One day between Christmas and our departure for Mexico. One day to catch our breath from the busyness of the Birthday (why so busy??). Wouldn’t the Baby Celebrant, future carpenter, Savior of the World appreciate our fellowship more than our busyness?
On Sunday morning, the 27th, we flew to San
Diego to join the others for this three-day project.I was just invited along to lead worship, teach a little at a couple of devotional moments and do some hammering.
We were there to build, in total, three houses in Ensenada. Our team would be in charge of building just one.
After playing a few songs at the orientation on Sunday evening and then, leading devotions on Monday morning, we set out for the home site. When we arrived, we saw a concrete foundation already poured and cured . . . ready for the new walls and roof.
The family we were building for was living in a makeshift shed with a tarp roof and dirt floor. Their little girl was seriously allergic to the dirt and dust.
I don’t know for sure how YWAM and YPO qualify a family for a house but that’s out of my hands. All I know is, they were very appreciative for the gift about to be presented to them.
Our group was full of capable men and women and more than a few of teenage years. The place was buzzing from the get go.
I’ve never done much building. OK, I’ve never done any building! Yes, I helped my kids build a tree house in the woods behind our house but that mostly involved me buying the materials and turning them loose. And I don’t, nor does my wife, consider myself “handy” in particular. Once, in the late seventies, I tried to tune up our car. It was never the same.
But hey, I’m not gonna tell those stories to my fellow builders! What they don’t know won’t hurt ‘em, will it? Well, not unless I drop a hammer, nail somebody to a wall or fill their boots with caulk.
You’ll be pleased to know that there were 0 safety violations throughout the entire event! We actually appointed a safety officer for the site. With people walking around carrying boards and tools, it is amazing no one got tagged in the forehead with a two by six!
We got remarkably far on the first day. All the walls standing and nailed in place, the roof trusses built and secured. Most of the dry wall installed and trim painted.
This little two room house, about 12 x 12, would be a serious upgrade for this family. Protection. From the elements and from intruders of all kinds. And quite possibly, a change for their family for generations to come. Something they could hand down to the next generation.
We started early the next day and saw the project completed by mid-afternoon.
At the finish, we made a circle around the family, prayed and dedicated their new home to God. Then everyone in the circle made a brief comment about what it had meant to them to build this house. Emotions were a bit high. When we got to the last of the circle, I presented them a picture of the group in front of their home, told them we’d never forget them and asked that, when they see that picture, they remember us and pray for us as well.
A family Bible was presented signed by all the team. Then our foreman, a YWAM staffer named Josway (at least that was how it was pronounced), Spanish for Joseph, led both the husband and wife in a prayer to invite Christ into their lives! What a finale!
Then we handed them the keys to their new home. They were overwhelmed. In a matter of two days, they were now the owners of this little house of their own. A new stove in the corner, a new bed and mattress. A table and chairs for their meals. And a clean concrete floor.
As you drive through Mexico, you see thousands of unfinished houses everywhere. Some are built of stone or concrete cinder blocks - Others built from whatever materials they can find. I never really understood this but learned the reason on this trip. There is really no such thing as a mortgage or a home loan. The private citizen simply has to wait until they can afford more materials, pay cash, then build some more on their house. This can go on for years. Where many earn less than $100 a month, some much less, it can take forever to build a home. The cycle is almost impossible to break.
But groups like Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in partnership with other organizations (like yours maybe??) can, for about $5000 build a new house for a needy family in Mexico - a new house that will change a family for years to come - A new home that will speak the love of Christ and show that Love in action.
Many of the families on our trip have been making this journey for years. It’s become an after-Christmas tradition. Their grown children choose this over ski trips or other vacations without even thinking. It has become the most anticipated part of their year as a family. Beautiful.
We were so honored to be a part of this!
Hope you and yours are well and that 2010 is off to a good start.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Posted by Wayne Watson at 11:49 AM