The Rev. Paula Stecker has been an ELCA missionary working with the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Haiti office in communications and ecumenical relationships. To support any of the ELCA’s nearly 225 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.
It’s summer in Haiti. It’s hot. The streets are a bit less congested as expatriates and nationals flee the heat for vacations farther north. Schools are closing and children are visiting grandparents in the mountains rather than being idle on sizzling Port au Prince streets. Carl and I have also left this beautiful island and started the transition to the next chapter of this journey.
Work continues, however, at the Lutheran World Federation-Haiti. There was an outbreak of cholera in Grand’Anse Department, in the zone of our long-term development. Out of the first 30 cases at Mouline, 10 died. Our partner, Fondation Nouvelle Grand ‘Anse (FNGA), was alerted and our office sent reinforcement to help contain the outbreak.
The greatest progress has been made in equipping our partners to have the knowledge, resources and skills to work increasingly independent of LWF supervision and financing.
I continue to wrestle with the Lord for a blessing for the parish of St. James. I know this is the Lord’s work and not mine. I know that God’s perspective on the seasons and the times is far superior to mine, but I leave feeling like Phillip, Acts 8, snatched from the side of the road where the Ethiopian has just been baptized and wondering … now who is going to the post-baptismal teaching?
They are pushing one another to grow in faith and they will need a leader to match their pace and continue equipping them for ministry that I can only imagine, but for which I already praise God. Pray with me for this leader. Like Phillip, I must trust, that the part I was to play has been fulfilled and I will find myself in Azotus for a purpose.
Carl and I came to offer reinforcement during the post-earthquake recovery and the roles we have played are being reintegrated into the routine functions of the staff at Catholic Relief Services (Carl) and Lutheran World Federation (Paula). And that is a good thing! The work of sustainable development will continue and the percentage of the work being directed by Haitians increases. We returned to the U.S. mid-July, are taking vacation and then will move to Chicago. Why Chicago? Because Carl will once again be working for the ELCA’s Global Mission, based at the Lutheran Center. See, wives can have a good influence on their husbands. I am seeking a call in that area.
Thank you for your accompaniment as we made this Haitian journey. You have been a blessing to us. Many of you we have not yet met face to face but have been glad of the grace of mutual conversation and consolation.
Peace and blessings, Paula and Carl Stecker