On the day of the monthly food distribution at the Haiti Kobonal Mission, you’ll likely see Hermance St. Preux riding up on his donkey. This good-natured 80-something man can’t walk very far on his own—he lost a leg and relies on crutches or his donkey—but he says there are two things he never misses: Mass and food day at the Haiti Kobonal Mission.
Both places, church and the mission, are three kilometers from his house. Speaking of his house, Hermance says he was blessed to receive a new home from the mission last fall. Before he moved in with one of his sons and two grandchildren, he waited for Father Glenn Meaux, founder of the Haiti Kobonal Mission, to bless it, and it’s been a wonderful experience ever since. Like anyone Hermance’s age, he says he loves his new home because he can sit on the porch and take in the view, and watch the people come and go on the road to town.
Hermance also takes part in the elderly and destitute feeding program Fr. Meaux runs at the mission. Cross Catholic provides funds for 318 elderly and/or destitute people to receive food staples like cornmeal, black beans, cooking oil, and soap once a month from the mission. With his disability, Hermance isn’t able to work, so the food he receives from Fr. Meaux really helps out. The food distribution day is like a social event for these elderly people—they visit, laugh, and sing. Everyone knows everyone, and it’s a time of happiness and hope.
“The way we are working, we have a lot of people and they respect each other—no pushing, no talking bad about each other,” says Philo-Jacques Bernard, the mission’s director. “You can see also in their face they still have hope.”
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