Haiti Mission is now under the GOC

I have no forwarding url for the Haiti Mission at this time.  ~ Joanna

May 5, 2017
Human translation:
Bishop of Sao Paulo and
South America
Orthodox Church

No. 12/17
23 April/5 May 2017
Day of the Holy Spirit

To His Eminence
The Most Reverend Metropolitan Demetrius


By this present [edict], the administration of the parishes in the state of Tennessee and also in the Mission on the island of Haiti, formerly under the rectorship of the reposed Protopriest Gregory Williams, is granted to His Eminence, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Demetrius.

+ Gregory
Bishop of Sao Paulo and South America
(Temporarily administering the North American and Canadian Dioceses)

An idea for the future of the Haiti Mission

30 August 2017

To all who love and support our Haiti Mission:

Since Fr. Gregory's death, his Matushka has been trying to keep up with the needs of the Haiti Mission as best as she can.  Donations slowed to a trickle, so Matushka has been trying to  pick up the slack from her own resources, –– resources which were then and now both uncertain and inadequate.

When I arrived in Tennessee this past May, Matushka then expressed to me her belief that the Haiti Mission can not continue in ROCOR.  We had already been severely weakened by the schism of the MP-union, and now, without Fr. Gregory, (our giant), it is not possible for us to continue to provide for Haiti as usual.

There is no way we can continue to raise the amount of money that Fr. Gregory regularly provided to Haiti.  We managed to collect enough funds (thanks to you all!) to get pretty well caught up and to get this year's food shipment to the school.  But it took every ounce of energy we had, we can not maintain that level of urgency.  Our donors, too, have extended themselves and need time to recover.  We can't just keep having back-to-back emergency fundraisers.

My idea for a solution comes from my father of the flesh, himself a successful businessman:

"Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.  
Teach a man to fish, you feed him for life."

How about if we give the Haiti Mission start-up money for their own business?  Something that brings in money from outside of Haiti, such as from tourists or maybe an export. 

The school, St. Augustine's, already does generate some income.  But the income is from within Haiti (tuition).   I wonder what business we could reasonably afford, something the Haiti flock could run themselves –  not a million dollar hotel, but maybe we could afford a B&B..?  Or what about a taxi service?  

It might be a possibility for a representative from Haiti to be set up with a business in the USA, if business ventures are too risky to set up in Haiti.... 

I want to ask Rdr. Nicolai to think about how this might work.  He is probably too busy with the school to operate a business along with the school, but he has a good head for business.  I want to see what his thoughts are, but communication is difficult through the machine translations, and I'm afraid misunderstandings will occur.  We need a volunteer who speaks French.

First, I think we need a chief.  This project needs to be separate from the existing Haiti Mission Relief Program which juggles all the different ongoing needs (food, salaries, supplies, repairs, construction, etc.).  

Please everyone, think about this, and please share your (positive) ideas, suggestions, and nominations for a chairman.


Ongoing expenses

29 August 2017
When Fr. Gregory died, the Haiti Mission lost not only its director, but a dependable provider.  When donations were not forthcoming, Fr. Gregory always filled the need at the time and worried about paying for it later.  An example is when repairs to the school mount up.  Rdr. Nicholai sent me these photos:

While we were raising money to transport the food donation from Feed My Starving Children, other needs were piling up.  Ongoing repair costs at the school.  Rdr. Nicholai sent photos:

Thank you everyone!

Our first fundraising campaign was a success.  We have enough money to ship the food donation from Feed My Starving Children and some to put towards the food distribution and preparation.

More than 1/3 of the donations came from overseas.  The largest donation was raised by Bishop Gregory in Sao Paulo.

We are glad to have some new donors added to the emailing list  from the GOC.  

Fundraising Campaign

Goal $15,000
raised so far:

July 21 – Aug 29

The poorest of the poor.  The most good an alms dollar can do.

For more information visit the old website:

Donations go through PayPal (2.9%) then directly into the Haiti Mission bank account set up by Fr. Gregory and still used by his widow, Matushka Anastasia, to transfer money to Haiti via the same route Fr. Gregory set up with Fr. Ambroise in Jacmel.

to donate by mail:
Haiti Orthodox Mission
1180 Orthodox Way
Liberty TN 37095

This campaign was created with the blessing of Metropolitan Demetrius of America.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy"

The Haitian Orthodox Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia provides money and relief to citizens of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Money is used to support education through learning materials (books, computers), teacher salaries, and construction work in the Mission's two schools, the School of St. Augustine and the School of St. Nicholas, and in two parishes, the Parish of St. Augustine in Jacmel and the Chapel of St. Dorothy of Kashin in Port-au-Prince (both parishes are served by a single priest, Fr. Amboise). Money is also used to provide scholarships to students in schools not run by the mission, to provide transportation that supports the mission's purposes, and for necessary liturgical materials in the misson's parishes. Donations are also collected to transport food that has been donated to feed the mission school's students throughout the year (for many of them, their only full meal each day). The costs of this transport alone is near $6,000. Donations are also used to pay the teachers in the mission's schools, and they are especially in need of this now as teachers are behind on their payment due to a lack of donations since Fr. Gregory's repose. Making a contribution ensures serious consolation to many in Haiti, and the growth and renewal of our Holy, Orthodox Faith among those suffering there. May God reward you for your help towards our brothers and sisters in Haiti and towards our holy, suffering Orthodox faith.

The campaign is organized by Joanna Higginbotham in Tennessee , at Fr. Gregory's parish of the Annunciation with help from Seraphim in New Jersey. Money will be collected by Joanna who, together with Fr. Gregory's widow, Matushka Anastasia Williams, will send the money directly to Fr. Amboise in Haiti via secure bank transfer. Fr. Amboise allocates the money to the various sources listed above, which will vary slightly as the circumstances of the mission change over time. Due to conditions of the mission in Haiti, it isn't possible at the moment to send funds directly there. We hope that this will be possible in the future. 
This mission was organized and provided for both spiritually and materially by Fr. Gregory Williams before his repose, and since then it has been much harder to collect a suitable amount of funding for the mission. Although there is always need in Haiti, for those who benefit from the mission this is especially so now.