Thank you letter by Bishop Pierre Dumas, President of Caritas Haiti
Today, Caritas Haiti continues to share the joys and miseries, the sorrows and hopes of this nation and its crucified history. Caritas manifests the Church’s active compassion and concern for this courageous people.
Six months ago the devastating earthquake destroyed the foundations of social life in Haiti and plunged many families into grief and distress. Caritas Haiti has been very active since the first moments of the natural disaster and is still amidst the sufferings of the moment and the consolations of God.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Caritas Haiti is grateful to the various members of the Caritas confederation for the generous help given to Haiti during the initial emergency phase of operations, and the quality of the joint efforts of accompaniment and diakonia carried out by pooling donations, potential, talents, spiritual and worldly goods, experiences and expertise to serve the most vulnerable survivors of the earthquake.
On the 12 July 2010, we remember the glorious throng of witnesses who rushed to the spot like heroes to save lives, relieve pain, give food and drink, welcome, house and express their solidarity. In other words just silently being there to listen, talk and restore hope to the desperate and broken-hearted.
How can we not keep the memory of this host of volunteers, anonymous donors, known and unknown benefactors, communicators, rescue workers and fire fighters from all around the planet? How can we not reserve a special thought for all the Caritas representatives who visited us to express their sympathy and share our suffering, without forgetting those who worked discreetly day and night at Caritas Haiti’s national office to coordinate on the ground so that the brave Haitian people could slowly lift up their heads, get back on their feet and take charge of their own destiny?
If gratitude is the memory of the heart, Caritas Haiti wishes to be a big heart capable of expressing its infinite gratitude on behalf of the Church of Haiti and the Haitian people to all the members of Caritas Internationalis for their witness and solidarity. They given them in accordance with the vision and specific strategy of this great ‘Family’. The expression of Charity in emergency situations goes hand in hand with swiftness, respect for the dignity of beneficiaries, self-empowerment, accountability, subsidiarity, expertise, service without charge, professionalism and heartfelt care.
Caritas Haiti would like to warmly thank everyone for all the expressions of sensitivity, trust and kindliness it has received. We now feel prepared to face the second operational phase of rehabilitation and reconstruction.
If Haiti’s terrible tragedy could enable Caritas to achieve a better position on the international stage in terms of advocacy on behalf of the world’s poor who can wait no longer, this misfortune could at least turn into a great school of apprenticeship for humanity and become a great cradle for the new civilisation of love and integral development.
I will end with a quotation from Saint Paul: “And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify… I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:1-4, 8-9).