KONBIT KOMPLETE: MICHEL'S TINY HOUSE
If you've been following our work for some time, you've heard us mention and post about the spiritual giant we adore named Simone. But let us introduce you to her friend and neighbor, Michel.
Michel has always been around and would hang out in the background whenever we visited Simone. He always had a solemn look on his face until a word was spoken to him and then his face would light up and he would draw near to us. His quiet demeanor reflects the quiet life he lives.
Michel doesn't have any family around and Simone has been a kind friend to him and has let him live in her yard for quite some time now. He has a few animals that he cares for and when he's not at the house, he's out tending his cows and goats.
When we first saw the "house" Michel lived in, we didn't think anyone could live there until we pulled back the tarp opening to reveal a tiny woven mat on the ground. We asked Simone who lived there and she told us her friend Michel. He wasn't there that day but we were sure to visit again because we wanted to meet this guy. His house was smaller than a one person tent and the doorway was a little hole you had to crawl through. The floor was mud and there were only a few articles of clothing inside laid out on the ground.
When we finally met the guy, we were shocked because we couldn't believe this 76 year old man was living in these conditions. No person this age should be sleeping on the mud floor and we knew from that moment that we needed to get grandpa up off the floor.
We had a team coming in the last week of April and there happened to be a guy coming (shoutout to Todd Evans) who was a handyman and him combined with Kris and a couple Haitians, we knew we could get Michel a little place to call his own. We checked with Simone since his place was on her land and she was overjoyed that we would even consider helping him.
So we worked out some plans, got the funds, purchased the supplies and set to building his tiny house on April 2nd.
Not only were we able to build him a place, Todd also built a bed and we were able to purchase him a mattress. When Simone saw the house after it was finished, she rejoiced with Michel and said,
"You no longer have to sleep in the water!"
You couldn't wipe the smile off of Michel's face...until we went to take a photo. It's a Haitian cultural thing with photos and most of them don't smile but take our word for it, he was a happy man.
One of the coolest things about the work we do is that the jobs don't stop after a team leaves. We intentionally build short term trips and projects into our long-term vision with long-term relationships. Simone and Michel are friends who we will be connected with for the rest of our time here in Haiti. A couple days after the house was built, we employed our friend Apredye to go seal and paint the house.
Within the next few days, Kris will be visiting again and putting windows in the house to offer more ventilation and to check back in with him and see how things are going.
Thank you to the Evans family for coming and those who donated towards their trip in order to complete this konbit. We are blessed and Michel's quality of life has improved just in the knick of time because rainy season is upon us. God is so, so good you guys.
So we can check this off as another
KONBIT KOMPLETE ✓