Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Daughters of Charity in Haiti

There is a great deal of suffering in Haiti as we all have heard. Here is a photo from MSNBC of a small boy at a water station having a joyful moment. It is amazing how generous people around the world have been during this recent crisis in Haiti. Haiti had been suffering greatly even before the earthquake which the world generally ignored.

I watched an interview last week with former presidents G. Bush and Clinton. Bush said part of their job was to be sure that people did not forget about the needs in Haiti after the great media coverage ends. That will be a challenge since we quickly forget about those suffering who are far removed from us. We often only pay attention to the suffering within our family or in our small circle of interaction.
As a Daughter of Charity, I feel my circle of concern and attention has been greatly broadened and that it continues to grow. I don't just mean by knowing what is happening in other countries where a crisis is happening such as in Haiti. There is a concern for the stranger that moves me and drew me to the Daughters.
I am in Chicago studying for this year and when the weather grew cold, I saw someone covered up with a tarp and other layers in a old store doorway with his(?) grocery cart of belongings in front. I went home and found out where the shelters in the area are. I haven't seen that person again, but I still carry that concern. I know that he would have been unlikely to go to a shelter anyway because of my conversations with other homeless people who express feeling unsafe at a shelter where the few belongings they have are often stolen.
Even when there is nothing I can do, I am amazed how important expressing the care and concern is for people who feel invisible and forgotten. I have learned a lot about walking in other people's shoes through my experiences with those who are poor. It has made me a much more compassionate person with everyone in my life. Love for others is much more powerful than we often give it credit. Jesus tried to teach us that and we are still trying to learn. We truly meet Christ in those who suffer.

Here are a couple of photos that we recently received with a community update about Haiti:

This photo is a woman who had a baby at the tent next to that of the Sisters.

We have 31 Daughters of Charity in Haiti (previous to the earthquake). One Sister died in the earthquake while attending a class. The Sisters are living in tents like the rest of the people and doing their best to serve in the midst of their own losses. There are teams of Daughters that have been sent and will be sent to Haiti to help. Most of the Sisters going are nurses. See the link below to read more details about the Daughters presently serving in Haiti.

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