Updated: Oct 27
His name is Jean Louis Chery; he is the village stone carver and a fascinating man. I watch him and his family work all day carving, sanding and polishing stones into various shapes. My favorite are the small, heart shaped stones that he spends hours carving with just a file and a chisel. He charges fifty cents for the beautiful finished product.
He has five boys, and a girl named Stania. Stania is near grade level and should graduate next year from high school. Only two percent of the children actually graduate and, unlike the US, there is no guarantee of a job even with such credentials. Unemployment is at 85%; there are no jobs available.
Jean Louis makes the plaques I mentioned previously that are placed on the front of sponsored, new homes so that the glory is given to God for each gift. He starts with a normal, fairly round rock and with a file and a chisel shapes it into a plaque-size stone. He then carves each letter in Creole and English into the stone. Enjoy the attached pictures of him working away.
There is one other thing I would like you to know about Jean Louis. He is the man God used to allow us to survey the tent city from which we have taken families to create our village. As I was passing the tent city one day, wondering how I would be able to go into it and survey the needs of each tent city family, Jean Louis waved to me. That had not happened before, nor since. I stopped the Land Cruiser and went over to meet the man waving to me. Then, with his son leading us, we went tent to tent posing as health care agents verifying health needs of the village.
From that, we were able to identify families most in need and start emptying the tent city. We have witnessed God provide housing for mainly Christian families, that have formed a unique village of poor, but hard working people who love the Lord.
Jean Louis is a great friend . . . and the man that was used to make it all possible.