It was a really great week. We built for the Cabello-Flores family on the south side of Acuña...a single mom, four children, one uncle. This was our church's first time to build a double, which is about 30x14, compared to the 22x11 single that we've built for families in the past. I have to say, I think the house went up REALLY quickly and really well. We had 14 people, five high school students and the rest adults, and everything just went really smoothly. For those of you who've built with Casas before, you know that something usually goes wrong during a build (whether it's a power-outage, a flood, or a broken generator) and you just go with the flow!
It took us about 12 hours to get from Wichita to Del Rio, and we stopped for the night in San Angelo, Texas to stay at a church. We found a closet of rollerskates and basketballs, so we put on some skates and skated around the gym for a while, which I have to say I've never done before a Casas trip. The next day, it only took us a few hours to get to Del Rio and we hit Wal-Mart. Our church family had donated a lot of money for us to spend on the family, so we were able to get them a couple fans, carpets, a table, pots and pans, a bike for transportation, blankets, clothes, and lots of food and decorations for the big party we threw at the dedication.
The first day we poured the slab, and it was our church's first time to have a concrete truck. These things are amazing and I will vouch for a concrete truck any day. Hand-pouring is good, because it's hard work. Like, HARD work. Especially pouring a double by hand. I think I poured one double by hand last summer and it took close to five hours. It was also great to have some nail guns handy, and we put the walls together pretty quickly.
The next day while we were standing walls and putting on blackboard and chicken wire, we realized the family was cooking for us again. (They had made lunch the day before). This is crazy because the family we built for made $45 a week. And to cook for about 15 people twice in a row is a LOT of money. There isn't much price difference at all between the US and Mexico. It was delicious food...she made tacos, gorditas, and posole.
This year we had an all women roofing team (until Brandon got up there to help after a while). Even Mariela, the nineteen year old girl from the family, was on the roof helping. The girls ran out of 8-penny nails and had to use 16s...which are a lot bigger so they had some trouble but still rocked it out! One of our high school girls, Allie, asked Mariela what she enjoys doing. Mariela said she liked music and that she wanted to learn to play the guitar, but that she'd never be able to afford one. With the money the church sent with us, the girls were able to buy her a new guitar.
On the last day, Tim (our pastor) shared Jesus with the family and the many people that showed up for the dedication and the party. The awesome thing is that the Mexican pastor had already shared Jesus with the family even before we got there, and they all had already decided to follow Christ. SUPER cool!
Anyways, that was pretty much the trip. We built right next to another team so I got to see a couple Casas friends, which was good. It was good for me to let others do jobs they had never done and then I'd just work on little things along the way.
Thank you to all who prayed and supported us financially. It was an awesome trip.
You can watch a video of our trip HERE.