A wife and mother of five boys, Estelia’s life has been marked by difficulty.
“My husband had to go to the Dominican Republic to work in bad conditions to support our family. I was always waiting for him to come back and help with the children because they were always sick. But when he came back with nothing, I had to sell the plates just to pay for the hospital bill,” Estelia recalled.
At the time, the children were in constant need of medical care, due to the terrible condition of their home.
“When it rained, we would go under the table and use the plastic tablecloth as a cover. We were always wet and the children would sleep in the mud. We would just cry. The children were always crying at night because they were afraid,” she said.
But life for the Michel family changed dramatically when Father Glenn Meaux of Kobonal Haiti Mission learned of their dire circumstances. With the help of Cross Catholic Outreach, Father Meaux was able to provide Estelia and her family with a brand-new, concrete house, education for her children, and a microloan that allowed her husband to generate a steady income at home.
“In our new house, we never see any light or rain coming through the walls. Now my children sleep well. This is a miracle,” Estelia said. “And the microloan has helped us start a new business. My husband and I make enough money to feed our children and pay for their hospital visits.”
But that’s not where their transformation ended. Inspired by the love of Christ, the Mission has also given Estelia a newfound dignity and spirit of generosity:
“My neighbor came to me one day and said, ‘I do not know if I can live. I am so hungry and I have no hope.’ So my husband and I were able to share food with him. He then asked, ‘Why do you share?’ And I answered, ‘When you give, it’s in the Bible. The measure you use for others, God will use for you.’ So I shared this hope with him.”
I couldn’t help but remember this conversation when I read Mark 12:29-31 this morning:
“…you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all you mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love you neighbor as yourself.”
Thank you to those who joined Cross Catholic Outreach to help their neighbors in rural Haiti! The Michel family is living proof that this act of love has created a ripple effect, which is impacting many poor families with the life-changing hope of Christ.