The following post was written while we were in Haiti just a few weeks ago. Since it is so difficult to get internet service, some of our posts are being posted after the fact, from the United States.
We had a grand celebration in the village last night. It was a culmination of years of work by many people: We passed out the deeds of the homes to the families who were blessed to receive them.
When we first put families into the homes, we told them that they would have to live there for five years before we would give them a deed to the property. In the mean time, they could not rent it out or sell it. They had to live in the home, take good care of it and be a good member of the community. It was a good plan, except for one thing: we were dealing with the uncertainties of Haiti, one of the ten most corrupt governments in the world. I didn’t want their homes taken from them as I had seen homes taken from other families.
Over the last six or seven months, I was fortunate enough to meet the brother of the president of Haiti and separately got to know the mayor of Gressier, which is the town where the village is located. That put me in a position where I could get the paperwork done necessary to accomplish the subdivision of Merci’ de Dieu (Thanks to God) Village. I decided to go ahead and do it even though some families had only been in their homes for a few months. I was confident that these families would continue to live in the village and would continue to take good care of their homes.
So now families, generally Christian families, who were in the depths of despair only months ago, now own their own homes for the first times in their lives. There was much joy and rejoicing last night. It will be I time I never forget.