Human Trafficking

July 18, 2016

Time sure has flown by. Life in the U.S. moves so fast, island time is so much slower. It is an adjustment for us each time we come home. This time we came home with no means to support ourselves, but God provided us with work.

First Bob worked for the Parish Twinning Program’s sea container program and I helped as a volunteer. We packed things for our twin parish with the help of friends from Michigan and the Dowelltown Methodist church.

Then, just as we finished the shipping container, Bob was hired to work at CMI, a religious retreat center located close to us. The center is owned and operated by the Carmelite order. Along with restoration work and maintenance work, Bob and I also catered a three day zonal meeting for 26 Carmelite priest held last week. During one of the sessions Bishop David Choby was present and we had the opportunity to share with him about our “day job”. (Haiti)

We have hosted numerous out of town guests this summer, with more visitors planned. These are collaborators with our project and the visits help us to formulate plans for our future work. Of course, we are also having a wonderful time with our fifteen grandchildren that we miss so much when we are in Haiti.

In June we took a trip north to Michigan and Wisconsin to fund raise and attend our National Salvatorian Assembly. During this trip we had the opportunity to sell Haitian arts and crafts and along with individual donations, enough money was raised for us to return to Haiti this fall.

While at the National Assembly I met with several of our Salvatorian Sisters to discuss their work to end Human Trafficking. Sr. Sheila Novak, along with several other Salvatorians, have been working in this area for many years.

She explained Haiti is a country that is hard hit by the traffickers because of the poverty. There is also a problem in Haiti where traffickers go to the country and convince parents to give them their children, promising the children a better life in the cities. The reality is the children are used as slaves. I was able to gain a better understanding of the problem and how people are lured in.

Sr.Sheila sent us a wonderful poster to help educate people on human trafficking. Because of the illiteracy problem in Haiti we decided the poster could also be acted out as a skit. We will contact a Haitian friend in Florida to help to translate the poster into Creole and to get more information about how the parents in Haiti are convinced to allow their children to be taken. Bob and I are both convinced that education is the key to helping the Haitian people to help themselves.

I am sorry that we have not written more since leaving Haiti and hope this fills in the blanks. We have more traveling this summer so we hope to see some of you.

God Bless Denise

P.S. I have also been working on our summer mailing. It will include our summer newsletter and the student pictures for our sponsors. This is a big job but I have almost finished it. It will be in the mail soon.