26 May Home Sweet Home
In a nutshell, spending this past weekend building a house for a family in Mexico was amazing. There were so many dynamics at play that I’m still trying to process everything that happened, what I learned, how I feel and how it’s going to impact my life.
I’m sure it will take me several posts to unpack it all. So to start, in this post I’m going to show you the dramatic difference between the old house and the new house.
Juana and Emilio were gracious to let us see the old house they were living in while we were building. I think a tour of the old house is important to understand the situation and the need. Keep in mind as you look at the pictures that they have 5 kids (4 boys, 1 girl) ages 13, 12, 10, 2, and 1. You can read the family’s story here.
Take a Tour of the Old House
Obviously there’s a need. The families that receive houses from Homes of Hope and Hope Sports go through an extensive application process. The families must be making payments on their own land, they must prepare the site for their new house, and they must work alongside the group building the house.
According to the Homes of Hope website, there are 5 main benefits of these homes:
1.) A debt free home helps leverage a family out of poverty. Now that they have adequate shelter that keeps them warm and healthy, their money can now go to food, medical care, education and other necessities.
2.) Children are more likely to attend and stay in school without the distractions and obstacles that come with homelessness. Education has long-term implications for a person’s future productivity and career prospects.
3.) Disease, injury and physical ailments from exposure are significantly lessened with the safety of a home environment.
4.) A home transforms the way people interact with their community. It allows them to invite others in and demonstrate hospitality to others.
5.) The gift of a home through a volunteer group is a practical demonstration of God’s love for a family. Families who receive a home are inspired to respond by giving back to others in need, leading to transformed communities.
If you are wondering whether those benefits are true, we had the opportunity to meet a family that received a house previously. This past family just showed up the second day of our build and started helping. I had no idea who they were, they just jumped in right beside us. After the house was finished, we discovered they had also received a house a year or so ago. And they are doing very well today. Also, the cabinets that were put up in the kitchen were made by teenagers who were also past home recipients.
After the build was finished, we handed the family the keys to their new home.
We gave them some time by themselves to check out the house. We could hear them wailing from outside.
After a little bit, we knocked on the door.
They came out to share with us their thoughts. You can see below that they were very overwhelmed.
You can watch little Emilio’s thank you here.
Take a Tour of the New House
As you can see, it’s a HUGE difference. Just a solid foundation and a roof alone should have massive health benefits. So hopefully this new house will provide much, much more for this family.
Here is our Olympic building group including the athletes, expert builders, the Diaz Gomez family, their pastor and his wife, and their friends- former recipients of a Homes of Hope house.
These pictures tell a powerful story, but it’s only a small part of the story. In the next post I’ll tell you more about this sweet family.