Fr. Rick is turning 65!!

As you've probably seen, the last few weeks in Port-au-Prince have been turbulent and trying. As usual, Father Rick and the team have been fighting through impossible obstacles and stretching to help as many possible.

In this trying and stressful moment, some birthday wishes and support sure would help!

If you're interested and able, you can wish Father Rick a Happy Birthday in a few ways:

First, donate! Click here and make your gift, make sure to write your message to Father Rick in the dedication section.

Second, send a physical card to our address in Miami (address found here!) and we'll make sure to get them to Father Rick!

When asked about this campaign, Father Rick was glad for the idea and grateful for the support of his friends and family, as always. He shared these words,

"I think that in this day and age, 65 is still rather young, and I certainly hope I have another 20 working years ahead of me. I also hope to spend them in Haiti, supporting the leaders of NPFS and St. Luke programs as much as I can, and continuing my own work in the margins of society,  as a priest and a doctor.

As you know, the social and political stresses in Haiti have recently led to riots and burning barricades for two full days, all over Port au Prince and beyond. While everyone else I know followed the instruction to 'shelter in place', we were obliged, as usual, to make our way through the blazing barricades, to rescue sick or injured people, to bring our doctors and nurses to and from work at change of shift, and ask small stores to open just for us so we could get large supplies of food (since we need to feed all our patients, families and workers stranded by the violence).

Over the years, I have lived through so many events like this, that I know without a doubt what the gates of hell look like. 

But I also know what the gates of heaven look like, and you and I are proudly and fanatically on that team!

I remember when my grandfather turned 65 in 1963. I was ten years old, and thought he was as old as Moses. I could never picture him doing what I was doing this past week, at his 65, with his suspenders and checkered shirt. 

Let's all of us make the best of the fact that what was old years ago is still young today. 

Let's age not by numbers, but by our natural body time, and stay vigorously involved in life for as long as we can! 

We have had more challenges recently as well, for example, the closing of an important international organization that used to received trauma, gunshot and accident victims in Haiti, as well as high risk pregnancy. Many of these victims now come to us, unscheduled and unfortunate.

This situation has given us a funding and training challenge, and we have to act with a very fast learning curve. Helping to fund this new dimension of our work would enable us to offer immediate relief to these people, who so urgently need important care (most are life saving surgeries). Funding would also help us to train our staff and equip our hospitals, to be able to regularly attend to victims of trauma into the future.

A second funding challenge is this: thanks to a number of serious partnerships in education, we have been able to elevate about one-third of our 18 schools to very serious levels of education. It would be great if donations to our education fund become large enough so that we can do this for the rest of our schools, which remain limited to being basic schools because of limited budgets."

Fr Rick has 30+ years of hard work in Haiti, with a proven track record in training Haitian leaders to set up and manage the many vibrant programs of NPFS and the St. Luke Foundation. Fr. Rick is also 39 years a priest, 35 years as a foreign missionary (having worked also in Mexico and Honduras), and will soon be 65 years old.

It will be a great birthday gift for him, to find support for these noble causes!