Thursday, March 18, 2010

10 minutes with … Jean Zache Duracin

From Religious News Service-

It’s been more than two months since a 7.0 earthquake demolished Haiti’s capital. The rubble’s been pushed aside to make room for roadways, but that’s about the extent of the clean up.

Destruction surrounds Episcopal Bishop Jean Zache Duracin. His wife is being treated for injuries in the U.S., the rectory he called home is a pile of shattered bricks, and his car and office are buried beneath the rubble.

Yet Duracin remains buoyant, and says members of the Haiti diocese—the Episcopal Church’s largest—remain faithful.

Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Q. Where were you when the earthquake struck?

A. I was in my house. I can tell you that it was a miracle of God that I was saved and so I can talk today. I was in my car, in the garage, listening to the news, and then someone came to my house. I left the car and went to greet him. Some minutes after that, the earthquake came and even now, we cannot see the car. It’s a miracle, God’s miracle.

Q. People here seem to be resilient and hopeful. How do you sustain that hope?

A. Usually Haitian people are people of hope. They hope for a better future. The church has lost everything that it has; all the buildings are down. In all this, at the site of churches, you can go every Sunday and find many people gathered for worship. The church is there even though there are no buildings. We are there, the people are there.

Q. Where is God in all of this?

A. I think God is there. We’ve always been taught that we live in a fragile world. Our existence is fragile; that’s why we always ask God to be with us, to protect us. Even in the Lord’s Prayer we ask God to deliver us from evil --it is not that there is no evil just because God is there. God is there, and that’s why I think we have hope and why I think many people are alive, because God is with us and God has his plan for us.

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