Recently I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting with Jean-Gilbert Altidor, a warm-hearted husband and father of four, who is also a recent Cross International housing beneficiary living in Les Cayes, Haiti. Beneath lush banana trees and the hot Caribbean sun, I sat in front of his new home and listened as the smiling 52-year-old man told his story of struggle, heartache, and ultimate triumph in Christ.
Like so many Haitians, Jean-Gilbert’s life was altered after the 2010 earthquake. Though his immediate family escaped unharmed, they still suffered from constant fear and anxiety that the dilapidated house they rented would crumble at any moment.
The months following the earthquake were difficult. Jean-Gilbert’s business as a tailor declined, so much so that he could no longer pay the small rent for their leaky, two-room house. Facing homelessness, he was beginning to feel like the world was against him.
But at this moment in his story-telling, Jean-Gilbert paused and his weathered face brightened. He said that just when he was about to lose all hope, an answer to his prayers came in the form of Cross-supplied construction materials and a plot of land to call his very own.
In a matter of weeks, Jean-Gilbert’s despair dissipated and was replaced with awe at God’s faithful provision. Not only was he receiving a new home, but our long-time partners, the Baptist Evangelical Ministry (MEBSH) churches in Haiti, also helped put his children in one of their Christian schools and gave Jean-Gilbert a steady job sewing school uniforms.
With joy, he remembered the day his family moved out of their broken-down rental and into their new home, specially built with earthquake resistant technology. As a permanent reminder of God’s grace, he etched his new motto in the drying cement of his front porch—“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
“Because of the help of Cross, my children now know they will be safe from earthquakes and won’t have to run again,” said Jean-Gilbert. “Cross did something wonderful by giving us this house.
“I intended to write a big thank you letter to those that helped me. But I don’t know what I may offer for what you have given my family. Please know, the Altidor family is always praying for Cross and the Christians who helped change our lives.”