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Off to Haiti, with candles and prayers

Amor en Acción sends off four missionaries to lead summer camp in sister diocese

From left: Andres Novela, Alina Turmo, Elizabeth Ortega and Pamela Londono are the missionaries going to Haiti this summer.

Photographer: CHRISTY PINA | FC

From left: Andres Novela, Alina Turmo, Elizabeth Ortega and Pamela Londono are the missionaries going to Haiti this summer.

Andres Novela, the mission leader this year, places a wooden cross on Alina Turmo, one of the missionaries going with him to Haiti. Every year, each of the missionaries is given this cross, made by artisans in northwest Haiti.

Photographer: CHRISTY PINA | FC

Andres Novela, the mission leader this year, places a wooden cross on Alina Turmo, one of the missionaries going with him to Haiti. Every year, each of the missionaries is given this cross, made by artisans in northwest Haiti.

Monica Lauzurique, mission coordinator at Amor en Accion, explains the significance of the candles that are labeled with each day of the mission trip.

Photographer: CHRISTY PINA | FC

Monica Lauzurique, mission coordinator at Amor en Accion, explains the significance of the candles that are labeled with each day of the mission trip.

DORAL | With candles standing in for prayers, members of Amor en Acción bid farewell to four local missionaries who will be spending 12 days in Haiti this month.

Andrés Novela, campus minister at Msgr. Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens, will serve as leader for the four-person group which includes another Pace alumnus — Elizabeth Ortega — and two members of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Doral, Pamela Londono and Alina Tormo. Novela is also a parishioner there.

The send-off Mass is an annual event for Amor en Acción, the official missionary organization of the Archdiocese of Miami.

The missionaries set off for Haiti June 15 and will return June 26. All but Novela will be going on mission for the first time.

This year’s group of Amor en Acción missionaries will be based in Bonneau.

While there, they will host a summer camp for the children. The campers’ days will feature a lesson from the Bible taught in Creole by some of the local youth leaders, followed by lunch and free time outdoors.

“It’s our first time in the town of Bonneau in the northwest, so I’m excited to be in a new location, with a new community, a new pastor,” Novela said.

At the send-off Mass, Monica Lauzurique, mission coordinator for Amor en Acción, handed out candles with different days of the trip marked on them. Each person who picked up the candle will dedicate that particular day to praying for the missionaries, their trip and the people of Haiti.

Londono and Ortega both said that Novela is the one who told them about the trip, and encouraged them to go.

“I’m looking forward to meeting new people, and getting these new experiences. It’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Londono said.

“The opportunity came for me to do it finally this year and I just decided to jump and take it,” said Ortega. “And I’m really looking forward to it all, the kids, all their smiles.”