Friday, December 6, 2013


For those of you who have participated in or kept up to date with our journeys to El Salvador, you will be quite familiar with the name Basilio. Five years ago, when our first team came, we were introduced to a man of small El Salvadorian stature with a gentle manner and a tireless work ethic. We were privileged to see him enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Lord has kept us close ever since. 

During these years we have seen him develop into a proficient house builder, yet there was a difference. He was willing to teach others how to build houses as well. He developed a team, which we call the Fantastic Four. Together they have assisted the teams from Canada in their building projects. They have built houses with us in sunshine and rain (mostly rain, historic rain, legendary rain…until this year). Two years ago, they were able to continue building homes on their own during the rainy season, often quicker and more efficiently than our teams can. 

Then Shelter asked him to start fabricating some pieces for the homes. He did it, with excellence and an eye for innovation. He has been able to take a good thing and make it better. But again, he didn't keep it for himself. The fabricating of homes has expanded, and now he is able to provide work for another 6 people. 

A few years ago we started talking and praying about long term sustainable solutions that are birthed in the local context and are driven by local people. Basilio is one of the best examples of this. But more than anything, he is our friend, our partner in ministry. 

This week, when I asked for him to be part of our team, he came willingly and joyfully. For the three days that we worked together as he led our team. It was like picking up with an old friend, starting where we left off as though no time had elapsed. We are able to work through obstacles and find solutions together, all while enjoying the unique experience of blessing another family with a house. 

As we left today, our team surrounded Basilio, his wife Veronica and their son. Laying hands on them, we gave thanks to God for their lives and asked God to continue to provide and protect them. And then it was time to leave. The team had taken their places on the truck, which was parked inside his yard and he and I were standing at the back. I said "Are you going to open the gate?" and he said "If I open the gate, then you will leave, so I'm not going to the gate."  I looked at him, hugged him and exchanged some words of friendship that has only been possible through a relationship forged by God, held tightly by the Holy Spirit and which is united in it's desire to honour our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Some people ask, "why bother going to El Salavdor, why not just send money for the houses?"

Today was another day of confirmation that money is no substitute for relationship…you see, it's not about the houses. 

Thank you God for our friend Basilio…


  1. What an inspiring story. What an inspiring man. He truly is a gift from God to the teams but more importantly to his own people. We are blessed to know him and so many others. It has been good to follow your week. Once again God has been honored by the presence of his children serving together...and it didnt rain on you!

  2. Thanks Wayne…it's been another awe-inspiring week…this is our first time in the 5 years we've been here that there has not even been one little drop of rain…of course we still have tomorrow..