Unfair in-laws kicking me off land

September 20, 2022

Dear Pastor,

I am a big man, but right now tears are rolling down my face. I have been married for 15 years, but my wife and I do not have any children. She has children from a previous relationship.

My wife and I got involved after I became a Christian. We were attending the same church. We got baptised on the same day. The father of her children was not a conscious man, and because I didn't have children, I decided to go with this woman.

I built a house on a piece of land that her father gave to her. He was a very good man. I asked him a number of times whether he would cut off the piece that he has given to her, since I have built the house on it. He said to me, 'Son-in-law, you don't have to worry about anything, nobody can move you from here'.

This man had other children and they didn't like me because they were always asking me for money. I always had to be spending my money on them. They borrowed money from me and often refuse to repay.

Unfortunately, my wife died suddenly. Her father died a couple years later. After my wife died, I started to hear talk about her family members not wanting me on the land. I said that the land was given to us and they asked for my papers. I don't have any papers to show. That was my big problem.

One of the brothers is a badman, and when I told him that my house is on the land, he said the house is a board house and I can pull it down and go and build it somewhere else.

Pastor, it is unfair. I don't even want people to know what I am going through. The pastor of the church is aware, but he is not even standing up with me. He said this is my trial. How can people be so wicked? I have tried to live a good life. Since I got married, I have not blown in another woman's face. I have a little money in the credit union. I plan to go there and ask them how they can help me. Even a Food For The Poor house would help me in my situation. I used to work the land and provide provision for everybody. I planted up the place, and now they are telling me to leave everything because it is their property.

I don't have children. A woman had one for me but didn't give the child to me. I have a brother who is alive, but he doesn't have any space for me. So, please, give me your advice.


Dear P.L.,

My brother, you have heard the saying that 'Life is not a bed of roses'. You didn't say your age, but I am assuming that you are in your 60s.

I know that you have tried to live a decent life. What I am wondering is, what has happened to your stepchildren. You took this lady after she had children and married her; therefore, you supported these children. Why are they not standing up for you now? They should. They knew what you did for them. How can they be so ungrateful to turn their backs on you in time of need.

It is never advisable for a man to build a house on his wife's parents' property. It is always better for the parents to subdivide the land and to give him what they want to give him. This word-of-mouth business doesn't always work, and it causes all types of confusion in later years.

I am sorry you lost your wife and then her father. The little money that you have in the credit union might be able to help you. I am hoping that you receive a little NIS pension to help you pay your bills. Try and find somebody in the community who would sit with you and work with you. Try and find a justice of the peace, not a young one, but one who has experience and would advise you on the steps that you may take.

I would advise you to a lawyer, but you might not have that amount of money.

Your pastor doesn't seem to be of help to you and that is a shame. So please, contact the justice of the peace as early as possible. The children of your father-in-law are very unfair, but I would say to you brother, don't fight over this land, you would lose.


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