparation to celebrate the Lord’s birth and to prepare ourselves not only for Christmas but for the time when Our Lord will call us individually home and hold us responsible for the lives He has blessed us with.  Whenever I reflect on my own personal death and judgment I can’t help but reflect on the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25, versus 31-46.

The Judgment of the Nations

 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne; and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’

Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’

He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

These are strong words to hear, there are only two choices, heaven or hell, and ultimately it is up to us to make the choice.  Do we choose to help those in need, to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, or visit the ill and the imprisoned? 

Or do we choose to be selfish and ignore those in need, caring only for our own personal wants?  Forgetting the blessings we have come from God and not ourselves?  This is not meant to be a chastisement or to plant fear in your hearts but simply an opportunity to reflect on your blessings this past year.  Which category do you think you fall into and are you comfortable where you are?  The generosity from those of you who support our work in Haiti over whelms us and we thank each of you from the bottom of our hearts and as I’ve said many times, you are in our prayers daily.  None of this is possible without you.

Wishing you all the joys of the Holiday Season and hope you can find time in your busy, hectic schedules for yourselves, time to relax, time to find peace in your life, and time to reflect on your many blessings.



Thanksgiving – a time to reflect


In just a few days we will be celebrating Thanksgiving, a day set aside for praise and prayer to our God for the blessings He has granted us through the year as set forth by an executive proclamation in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln (see link below).  A time of family gathering, good food and joyful times; a time to reflect back on the year and realize how blessed we really are.  A time to look at what is going on in our world and wonder, “what can I do to make this world a safer and better place?’  And yes, we all have this responsibility.  Sitting back and doing nothing is really not an option for us.  As Christians we have the duty to be God’s hands and feet as well as His voice in our world.  So how do we do this?

We can start with our families, teaching our children about God and their responsibilities to others.  We can talk with our co-workers and friends and be a good Christian example to them.  Share with your family, co-workers, and friends the choices you make to help others.  When you are asked how was your weekend, don’t give the standard old answer, “okay!”  Tell them, we went to church on Sunday, or maybe you went and helped at one of the local shelters, or St. Vincent DePaul had a food drive and you donated – let them know you are doing good.  Not to brag, but to be a witness to what it means to be Christian – they will know us by our works.  And, when they want to know when you find time to do that with family, and work and chores around the house; tell them helping others is important to you and your family and you make the time because it’s important to you and those you help.  If they still wonder what they can do, let them know, if their life is so busy, they can find a charity that does help others and make a regular financial contribution.  Oh, they’ll say I don’t have money for that and of course you can always come back that if they look at their spending and see how much is wasted it wouldn’t take much to come up with a monthly contribution of say $20.  Sometimes people just need to look outside the box and get an idea what others are doing.

So, as we prepare for the Thanksgiving weekend, count your blessings, make an effort to increase your help to those in need.  Pray for those in need, help physically where you can, and find a charity that supports programs you think are important and if you had the chance would want to participate in.  Just one word of caution – make sure if you are making a financial contribution that your money is going to support the people and programs you intend them to be used for.

All of us at ABC for Haiti wish you and your family a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving, may your table be filled with a cornucopia of food, your home filled with the sound of laughter, and may you all take a moment to give praise and thanks to our God for His blessings and to remember those in need.

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Generosity – it’s benefits – a Scriptural Reflection

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Reflecting on the benefits of our generosity.

Last week we talked about the spirit of generosity and making the choice to be generous and not only generous but to consider whether our generosity comes from our means (basically our excess) or from beyond our means (even though it appears as if we are unable to give – can we share some of what we have?).  This week I would like to share with you what St. Paul tells us about  the benefits of our giving.

As human being we tend to look for “what is in it for me” when we do something for someone else.  It’s a natural instinct.  I use our work place as a prime example – we need to work for a living and I would imagine most of us expect to be rewarded, usually financially, when we take the time to not only do our jobs and do them well but to improve our worth to the company.  Having done so we expect a new position, possibly a raise etc.  It’s what we do and it’s what we’ve come to expect.  Naturally I think we tend to carry over this attitude in all aspects of our daily life.

Our giving has its rewards also.  Again I refer to St. Paul in 2 Corinthians, Chapter 9:6-8:

“The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work.”

Now I don’t want anyone to think God will provide you dollar for dollar what you offer to help someone else.  Scripture says; “God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance…”  He provides His blessings according to your needs.  Only God knows what we truly need and if we are generous, loving, and kind toward each other we can rely on Him to fill those things of which we are in need, whether they be financial, spiritual, or physical.  The point is this: be open to the blessings He will reward you with for your generosity.  For St. Paul goes on to tell us in 2 Corinthians, Chapter 9:11-15:

“You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God: for the rendering of this service not only supplies the wants of the saints but also overflows in many thanksgivings to God.  Under the test of this service, you will glorify God by your obedience in acknowledging the gospel of Christ, and by the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others; while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God in you.  Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!”

I ask you; think about those times when you have been generous.  I would bet if you looked back and took notice you would also recognize blessings which were shortly brought upon you in your time of need.  In Haiti, we help the poor with clean, healthy water, education at the elementary and university levels as well as life skills training in the trade school and we provide a monthly stipend to the parish for everyday business.  They in turn keep us in their prayers and we are, whether we recognize it or not are abundantly blessed.

I quote St. Paul; “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!  You!

Generosity – a choice

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As we quickly approach our 4th Anniversary I would like to take this time to first thank each of you for your continued generosity in helping the poor in Haiti and second I would like to also take this time to reflect on scripture concerning generosity. 

In 2 Corinthians, Chapter 8:1-4 we read – “We want you to know, brethren, about the grace of God which has been shown in the churches of Macedo’nia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of liberality on their part.  For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints…”

 In this passage St. Paul is writing to the Corinthians a very wealthy people about the generosity of the Macedonians a not so wealthy people and the Christ-like way in which they, of their own free will, desired to help in taking part in the relief of the saints, another term for other Christians, Christians in need.  Despite their current conditions they recognized the need to be Christian in all things and part of being Christian means to take care of each other no matter the situation.  Paul tells us they gave of their means, and beyond their means, in other words they didn’t just give of their excess or because they were better off than others, there were many who had little and gave of it, recognizing even the little they had was a gift from God and was meant to share. They were being generous with the gifts they had received.  

Paul goes on to encourage and maybe even stir a little rivalry between the two churches, knowing Corinth has been abundantly blessed he has made it his place to remind them of their promise to help and to encourage them to keep that promise.  Not because he is trying to force them into charitable giving but to invite them.  Invite them to be like their brothers and sisters in Macedo’nia to give of their free will because it is the Christian thing to do and to do it liberally, giving of their means and even beyond their means.

I can just imagine St. Paul, understanding the human condition as he did, thinking he probably needs to be ready to answer those who will say, and I dare say, we hear this today; “Why should I give to others, why should I give what I have rightly earned to raise someone else up especially someone from a foreign land.  What will I get in return?  Yes, I suspect 2000+ years ago the same attitudes persisted among those who had.  I fear even then, as today they/we don’t realize how true the old adage; “there but for the Grace of God go I.”  That’s right they and we tend to forget the blessings we have come from God and are to be shared with those who are not so blessed.  Paul was ready and actually prepared a pre-emptive strike to this attitude.

“I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their want, so that their abundance may supply your want, that there may be equality.  As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing over and he who gathered little had no lack.”  (2 Corinthians, Chapter 8:13-15) 

What can the people of Haiti, specifically Our Lady of the Rosary Parish give me of their abundance?  Let me tell you what they have to offer is not tangible.  Having been there several times now the greatest gift I receive in being there is their warmth, their happiness in seeing me, their hospitality when I visit their humble homes.  You are always asked to sit, stay awhile, and they will offer what they have.  Unfortunately because of the conditions I have to turn down their offers of food and drink.  The hugs, the handshakes, the children playing all around you are a joy, and we know the pastor Fr. Nova encourages them to pray for us.  Fr. Nova remembers us at Mass.  What more can you ask for from someone who has so little but is filled with joy, cares and loves you for your help, and offers prayers for you?  When you realize the poorest of the poor in the Western Hemisphere are praying for you it is worth more than any amount of money you could ever receive.

Next week – Generosity – it’s benefits

Don’t forget to tell your family and friends about us and why you support our cause! 

God Bless all you do


Easter Message from Fr. Nova

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As we spend this weekend celebrating the memorial of His passion, death and resurrection let us not forget not only His saving act but also remember His love for the poor, the needy, those who are on the margins of life.

A note from Fr. Nova, Pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Sapaterre, Haiti.

I come to say hi to you and address my best wishes of a Happy Easter to the members of the Association and the generous donators.  I would like to send a longer note about Easter, but I did not have enough time to write it.  Please, let every people know that I pray for them. 

May the risen Christ bring us peace, joy, and life. 

Fr. Nova

All of us at ABC for Haiti wish you all a Blessed Easter and know that you are in our prayers.