Day 30 – Tuesday, March 20th
Relentless Scripture: Jn. 13:34-35
Relentless Focus: “The Housing Crunch”
The weather has been absolutely beautiful here, mid to high 80’s, clear sky with just a breeze to cool your jets. Pastor Francois and I have been walking more and driving less, which has been good (Bon) for the both of us. Today’s walk was a “Widow’s Walk” where we walked by some of the widows’ homes to stop and see how they’re doing.
(This is the girl who I mentioned in a previous fence post who recently lost her father and could not even afford clothes, she looks pretty good now 🙂 )
Unfortunately, at our first stop the widow wasn’t home, but one of her kids was, and he proceeded to show me the home because it comes with a story. This particular widow’s husband died in a violent death at the hands of some riotous neighbors who were so upset at some family situation and the role that he played, that they dragged him out of the city, set fire on him, and threw him out.
This man at the time was separated from his wife, moved to Port Au Prince, and had just came back to a nearby town to resolve some family issues. Obviously, it didn’t go well for him. Nor are things any better for his estranged wife living with three kids and 2 grandkids. This widow, in order to pay off some creditors, had to sell her home and move into a much smaller one, with lesser quality (constructed with sticks woven as the exterior wall, with mud used as the adhesive compound). Although improvements to the home exterior have been made (attached a cement finish to the exterior walls), the home square footage still remains about 16 x 10, or 160 ft2. This Housing Crunch (family-sized dimensions are creating pinch points within the housing dimensions) is a real market in Haiti.
Two weeks ago, as Pastor and I were driving back from the bank, we were flagged down by one of his deacons. He was introduced to me as Erilner. Of course, I couldn’t understand what they were talking about but in the Creole language everything sounds interesting. After about a 5-minute discussion, Pastor explained to me that Erliner was interested in helping the widows in the church by starting a building fund and having people like himself (construction experience) donating their time, talents, and discounted material, along with others (money raised) to enable the work. This was the first time anyone had spoken to Pastor about a ministry of this type. So he was very excited and said he would start having some conversations with the church leadership and then would invite him in to share his vision and heart for the widows. The first meeting occurred last Sunday, and I was invited to sit through the last part. They formed a committee called the “Building Helpers”, and they are now officially launched to do the work.
Pastor took me by this particular house because it was one they (the Building Helpers) were considering as their first project. What a blessing it is to see the Church maturing in its love for one another. Somewhere it says, “ they will know that we are Christians (or disciples) by our love for one another. “ The first one to place a comment with the right answer could win a one week’s stay in Pignon, Haiti @ Love’s Compounding Interest (that’s what I call this place). Come and experience the Housing Crunch yourself. It’s a real estate of a lifetime.
Tangible Needs: Skilled labor, materials and funding.
Pray for Loving Haiti: That more Churches would grow into this vision for the widows and other needy people.
Pray for Me: The second phase of this fence project is moving a little slower than I anticipated (but the ground they are preparing is close to titanium steel).