Dear La Gonâve Haiti Partners,
As we begin a New Year of mission and service on behalf of our friends and colleagues on la Gonâve island, I want to start by saying “Thank you.”
Thank you for your continued commitment to our Haitian brothers and sisters through your prayers and your gifts of time, energy, and financial resources. These have been considerable over the past year and critical to the livelihood of the communities on la Gonâve.
The images we see of violence, hunger, poverty, and despair in Haiti today can easily lead us to feel hopeless and that life will never improve for our Haitian friends. It can make us question how the efforts of our Partnership can live up to our organization’s vision: a future where everyone on la Gonâve experiences thriving, abundant life.
On my visits to la Gonâve, I saw poverty and hunger. I saw despair. They are both real and gut wrenching. But, alongside these images, I also saw kindness, generosity, and joy.
Howard Thurman, a great African American preacher and scholar, wrote to his student Martin Luther King, Jr. that the greatest test of life is how much pain one can absorb and still feel joy in life. Despite the great difficulties in the lives of our Haitian friends, it is the laughter and joy that I remember the most when I return home from Haiti.
While the political unrest on the mainland continues, there is no such unrest on la Gonâve island. We successfully wire funds every month that ensure our programs continue without disruption. The New Year offers us new opportunities to tackle injustice and inequality in partnership with our Haitian neighbors. It also offers us new opportunities to experience joy—not isolated from the pain and despair—but recognized as a testament to the strength of people burdened by hardships, but fortified with faith and hope in a different future.
I’m looking forward to all that we can accomplish together in this New Year. I’m looking forward to the experiences we will share together with our Haitian brothers and sisters as we work towards a new future for us all.
I hope you have begun your New Year in celebration of opportunities that lie ahead.
Thanks be to God,
Chair, Board of Directors