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giver and receiver for the promise of something more.We spent our days with members of St. Paul’s asthey worked in three ministries there— St Paul’s andSt. Marc’s Schools, St. Paul’s Clinic, and the Parish of St. Paul’s,itself the work of its outstation, St. Marc’s.Our goals were to learn, to work, to reflect and toevolve, all in the context of meeting and getting toknow companions in the Way in Haiti.With the guidance of the priest of St. Paul’s, Pere Jean Jacques Deravil, and Pere Yvan Francois, a priestlong active in education and development in Haiti, wedid just that.Father Jeff Ross, the rector of St. Peter’s,Lewes, and I prepared the group going from St. Peter’s,but we were finally shaped by the experience in place.Mission engagement is always a mixture of trans-action and transformation. Transactions take placeall the time— one person does something andreceives something. In missionary contexts thesetransactions over time build a sense of engagement
Clockwise from top left: Student musicians play at the cathedral in Port-au-Prince; musicians at St. Paul’s, Montrouis;raising the flag at St. Marc’s, Bois Blanc; baptismal font and along the street, St. Paul’s, Montrouis.
with the people of a community.But in transactionalmission,
forms the basis for the engagement.Transformational mission proceeds from a differentstarting point. Engagement comes not from offeringsome service, but from wanting to be with or for oth-ers. Transformation emphasizes being with people intheir lives, learning from that ways to further engage.Doing follows being.By the end of our week in Montrouis we had hadsubstantive and deep conversations with Haitians ineach of these parish ministries, as well as seminarswith religious leaders in the Episcopal Church and thewider religious community, and time in the Port-au-Prince area to witness recovery efforts and continuing problems.We returned with friendships started, ideas bub-bling, hopes for return, and with the promise that thePere Deravil ofMontrouis would come to Lewes in June.
THE LIVING CHURCH • March 11, 2012
Valerie Driscoll photoSheila Bravo photoKathryn Harris photo