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Listening and Waiting, Knowing God’s Love even in Hard Times

A Letter from Cindy Corell, serving in Haiti

Fall 2021

Write to Cindy Corell

Individuals: Give online to E200482 for Cindy Corell’s sending and support

Congregations: Give to D507566 for Cindy Corell’s sending and support

Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery)

 


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Dear friends,

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

King James Version scriptures were a lot for a preschooler, but my mother started us early. My favorite word was “begotten”. I liked the way it felt on my tongue. It’s a good word. A strong word.

I had no idea what it meant.

But that first phrase? I knew without a doubt that God loved me. My mother told me so.

This scripture is coming to mind so often these days. So many dear friends in Haiti suffer these days, even more than ordinary. That’s saying something. The tiny island nation with big mountains is known for its suffering, for its hunger. When my friend Garry in his daily morning call tells me, “Peyi nou malad,” he is saying our country is sick.

Even as conditions continue to deteriorate in Haiti, our siblings in Haiti work and wait with great faith in God. Photo Credit: Cindy Corell

Gangs have taken over the capital city. They snatch people off the streets, from vehicles. They hold God’s children in horrible circumstances for outlandish ransoms.

It sounds like a movie, but as Haiti has so often taught me, truth is stranger than fiction.

Bonjou se paspòt ou. Good morning is your passport.

While I have struggled (finding something fresh to write about has not been easy) with all the ways our siblings in Haiti are suffering, I turn to them for inspiration. Each conversation – and there are many! – starts with a greeting. Sometimes a long greeting. Good day! How are you? How is your family? How are you friends? How’s your work going? And before farewell: Greet your family for me! Greet your friends (sometimes carefully naming all they know) for me! Have a good day/afternoon/night. Remember that Jesus is with you.

Greetings and extended goodbyes are part of this amazing culture. They breed connection. And the proverb above? It’s considered quite rude to begin a conversation without a proper greeting.

It’s no secret my heart has been heavy these past few months. I am afraid for my loved ones in Haiti. I grieve for way too many. I hurt for those who fear for others.

I continue waiting for the chance to go home, to enter the gate of the rented house there once again, to embrace my loved ones and care for our pets. To hold meetings on the wide front porch, hearing a vigorous soccer game out in the street and tasting cool fruit juice and Kreyòl meals.

As we approach the season of Advent, I realize how much better I understand this waiting for our Savior to come, to save us, to remind us that we belong to God.

For God so loved the world.

The other day, the daughter of a dear friend sent a voice mail. “Yes, Cindy, I pray that God will give us grace.”

At the age of 6, this child knows more about faith than I ever will. Her community is rocked by crime and roadblocks. She hears gunfire more often than the sound of her own laughter. But she too encourages me.

In remembering the ways my friends in Haiti keep going, praying and sleeping and waking and praying, I realize this: a heavy heart still is a heart. And God loves our heavy hearts.

I am so very grateful for all the ways that you, too, love the people of Haiti. You continue to support our ministries in Haiti, my sending there, even though we do not know when I will return.

Our garden project continues, even though it is difficult. You all continue to give so much.

We pray and wait for a day when life eases for the people of Haiti. Until that time, I choose to live as my friends there do – as if tomorrow holds promise. And knowing without doubt that God so loves us all. It is in this knowledge I find the strength to continue listening and waiting.

If you so choose, we still are collecting funds for our community garden program. Details are below.

To help fund Yard Gardens in Haiti, please use this link to give online: presbyterianmission.org/donate/h000014/. When giving online, write “FONDAMA gardens” in the box that states: “Comments/Instructions/Name of local congregation.”

If you prefer to send in a check, please write “FONDAMA gardens” in the memo line and mail it to:
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700
I wish you all a joyous Season of Advent and a Merry Christmas!

Cindy

Please read the following letter from Sara P. Lisherness, the interim director of World Mission:

Dear partners in God’s mission,

I don’t know about you, but daily my heart grows heavier. News about the pandemic, wars, wildfires, gun violence, racism, earthquakes and hurricanes cloud my vision. It’s hard to see hope; our world is in a fog. Yet we trust that God’s light and love transcend the brokenness of this time.

God is at work transforming the world, and you, through your prayers, partnership and encouragement, are helping us share this good news. Thank you for your faithful and gracious support of our mission personnel.

How can we see through the fog? What will the church be after the pandemic? Could it be that God is doing “a new thing” and is inviting us to perceive it? Through all the uncertainty we know that God’s steadfast love and care for all creation will prevail and that God’s Spirit is at work in each of us.

We all have an integral part to play in fulfilling God’s mission. As we seek to grow together in faithfulness there are three important steps I invite you to take in supporting our shared commitments to God’s mission:
Give – Consider making a year-end financial contribution for the sending and support of our mission personnel. Your support helps mission personnel accompany global partners as together they share the light of God’s love and justice around the world. Invite your session to include support for mission personnel in its annual budget planning.
Act – Visit The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study to delve deeper into the work God is doing through the PC(USA) and its partners in ministry around the globe: pcusa.org/missionyearbook.
Pray – Include our mission personnel, our global partners, and our common commitments to share God’s grace, love, mercy and justice in your daily prayers.

Thank you for your faithfulness to God’s mission through the Presbyterian Church. It is my prayer that you will continue to support this work with your prayers, partnership, and financial gifts in the coming year. We hope you will join us and our partners in shining a beacon of hope throughout the world.

In the light of hope,

 

 

Sara P. Lisherness, Interim Director
World Mission
Presbyterian Mission Agency
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

To give please visit https://bit.ly/PCUSAmission

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16


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