Fortunately, our children were off from school this week to celebrate Easter. On Wednesday, we experienced a nightmare in broad daylight that will be with us for a very long time. A truck pulled up to our gate with more than a dozen men. Out from the truck came a man who said that he was a bailiff and one that said he was a policeman. They said that they were there to seize our property pursuant to a court order. Behind these men stood a man, Ing Jean Eliver, known to us from a prior occassion where a similar attempt to seize our property was made and also known to us because he had worked at the project in the past and was released for lack of performance. He had sued in court for damages, but he had not sued the Center of Hope (Haiti). His case remains on appeal at the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.
No notice of payment due or demand for payment has ever been made upon the Center of Hope (Haiti). Nor could there be absent a judgment. Nevertheless, the men proceeded to recklessly take our property from our buildings. Tables and chairs were thrown upon the truck. Our inverters were yanked from the racks in the generator room and the batteries we tossed upon the truck with reckless disregard for spillage of acid. Furniture from our volunteer headquarters was thrown into the roadway and then upon the truck. Brand new kitchen equipment was handled carelessly and tossed into the roadway. It was a ramapage in 90 degree plus heat.
Our lawyer called the Ministry of Justice to get some help. She explained that Ing Eliver did not have a right to seize our property and that the Center of Hope (haiti) was not the party named in his lawsuit or against whom he had obtained a judgment. Our representative had said the same thing to Ing Eliver at the site, but he said that he would not be deterred this time. The Ministry of Justice did send the local police to the site where the rampage was taking place. At least twelve people, including Ing Eliver, the bailiff and the policeman accompanying them were arrested, placed in handcuffs and taken away.
While our orphanage has been turned upside down and we have suffered untold property damage due to an "error in judgment", the only things carted away were the people that came to harm us. God continues to bless us and protect us in His vineyard. For that we are truly thankful.
James L. Lipscomb