Life in Haiti
is rarely easy, but for Madeleine Randiche those few years seemed like paradise. She was happily married and had two beautiful children. Her husband, Reader Vladimir, was an active member of the Orthodox Mission in Haiti. He introduced not only Madeleine to Russian Orthodoxy, but catechized scores of believers. In the 11 years that the couple were members of the mission, more and more people started to rely on her husband for teaching, instructing catechumens, doing reader services for the local parish when the two priests â€“ leaders of the mission â€“ were unavailable, traveling to other parishes.
â€śHe showed me how to live the fullness of the faith, and through Godâ€™s love many miracles were done within our marriage and family,â€ť said Madeleine.
Despite difficult life circumstances, periodic lack of work, and shortage of funds, the Randiche family was a very happy one. They were a fortunate family, with a beloved parish and a tight-knit community.
On January 12, 2010, their happiness came to a crashing halt. In the early morning of that fateful day, Reader Vladimir headed out as usual to earn his pay. The children were preparing for school, while Madeleine prepared breakfast. Suddenly the whole house was violently shaken, smoke masked their sight; she screamed and called for the children, but nothing could be heard but a terrible roar.â€śI still remember that day as if it were yesterday. Within thirty five seconds everything changed. My children were safe, but I couldnâ€™t find my husband. I searched for him for two months, sifting through the rubble of the school with a foul odor coming from a large container of corpses. I spent my time turning the corpses to see if I could locate my husband so I could recover his body. When my children realized they lost their father, it was not easy for them.â€ť
Madeleine now had the care of four children on her shoulders: her own and two nieces, who lost their parents in the earthquake. There was sense waiting for help from anyone â€“ the majority of the country lay in extreme poverty.