Complete | February – Compassion/Community Transformation

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It Happened … Again

Rick Ireland, Haiti

The project – the purchase of property for the John Wesley School – had been in the works when I arrived in Haiti shortly after the 2010 earthquake. A piece of land just behind the existing school seemed ideal for the expansion project. We were forced to abandon the property purchase, however, because we could not get clear title to the land. We eventually found a very nice piece of property just down the street from the existing location. The building that had been on the lot collapsed in the earthquake, and the site had already been cleared. It appeared ideal in every way – it was a bigger piece of property for less money. We worked out a deal with the owner and began the paperwork to purchase it. After several months of work, this purchase, too, fell through. It is owned by two brothers, and only one would agree to the sale. Once again, we could not complete the deal because we could not get clear title to the land.

Getting clear land title is one of the major roadblocks to Haiti’s rebuilding after the earthquake. I have been told that as much as 60 percent of Haiti’s land does not have clear title. It is a difficult and complex problem that defies solution. Without clear title, sooner or later chaos is inevitable.

In Mark 12:30, Jesus says the most important command is to: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” In other words, God wants clear title to His people. When we call Jesus “Lord,” we are giving Him clear title to our lives. That is the essence of lordship. The problem is we are often like the two brothers above. We intend for God to have clear title, but we hold back permission in some areas of life. Sometimes the problem is rooted in our wishes and desires. When God’s Word goes against what we want (it happens!), who wins? Sometimes the problem is outside issues. We are so worried about what people might think or say, we unintentionally give them more importance in our lives than God. Faith works best when God has clear title to our lives. When our allegiances are divided, sooner or later the result will be chaos. Because we are imperfect beings living in a fallen world, there will always be areas in our lives that need work. In your life journey, where are you struggling to give God clear title?


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