Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Liberté - Egalité - Fraternité

Since living in Haiti, I have partaken in things that I never imagined I could ever be a part of.
I often find myself in moments thinking, 'how on earth did I get here?', and it's then that I smile to myself and remember how the Lord is consistently re-creating and refining me.

Over the past few weeks, I have once again found myself in a very peculiar and unexpected situation:
Real estate.
Until this season, I have had zero interest or experience in this particular area, and yet somehow I have found myself diving head first into the world of surveying and notaries and negotiation. All the while with a finish line in sight - Land for homes to be built for the mountain families.

Months ago I was connected with a man who had land to sell, and with the help a very intertwined list of his relatives and the MOH office staff, I have managed to score a sweet plot of land on the side of the mountain overlooking the village of SourceMatelas and beyond to the Caribbean Sea. The location (about a 5 minute-walk from the water source, and a 15-minute walk from the families' current location and gardens), and the sea view were definite perks.

Last week things got serious as I sat down with Jean Jacques, Robenson and the land owner, Jean Claude, in his makeshift office - an empty classroom. We slid the desks together and had what I would call one of the most formal Haitian conversations I have witnessed. Even just reliving it as I type makes me chuckle because any North-American outsider would be mortified at these standards, and yet to these men it was a true Haitian bureaucracy. Jean Jacques very formally wrote out an official witness statement on one of the tear-out pages of my notebook, and even included the traditional Haitian slogan as the page header, Liberté - Egalité -Fraternité (which translates to Freedom - Equality - Brotherhood). Upon completion of the document, Jean Claude and I both signed our names, and I shook everyone's hand. A done deal.

Now with just a few more boxes to check off the 'land list', we are almost ready to begin the building process! When mom was here last week, we got to walk to the newly purchased land which has been graded and flattened in preparation for the new homes that will soon occupy it. What a joy it was to stand with the fathers of the families and take in the anticipation of their new homes. A place they can call their own.

Thank you for your continual support and prayers surrounding the building of these homes in the coming weeks. Please pray that the last pieces of paperwork and ownership will be finalized quickly, that the builders would use their skills effectively, and that the families would be able to dwell in these homes for generations to come. I eagerly await what happens next!

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