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Haitian Orthodox Mission news

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  • Fr. Gregory Williams
    God bless you all! First, I must apologize for a false step -- this is being sent to the same list used for the first mailing, plus a few others who have
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 29, 2004
      God bless you all!

      First, I must apologize for a "false step" -- this is being sent to the same
      list used for the first mailing, plus a few others who have asked to be
      added. Please allow me to address some technical stuff first (actual news
      found further down). I had intended to send out this news simply via a mass
      mailing feature in my regular e-mail handler, but quickly realized this was
      impractical (notably, I wouldn't be able to do anything during my 3 weeks in
      California, leaving tomorrow after liturgy). So, the mailing is actually
      going to be handled by a newsgroup on the Mission webserver hosted by
      Orthodox Internet Services. What does this mean? YOU need to sign on in
      order to receive future bulletins:

      Anyone can subscribe himself to the list by going to:


      It is also possible to subscribe by sending an email to
      news-request@... with the word 'subscribe' as the

      I will leave it to Fr. Mark's discretion whether or not to sign on the
      entire Synod list, as he suggested earlier. If he chooses to do so, some of
      you will of course initially receive duplicate copies if you have signed on

      You may also find some information (more as I can get to it) on the Mission
      website: orthodoxhaiti.org

      Please forgive any duplications in the distribution of this letter -- I'm
      having to prepare it in far too much haste.

      CURRENT NEWS: I spoke this morning with Fr. Gregoire by phone (attempts
      yesterday to reach any of our people with phones failed -- for the most part
      there is no power, so cellphones are rapidly becoming useless except for
      those with access to generator or solar power systems), and received
      yesterday e-mail communications from Nicolas at Cyvadier. So far as we
      know, all of our people are OK, but the situation is very severe and
      continues to deteriorate. No movement outside one's immediate neighborhood
      is safe; travel is all but impossible in any event. Tap-taps have stopped
      running, all commercial air service within and to and from Haiti has ceased.
      Food and fuel are both becoming extremely scarce, though it seems that many
      street markets continue to function pretty much as usual. Haiti is so much
      an ongoing crisis that people are already in crisis mode, and so deal
      creatively with conditions which would stop most of us cold.

      There is, however, no communication possible between Port-au-Prince and
      Cap-Haitien, so no one knows the situation of our people there. I tried
      yesterday and today to reach Fr. Jean's sister Marie, who is the "eldress"
      at St. Nicolas, by phone, but without success.

      Under these conditions, our faithful are very much isolated from one
      another, except insofar as they can make contact by telephone -- and in
      prayer. Only at St. Augustine's could it be said that in some measure life
      continues more or less normally -- the area around Jacmel is by nature much
      more peaceful than most of the country.

      Fervent prayers that the Lord may look kindly upon these, amongst the
      poorest of His children, and take away this terrible trial, are much in

      More as I'm able to find out more.

      Please remember me, and the kind Orthodox ophthalmologists who plan to
      restore my vision to something like normal, in your prayers.
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