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Letter from a Haitian Prison

by Fr. GERARD JEAN-JUSTE

Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

It is not easy for me to communicate to you through the media. It is forbidden by my jailers. That order comes from the Big Boss, the invisible one in Haiti.

With heart broken I have followed most of the big events in Haiti. Year 2005 has been very rough in Haiti. Tragedy after tragedy. As we have survived it, I remain grateful to God for you and for me.

With the grace of God, I hope that you and I and all men and women of good will are doing our best to drastically improve life in Haiti.

My health is quitting me. Some physicians say that a type of cancer called leukemia is attacking my cells. Death may come soon if I do not receive treatment. Supporters from Haiti and around the world are keeping the pressure on. Others are calling to the living God with tears in their eyes. Unfortunately, some people think I am faking. They wish my death.

Whatever position someone may take does not matter to me. Doing God’s will has been my motto. On February 7, 2006, I will reach the age of 60 years. I think I was very lucky in this life. Most of my compatriots died between 45 and 55 years. I am already an exception.

If I can, I would like to take the opportunity to raise the death issue before I depart from earth. Each one of us has to go. Unfortunately I will leave more work for you. However, I believe God always arises new workers for his vineyard. Plus, from above, I’ll be so busy meeting God’s family members who enter heaven, so do not worry about me.

As I am writing this communiqué, some people, friends of mine, enter the jail crying, with tears flowing down their cheeks. That makes me uncomfortable, but what can I do to stop it?

Death in the risen Christ is not the end of life. It is a passage, a necessary one from earth to heaven. I am looking forward to discover, thanks to Jesus, the glorious heavenly life. So many ancestors, friends, relatives, parents, martyrs, militants, justice and freedom lovers to greet.

Do not worry for me, as Jesus once told us worry on yourselves. Worry on yourselves. You have work to do. You do not have the means yet, or the means may be hidden. Please listen to God, enjoy putting his gospel into your lives and with him God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, you will build a better world.

Open your intelligence, open your hearts and minds and be creative to exploit the wealth in our own world, to make a better living for each other. Yes, you can. Yes, we can. Let love triumph, let its fruits be shared and happy days for all.

Finally, let me tell you as a Christian I believe in miracles. Miracles individually and collectively. Nothing is impossible for God. God may directly touch me and I may live a few more years with you. He may work marvelously through physicians and make miracles take place.

Be in peace! Do your best. Let the will of God be done.

Gerard Jean-Juste has been imprisoned since July, 2005.

 

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