Wilfred lived at the top of a steep hill in the Haitian village of Lespinasse. His shack was made of sticks and mud and smelled of disease and neglect. Diabetes had rendered Wilfred blind, sick, helpless and difficult to look at.
“My spirit was deeply troubled when I first met Wilfred,” remembers Heidi Hatch, Field Liaison with Food for the Hungry (FH) in Phoenix, Ariz. “It bothered me that he was so needy and alone. Just a mile away was a church named Bon Samaritan, which means ‘The Good Samaritan’ in English.
Bon Samaritan is part of a Community to Community partnership with The Grove church in Chandler, Ariz. The Grove is helping FH enable Bon Samaritan to reach out to people in their own community. Through the relationship with The Grove, an additional partnership emerged with Mission of Hope. Mission of Hope will provide oversight for the reconstruction of the church building destroyed by the earthquake in 2010.
Together, The Grove Church and Heidi, asked Bon Samaritan to help Wilfred, and they began bringing him food (when they could afford it) and picking him up for church every Sunday. The Grove has provided medical attention and basic medication to provide Wilfred with the physical care he needs.
Heidi was anxious to hike up the hill to Wilfred’s shack when she returned to Lespinasse a few months later. Her spirit leaped for joy when she saw that his mud-and-sticks shack had been replaced with a small brick house that sported a shiny tin roof and cement floor. His home had been rebuilt by a local church partner in Port-au-Prince, who had learned of Wilfred’s condition through FH staff in Haiti.
“I asked Wilfred how he liked going to church,” smiled Heidi. “His face lit up. He said, ‘I like it very much.’ Then he asked for a Creole Bible, which I hope to provide.”
Wilfred’s condition is still critical. But, thanks to faithful FH donors and partners, his extreme poverty no longer makes him alone and hopeless.
“That’s the way partnerships are supposed to work,” said Heidi. “We may not be able to physically save Wilfred because of his disease. But we can work with our partners to make him more comfortable and give him hope for eternity.”