A sigh of relief

From my previous posts you could probably tell that this last month hasn’t been the easiest. Let’s just say I never planned for this month.Planning is something that God is teaching me a thing or two about. Over and over he has convicted me about  “my plans.” Over and over it has been evident that God wants me to find peace in His plans and His timing. Lately I find that I always laugh, I mean notice, when anyone mentions “my plan is to do this or my plan is to do that.” I guess its because the only thing I’m sure of these days is that there is no plan. Or rather that it’s a matter of being in his plan and not the other way around.  

We have been in negotiations to purchase the piece of land that currently holds the buildings we’ve built this past year for Second Mile Haiti for about a month now. The negotiating process has been draining and exhausting. I heard Dadou say many times that he was ready for everything to just be over and done with. I agreed, but it’s just not that simple. Over the past month I had to wrestle with two contradicting thoughts. 

  1. I want everyone to know we are good stewards of the money that is given to us, thus I need to argue for the best possible price. 

  1. It’s all God’s money. Every nickel in our bank account, the cash in your pocket, and that spare change in the 5 gallon bucket sitting in your bathroom. (Wait, you don’t have one of those...?)  It all belongs to God. Let Him direct when and how much is used and for what purpose.

For weeks now, I had been sticking to my guns and fighting for every penny, knowing that whatever money I could save us in land negotiations could be well-spent elsewhere.  But I had to look at my motives. I was fighting to lower the price. But what if instead I should recognize that the money belongs to God and try to find peace in the fact that regardless of the price (big or small) if this land purchase was meant to be then God’s money would come flowing in. 

And that’s exactly what happened. It’s the one thing that I have seen happen repeatedly. When we’ve learned our lessons- when we’ve struggled and grown- when we’ve gained a thing or two from the trial and come out on the right path then and only then does God’s money come flowing in.

My final beef with the land owners had been over $3,000. I wanted that much removed from the total. They weren’t so inclined. We were at a standstill for the past two weeks because of that $3,000.

Yesterday morning I woke up, got out the computer, and checked the spreadsheet that shows a record of all the checks that have been sent for Second Mile Haiti. I noticed that we had received two different checks in the amounts of $2,000 and $1,000. I usually have a good grasp on money coming in, but these two were out of the ordinary. These checks were sent by donors I wasn’t even expecting. Funny thing is... 2,000 + 1,000 = 3,000. So there we had it. The extra money had come in. How cool is that?

God’s money had come in. 

Suddenly everything made sense and I finally felt at peace with the decision we were about to make. I called Dadou to talk through the terms of the sale (one final time) and then asked him to set up “the meeting.” 

He left around 11 AM and 30 mins later called to say that the owner and the Notary would be willing to meet at 2 PM. We were expecting to have to wait a day or two before agreeing on a time that would work with everyone’s schedules. But 2 PM miraculously worked for all 6 of us that needed to be in that meeting. Due to the tendency of people to be much more optimistic than realistic when setting a timeframe we actually started our meeting closer to 3:30. But there we were, all sitting around a table in the Notary’s house. It was an unreal feeling to be sitting down again in the same place we had sat twice before. First to lease the land and then again at our first attempt to sign the purchase agreement. I know Amy was holding her breath hoping that this time all would end well. If you look at her face in most of the pictures she looks mad. “I was just afraid to mess things up if I seemed too happy”  was her excuse for the scowls.   

Before we knew it, everything was finished. Everything suddenly became more real. I’m not sure I have ever signed anything more significant in my life than these land papers.

As we walked out of the house Dadou gave me a pat on the back and whispered a “good job” in English. We all let out a little sigh of a relief. Actually, we all let out a big sign of relief. It was finished. 

In the car driving home Amy told Dadou, “you don’t know how many people in the States have been praying for this.” He responded, “you don’t know how many Haitians have been praying for this too.”

We got back to the apartment and decided we needed to celebrate!

Amy whipped up some gluten free cookies and I cracked open a few Prestiges (local beer). Not sure there is a better way to celebrate around here.  

As we were eating our cookies and drinking a cold beer Dadou noticed a spider on my hand. It was a green spider. I had never seen a spider like this before! He told us that in Haiti when you have a green spider on you it means you have great fortune coming your way. I just sort of laughed and thought it was a little ironic that I just handed over the most money I have ever held in my life, and now it turns out we have great fortune coming our way.

Five minutes later Amy walks out to the balcony and shows us that there is a green spider on her too! I guess that means double the fortune! 

I don’t disagree with the spider. I think we are going to be continually blessed if we include God in our plans or better yet if we continue to follow His.

So what’s next? Well I am just sitting here on the balcony waiting for Dadou to get back from the construction store to finalize an estimate for what it will cost to finish the education building, security post, and the offices. And I’m feeling optimistic about the great fortune we have coming our way. Maybe it’s not a monetary fortune, but in terms of blessings, and experiences, and opportunities...I’d say there are great things just ahead. 

Important caption:
This post was edited a whole lot by Amy Syres. Thankful that she spent the last hour correcting all my grammatical errors and especially thankful that she can express my thoughts/feelings into words (yeah...we spend a lot of time together...).