From a member of the March 2015 mission. “I got so much out of this trip…more then I could have ever dreamed! These people do have a way of getting into your heart. Wonderful work is being done over there by a great group of folks. I am humbled to be a small part of making a difference in their lives! I enjoyed sharing this experience with everyone…we had a great group…family included!!-:) I’LL BE BACK…..”
HERE ARE A FEW TESTIMONIES FROM THE CANADA TEAM TRIP March 2014
Alyssa Cronin 17: “My favorite part of this week, it was really cool to just be immersed in this culture for a week. You really learn about how other people live. We’re so privileged and we don’t even realize it. This morning when we hiked up the mountain we saw people who were walking down to their school and we realized they do that every day, because we got so tired walking to the top. It’s a big hike and they have to do that every day. It was really cool to see the water sources and the water wells; we don’t have that in Canada. It was really interesting. (In the Churches) I really liked the praise and worship, their hymns and their singing was really different. We don’t sing like that (in Canada) at all. And all the people are so passionate while they were singing. It was very inspiring for me.
The very first night when we were asked to pray over the people I was kind of like uncomfortable and like unsure, but by the end I totally loved it. And it was, I guess, good for me. I don’t know, I don’t have words for it, but it was really great. I really liked going to all the places in Jeremie and going to the prison and handing out food there and going to the orphanage and holding the kids and seeing them and also distributing the bags to the people. It was really a lot of fun and when we distributed the bags, seeing the look on people’s faces and how grateful they were, that was awesome too and you guys were all awesome this week and I had a fantastic time.”
Jacob 18: “Overall actually I had a fantastic week from seeing little kids smiles come onto their faces, and singing in the church, and also laying hands on people and watching them. I never done that before, that was a really great experience I thought. I truly felt that God was working through me to get to those people. It was great meeting all of the team. I had a blast in the week and the food was great. Coming on the trip I didn’t think of it too much as a vacation, but as the week went on I truly felt blessed by God. It was one of my favorite vacations ever because knowing I’ve done some great things for others. A very meaningful trip.”
Kyle Cronin 15: “On the plane I had mixed thoughts, like was I insured, and riding in the Jeep I was a little bit scared. Throughout the week it got a lot better and I loved it. I fell in love with the place. I just love going to church every day and I really liked the praise and worship and just the singing of everyone, it was so loud and had a lot of power behind it. The place is beautiful too and I like to explore. That’s just one of my things, yeah that’s it.”
Luke 16: “My favorite parts were praise and worship, Gerardo playing the guitar. I really like that and seeing all the people happy and even that they were very friendly, I liked that. I also liked going to the beach the first time, it was pretty sweet. The food was great. I almost got rammed in the butt by a cow. And I also had fun with you guys.
Scott 18 the older twin: “I really came this week a bit sour because originally we were supposed to go on vacation to down south. I was a bit sour with that and then I said what ever. I didn’t really get into vacation mood until Friday morning because I had grades and I was stressed with getting all of that done.
“I honestly thought we were going to be in a tent shack thing and we would be borderline starving for the whole week, but it turns out that it was nothing at all like that so I felt really blessed because the whole week shows you what you take for granted, just like brushing our teeth and that we have running water and stuff like that. For them it’s a big deal. They have to go and pump every bit of water that they want to use every day. That makes you aware of how much water you actually use.
I actually loved everything this week, like going to the beach with the little Haitian kids and them looking up to you and grabbing your hand. Also praying over people I thought was really cool too, I’ve never done that. And that is something that I got more comfortable with as time went on. The scenery here is amazing. The food was absolutely amazing. The top of my vacation was when we were at one of the houses. I saw this old man and he just looked kind of down. I saw that he was wearing two different shoes so I said to myself, “this is the guy I am going to give my shoes to. So I just gave them to him and to just see his face that just touched me, I love that. You know it’s like something that I would’ve like just thrown away a few months ago, but to see the joy in his face after he got the pair of shoes. He was like following us. He came to our vehicle to thank me again afterwards, and it was really powerful, it was unbelievable.”
Tyler 16: “Some of my favorite parts of this week was going to the beach. I liked the praise and worship, that was awesome. And I liked praying over people and distributing the food, it was a really great experience.
Liam 11: “The best part of the week was blessing people in church and I liked going to the beach. I really liked how we went to church almost every day and yeah that’s all.
Amy - Mother of 6 children: “This was my first mission trip and it’s something I remember hearing about in high school, but was nothing that I ever had the opportunity or time to do it. In our family we were never exposed to all the things our kids have the opportunity to do. So this week I kind of lived through them I think, just watching them experience all these firsts, but doing it in such a profound way. The children set an example for all of the adults I think on this trip. From the beginning of our trip to the end all of the kids have been fantastic, and the way that you got along and the way that you just glorified the Lord. The way that you just jumped right into praying over people and that’s a difficult thing to do for the first time, that takes a lot of courage and all of you excelled at that. You should be really proud of what you’ve done now for the people that are here, but also for yourself and what you will be able to do when you go back home in your own communities. So for me that was the most exciting thing.
About Sam Even the youngest: “ I was a little bit apprehensive about bringing my six-year-old to Haiti. I thought I was just crazy and I have to admit I had a few sleepless nights. I didn’t know where I was going to be, and the day before we left he said, mommy I don’t want to go to Haiti. And I said oh honey why don’t you want to go to Haiti? And he said I have three reasons, one I don’t know where I’m going to sleep. And I said honey you can sleep close to me. Two, I do not know how to play with those kids because they do not speak the same language. And I said well Sam the soccer ball is a universal language and we’re bringing along a whole bunch of balls with us so we got that covered. And number three mommy I just really like my home. And I said well now you going to get to see were other people live and what their homes are like.
As soon as we set out I knew it was the right thing to do for our whole family. And being this is my first mission trip I learned a lot about the culture, but beyond that I’ve learned from these people and that they love their children the way that we love our children and they love God I think sometimes better than we love God, and they sing with such glory that it was inspiring. When they would start singing thank you Jesus or Merci Jesu it was just this heart filled love, and I thought we could really learn from that.
Emma 8: “I loved how we went to the beach and how we went to praise and worship and healed others.
Natalie7: I loved telling jokes with crazy Lloyd and going to the beach and going to praise and worship. That’s kind and nice because we really don’t go to church very often. (Huge laughter) I mean not like really every day, but also walking and being here with you guys.
Noah 13: “We all had a great week Eh? I liked all the nights that we went to church, doing the bags for the distribution, that was kind of neat and I liked going to visit the school and to visit the orphanage and the churches I thought that was pretty nice. This is probably one of the best weeks I ever had.
Barb Runstedler - mom of 7: “This is my first mission trip. Initially I wanted to bring our children on this mission trip, but thought it was going to be something different than what it turned out to be, something way better than I thought, knowing that God brought our family here in his time. We’ve talked to Lloyd and Nancy about a mission trip for a long time and God truly ordained the timing. And seeing how our children and the Cronin children totally responded to God and let the Holy Spirit lead them to minister to people of all ages blows my mind. The kids were just vessels of the Holy Spirit. I see some vocations born here. I cannot sum up all of the encounters with Christ. I personally feel like I encountered Christ every day through the children of the orphanage and the people that came to get their packages.
The first time Deacon Lloyd went to Haiti he went with the Health and Education for Haiti group from St. Francis of Assisi parish in Rockville, Md.· The director of that group, Pat Labuda, was very helpful in explaining the situation in Haiti, sharing her experiences and encouraging Deacon Lloyd to begin working in Our Lady of the Assumption parish in Numero Deux.· The tremendous impact her mission had on the community of Leon was a major part of the inspiration Lloyd and Faie drew on as they began what is now Haiti Mission, Inc.
Charles Rene, M.D.
- Friend of HMI
A number of years after HMI had been in existence, Deacon Lloyd and his wife, Faie, met Dr. Charles Rene and his wife at the tenth anniversary celebration of the founding of the Haitian Catholic Community in New Orleans. After a lovely evening, they continued corresponding regarding the work in which each other was involved. The January 12th, 2010 earthquake brought them together in the common goal of trying to remedy as best could be done an incredibly horrible situation. HMI and the contacts with pharmaceutical suppliers that Deacon Lloyd had because of his pharmacy experience were able to secure and donate substantial supplies that Dr. Rene and the Haitian Association for Human Developmentwere able to use for their medical mission. Dr. Rene resides in Laplace, Louisiana and often practices in Thibodaux making the logistics of HMI and AHDH working together on periodic projects very practical.
Matthew 25 House
- Friend of HMI
HMI missionaries have stayed in numerous motels, hotels and private homes in Port-au-Prince over the years on our way to Jeremie, Haiti but one day in 2007 we were blessed as we surfed the net to stumble across the Matthew 25 house at Delmas 33 in PAPi. Since finding this lovely transitional house developed by the Parish Twinning Program of America, HMI missionaries have never stayed anywhere else. What a blessing to arrive in PAP and be greeted by Sr. Mary Finnick and some of her associates such as Nancy Hibbard, Pat and Vivian and numerous other volunteers that make the often arduous journey to the mission field safe, secure and efficient. A nice home away from home with pleasant accommodations, good meals, cold beer and good advice. Nothing could be more valuable while doing mission work. Thank you Sr. Mary and PTPA!
January 2009 from Catheline B. Lamour
It was by accident that I found your website saved in my favorite folder on my home computer. I do not recall myself ever having saved that website in the past. However, I believe there is a reason for everything and this reason is my interest in what your mission is doing in Numero Deux and I would like to be part of it.
Having said so, I would like to present myself as Catheline B. Lamour. My family and some good friends from Jeremie know me as Betty Bourdeau. If you visited Jeremie before, it is possible that you have met my father or my sister since they are close friends to Fr. Joe.
I was born and raised in Jeremie, I left Haiti in 1988. I went to college in Canada and moved back to United States. I have been living in Tampa Bay, Riverview, for the past ten years. Currently, I am working as a Medical Educator for people living with HIV/AIDS and I am also working on my Bachelor of Science with a concentration on substance used.
The reason for writing this letter to you is only due to my passion for helping others. After surfing the mission's website, I decided to contact you so I can establish some type of correspondence not only to support this wonderful cause your mission is doing in my town and also to join my efforts to yours in order to give back to my country, particularly Jeremie and the village of Numero Deux.
I would love for you to call me or e-mail me back so I can establish my monthly donation to help with some of your projects and also to offer my service to your mission to profit the beautiful works that your mission is doing in collaboration with Fr. Joe. I am a strong supporter of what Fr. Joe is doing. I trust his works and I believe that God has placed him in this town to make a difference. And I know without the good work and all your support, he could not be doing this work. I was amazed to witness all these developments during my last visit in august 2008 after spending 15 years away since my last visit in 1993. All I can say is Thank You.
I am taking the opportunity to thank each and every one of the members of this mission on behalf of the population of Numero Deux and Jeremie as well.
Thank you again for everything you and your mission are doing to enhance the quality of life in Haiti.
Catheline B. Lamour
: Mrs. Dada and her husband (an elderly couple) in Ravine Sable: Se Bondye ki te voye-nou vizite-yo pou yo pat mouri ak grangou! Ya-p lapriyP Bondye pou nou.
(The English translation) "It is the Good God who sent you to visit this community that we would not starve to death. We are praying for you .!!
: Mr. Mathurin, the old blind man who sits daily at the door of his broken down hut: Bondye voye-nou vi-n pote lespwa ba li. Se pou Bondye beni-nou!
(The English translation) "God sends you to bring us hope. May God bless you!!"
: The schools teachers in the schools sponsored by the St. Bridget Haiti Mission have made a joint statement:
"The people of St. Bridget Church in Schriever and the Haiti Mission have made and are still making a difference in the life of the children of the two schools: They now have more school supplies, are healthier since you started giving them worm pills and vitamins, they have new and good shoes to come to school or to go to church and this year especially they have real soccer balls to play with even if they do not have a soccer field!
Also we want to express our gratitude to you all because thanks to you, we have now a little monthly salary."
Signed - The teachers of St. Bridget School in Ravine Sable and Numero Deux.
The IMPACT OF THE HAITI MISSION FROM ST BRIDGET PARISH in Schriever on the Parish of Our Lady of the Assumption in Numero â€“ Deux (Jeremie-Haiti):
I believe that to answer this question, one must have known the Parish before the last (six) 6 years. Since I miraculously met Mr Lloyd Duplantis, this good angel of God, a strong catholic Christian and humanitarian through my longtime friend Mrs Pat Labuda, the Parish community life has been improved in many ways such as: Education, health care and action for economic development (Sugar cane mill, drilling project, Poucherie (in French "Porcherie" to raise pigs) etc.
Just to give a little detail about the three big ways mentioned above. Firstly, I would like to recall that with the help of Haiti Mission (St Bridget parish), we are able to provide education to more than 500 children in the parish of Numero Deux. My one time constant headache of paying monthly salary to teachers is now almost totally passed. Secondly, a little clinic to provide health care to more than 2000 people is now running more efficiently with a nurse and an assistant nurse. Thirdly, the longtime deceased or "defunctus" sugar cane mill is now risen for the revitalization of the economic growth of this already poor community of No.2. A drilling project is now on its way for good and since last February, we have been granted a very nice "Porcherie" with 10 pigs.
I could simply but frankly summarize all the action of the Haiti Mission of St Bridget Parish in one short but tremendous word: "Solidarity". Once again guys, "one thousand thanks plus one", on behalf of your beloved brothers and sisters of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish of Numero-Deux.