Haiti Pilgrimage 2016: Continuing the journey

A reflection from the Rev. Davidson Bidwell-Waite

We set out for Haiti as inquirers, seeking an understanding of the culture and history of our brothers and sisters in this largest, poorest, and fastest-growing diocese of the Episcopal Church. We are seeking opportunities to build relationships between individuals and organizations, and to connect our efforts with those of the ECA Development Office in New York and the many parishes throughout our diocese who are providing or funding services in the Diocese of Haiti.

As ambassadors for a growing DioCal-DioHaiti relationship, we will be sharing our experiences and insights, and seeking to engage churches with ministries in Haiti in a larger conversation about developing sustainability and addressing poverty, malnutrition and climate change impacts in a larger context and in closer cooperation with the Diocese of Haiti.

We carried dresses and boys’ shorts to St. Vincent’s school for disabled children and to villagers in the north of Haiti, and we hope to connect our sewing circles with sewing enterprises there so we can be more focused in meeting their needs (such as sewing school uniforms or sending sewing supplies) and perhaps open up export opportunities to the Bay Area.

We hope other groups will follow us to plant vitamin-rich moringa trees at St. Barnabas agriculture school, learn about their organic farming practices, share our innovations in agriculture and irrigation, and connect with organizations that might sponsor exchange students. We will continue to sell greeting cards at Christmas and Easter to fund scholarships at St. Barnabas and to invite more churches to participate.

A new initiative is being launched to create a continuing touring program for the Sainte Trinite music school’s chamber ensemble, choir, and blind bell-ringers at the cathedral in Port au Prince. 

Our relationship with the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Haiti and the school’s dean, the Rev. Dr. Pierre Simpson Gabaud, will also continue: Bishop Marc and the Rev. Joe Duggan will return to teach some time in the next year.

Individuals and churches interested in participating are encouraged to contact Deacon Missioner to Haiti, the Rev. Davidson Bidwell-Waite at 415.309.3253 or davdisonbidwell@comcast.net.