Sunday, June 13, 2010
Casas por Cristo Trip
Casa por Cristo began building homes along the US/Mexican border in 1993, to date they have provided nearly 4,000 families with homes. The families they serve earn an average of 60$ per week and spend up to 30 percent of their income on the transportation that carries them to and from work. With such limited income and burdensome expenses, it is nearly impossible to secure adequate housing. Families are forced to construct makeshift houses of cardboard, pallets, and other accessible materials. With summer highs exceeding 100 degrees, and winter lows well below freezing, these shelters place them at risk of heat and cold related health problems and even death. Many individuals cannot earn enough to buy materials to construct a safe and secure home. However, through Christ's love and the willingness of volunteers, this most basic need is fulfilled. The four walls that now surround these families serve as a constant reminder of the God who loves them and takes care of their needs.
Maggie and I left last Saturday, June 5th, with a group of youth and adults from the Providence Mennonite church in Montgomery. What a great week, and an awesome experience to serve with this group. We traveled by bus from Montgomery to El Paso, where we spent the night before crossing the border into Juarez. Jaurez was hot, dusty and poverty stricken. The population is 2 million, and as far as you can see in every direction is little make shift houses, all sitting on an old landfill. We found the people to be very friendly and cheerful. After two and a half days of hard work our group, which was split into two crews, had completed two houses! It was such a blessing to witness the youth and adults working together hand in hand to provide these two families with a secure home. I was amazed as I watched our youth shut off the cell phones, get out of their comfort zone and work like crazy in hot, dry conditions to help someone out. Not once did I hear a complaint, they were happy to be serving. It was a life changing experience, and I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to go! To learn more about Casa por Cristo, see their website at www.casasporcristo.org .
"We believe in His powerful hand. He provides for our needs and gives us the desires of our hearts." - Maria Pena, waiting for a home from Casas por Cristo