Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Being here for the third time I've found that although everything is still unexpected, I know what to expect. The sights, sounds, smells, and tastes are all familiar to me. When we go to build the houses, I know what to do and how I can help. I feel like I am contributing rather than having to be taught how to do everything separately. It feels good to be helping as part of the team. One thing that will always stick out from all the rest is the stories of the families we build houses for. While these stories all share a common theme of struggle and hardship,  they now can share a theme of hope. 

A Great Welcome

As we often do at our leader's meetings, we went to a new area to build homes. Upon our arrival to this community called, New Hope (Nueva Esperanza), there were people waiting to greet us. They held two signs, one in spanish and one in english. This community is one that you would walk through and you would likely say without too much effort that they were poor - but only if you measured poverty in terms of material possessions. They were rich in hospitality - not just in welcoming but in caring for our team as we worked. It was hot today - real hot, and we definitely had people struggle with the heat. The ground was so hard for our two houses (we built six total), which somehow makes the sun seem even hotter. Just as we finally finished digging the holes and getting the walls of the house up, our hosts came to our worksite. This time they were carrying cans of Coca-Cola covered in ice and they had a bag of chips for each of us. None of us had ever experienced this before! Even though we might consider them materially poor; they sacrificially provided this extremely welcome refreshing snack at just the right time - it was a richness of generosity that I have rarely seen.

There are several stories from today that will be important to share. They come from the people that we met, spent time with and listened to. If time allows over the next couple of days, I may share them in this space. If not, please feel free to ask me about the little girl with down-syndrome or the man with kidney failure.

We serve a God who continually welcomes us into His Kingdom work, sometimes in the most unlikely places...I am so thankful for that.

Good night,