Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sunday's Visitors Revisited

Tipap's oldest brother Michel came back for a meeting yesterday. His wife works for Lifeline, cooking in the canteen. Common-law wife, I assume. He wants her fired because she left him.

After an hour or so of trying to comprehend, and offering to aid them with reconciliation, it was clear he is only seeking revenge. And he also blames Lifeline for giving her the confidence to go out on her own. He explained that she is foreign to the area, he brought her here, and now once she had work she began disrespecting him. Since they have children, and she has other family that look to him for support and family problems, those responsibilities now belong to the Mission, according to Michel. It went on and on.

It was hard to be on his side when he said things like "if it wasn't for my father, I would beat her."

When we explained to him that she can't be fired for no reason, he pulled out a copy of her contract and offered to watch her and report any wrongdoings to us so we could fire her. Ugh. As politely as possible, I tried to express concern for their relationship problems, offer to help in some reasonable way...while telling him to forget it. I eventually explained to him that we wouldn't get in the middle of this issue, especially when he is only seeking to harm her.

After he realized that we "would not help him" (his words), he announced that he would have to take matters into his own hands. The rumor circulating in the village for the last week, even prior to this meeting, is that he is planning on killing her.

Whether a legitimate threat or not, it's serious enough to cause this woman to move away. She told me yesterday that she is leaving, at least for a while, and doesn't yet know where she will go. She was concerned enough for the Mission to provide her sister as a replacement worker in her absence.

Michel wanted to set an appointment for a follow-up meeting to learn how I might be able to help him further. I told him I think our part and involvement is finished, but he insisted on getting an answer. So I told him - whatever the question is, the answer is no.

Please pray for these two. I don't know if the relationship can or should be repaired, or what other factors and wrongs played a part in their problems. But they definitely need some help.

One other visitor from Sunday was a woman in our church who needed to borrow money. The summary of her story is that her husband died, she has eight children, borrowed money to feed the children, and now owes a man more money than she can make in half a year...if she had a job. Now the man is threatening to kill her or her children.

Haiti can be hard. Very hard. No curse... just a few bad people doing bad things.

Please pray for wisdom and protection for us and those we are serving.