There is an old Haitian proverb that says: “you can cheat the sun, but you can’t cheat the wind.” Jacklin Jean-Louis knows this from personal experience.
I met this 34-year-old farmer and father of four on my recent trip to Kobonal, Haiti. There, Jacklin shared with me that he has always struggled to provide his family with a safe and sturdy house.
“My old house was made of dried palm tree skins. We were fixing it every year because the wind would carry it away. The roof went from being on the house to all over the yard,” he said. “When you have a roof made of palm tree skins, you see the stars when you look up.”
It only took one strong storm and Jacklin’s entire roof would detach from the walls and fly away.
“Man, I was in misery, misery, misery,” he said. “The children were living in a puddle of water and mud.”
In the midst of putting together the remnants of his house, Jacklin learned he would receive a new house, thanks to the Cross Catholic-supported project, Kobonal Haiti Mission. Today, his family is living comfortably in a sturdy home made of concrete—and he asked me to relay his gratitude to those who helped change his life:
“This is only by the grace of God. I work so hard to provide for my kids, but to build a new house is not easy. I could not have done this by myself. Thank you! I am out of misery. Now look at our house. Look at our new hygienic conditions. This new house will help me support my family. I have received the call from God to be more faithful to his service.
“Because you have my family in your heart, then I will keep you all in my heart and prayers!”