January 13, 2010


    Thanks to all who have been asking about Fr. Tijwa and our many friends in Haiti.  We appreciate your concern, your love, and your prayers for the people of Haiti.
    Fr. Tijwa called us tonight on Skype.  He is fine.  It was a tremendous relief to finally hear his voice.  We had tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to reach him since we first heard the terrible news yesterday.  His phone is still not working, but he was able to use his internet connection to reach us.
    Fr. Tijwa says that there has been some damage in the north of Haiti, but it is minor relative to the devastation in Port-au-Prince.  While he and all Haitians are overwhelmed by the destruction and loss of life, Fr. Tijwa was especially saddened by the death of his classmate, the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince.  Since the phones are not working, he does not know about the many others he knows in Port-au-Prince, including several of our students. 
     Some of us have stayed at Matthew 25 House, a guest house for Americans in Port-au-Prince.  We are glad to hear that everyone there is fine, although the building suffered some damage.  They have used up all their medical supplies providing assistance and food to people in their area.
    The news and television coverage make it clear that the people of Haiti once again face massive tasks. These tasks include rescuing the survivors, providing medical care and basic necessities to hundreds of thousands of people, burying the dead, and then the longer term challenges of cleaning up and rebuilding their lives.  And except for their own hearts and hands, Haitians have very little to work with.
    I asked Fr. Tijwa what we can do.  He was not sure what to say since it is difficult for him to get much news.  He said that perhaps tomorrow he would know more.  But he was also grateful when I suggested that we could collect money for him to distribute to those who are in desperate need. 
    There are many ways to help, so please do that through your parish or any aid organization you'd like to support.  Please keep the people of Haiti in your prayers throughout this recovery process.  If you would like to provide assistance to earthquake victims through Fr. Tijwa, please send your tax-deductible donation to "St. Joseph Worker Foundation", 158 Boxwood Drive, Franklin, TN 37069.  A report of how this money is used will be sent to those who contribute. 
    Thank you once again for your concern for us and the people of Haiti.  We will provide more information about our students and friends there as it becomes available.

United in spirit and prayer with the people of Haiti,
Dick & Jane Wildeman

For more information about Haiti and the quake, please visit Wikipedia. 


St Joseph the Worker