A partnership between churches in Buteau, Haiti, and Washington, D.C., is bringing this weeks earthquake closer to home. Now that one church has been destroyed, the other is asking D.C.s community for help.
St. Patricks Episcopal Church has sponsored St. Etienne Buteau Church and School for nearly three decades, by paying teachers salaries, funding construction projects and giving students hot lunches - which, as St. Patrick's interim rector, Father John Lawrence, says, could be their only meals of the day.
"Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with the lowest standard of living in the Americas," Lawrence says. "And their life is delicate at the very best, and now its the very worst."
Tuesdays quake leveled St. Etienne Buteaus church, rectory and school. Lawrence says St. Patricks hopes to hear more from its Haitian partner soon.
"Theres a real sense of commonality between St. Patricks and the people of Haiti," he says, "the sense of support for education, wanting to help people grow to their greatest capacity. So this is just devastating to us."
Lawrence is inviting people to contribute to St. Patricks Haiti Fund. He says all funds will be channeled to St. Etienne Buteau.