Have you ever stopped and thought about everything you own? House, car, your own bed, good shoes, washer, dryer, refrigerator, and so on. Honestly I don’t really think about these things on a daily basis because they’re things that I’ve grown up around. Although I’ve shared a room with my sister, I’ve always had my own bed. I got my own car when I was fifteen. I can walk to the fridge and get a snack, even when I’m not hungry.
You don’t need to go to a foreign country to see poverty, but being here really wakes me up to the things that are around me when I'm at home. Last week we built for a mom and her husband and one-year-old son Keven. They were living in a one room house with her sister. One full size bed for four people and mold on the plywood that served as the roof is enough to break my heart, not to mention the fact that the house didn’t really belong to them; it wasn’t a place they could call home.
This mom in particular wrote a letter to our team telling us how grateful she was for this house and for the team coming to build it for her. She told us about how her son was her “little miracle” because it took her five years to get pregnant. At the end of the letter she wrote that she was praying for God to multiply what we had already been given, to which my mind automatically responded, “How could I possibly need more than I’ve been given?”
The past couple weeks have been absolutely amazing, but PACKED. We started out helping Alexis (one of the staff members) with her build last Friday. The team she had with her only could bring six or seven people, so we went out and helped. This day was awesome…we poured the slab, stood the walls, did blackboard, almost all the chicken wire and put the roof on and decked it, all in about 8 hours.
The next day (Saturday) we split up and some of us went with Janette and then some interns went with Jason to help lead a team from Cypress church in Houston. Each team built a single. This was the house we built for Keven and his parents.
Sunday night after building we crossed back into El Paso to get ready for our Monday-Thursday build with teams from South Dakota. We stayed at a church called Monte Santo. The pastor owned a dog (maybe part Great Dane?) named Negro who was so thin I just wanted to take him home and fatten him up. There are a TON of stray dogs here, one of which earned the name Zombie Dog because he had almost no fur and red lumps all over his skin (probably mange). The building we stayed in had no AC, which I was actually glad for because it gave me a taste of how the families feel when they go to sleep at night.
I have already met so many great people on this trip. It’s amazing to think that in just the past few weeks I’ve met people from Oklahoma, all over Texas, Michigan, South Dakota, Illinois, Tennessee, Missouri, and probably more states. This coming week Lisa and I are leading our first build without a staff member, a team from Indiana. I'm nervous, but really excited to meet even more people with a heart for serving God!
So over the past two weeks, I can say that I have:
-conquered my fear of working with electrical
-achieved an awesome farmers tan, which I’m sure will be even more awesome by August
-actually slept through the night a few nights in a row
-gotten to know some amazing people
-fallen in love with the book of Colossians
-realized how desperate I am for God to change me
Please keep the people of Mexico in your prayers this week as the heat becomes life-threatening. It’s supposed to top out at 109 this week and I know that so many families might not make it through this heat.
Miss you all,