We arrived in Mexico on Saturday, March 26 at around 5:00 pm. After waiting at the border because of new administration from Mexico City, we were able to start putting up our tents at 6:30 or so. We were greeted with a great supper by La Cocino (ran by Amor Ministries and means ‘The Kitchen’ in Spanish). We then met Terry and Wendy, the Amor volunteers who were going to be our support during the four day house build. Terry mentioned that we may need to break up an existing concrete pad and that the site was not level. We were not too worried, we would figure it out on Monday.
After our first sleep in Tijuana, we woke up to pancakes and sausage, and then headed out to find Francisco Ortiz, our Mexican translator. It was great to meet up with Francisco, he has been a part of the last six trips that we have done when building houses in Mexico. We went shopping, bought a lot of vanilla, and a bunch of candy. We went to the house Francisco just moved into with his family - a nice two story home that is close to a major Tijuana street - will be easy to find for next year!! We also met Ginnett - his first Grand Child! At 4:00 we went to Francisco’s church and worship in Spanish - it was a great day!!
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When we arrived on the site on Monday, we needed to make a decision. Do we take out the existing concrete pad, or pour over it. As hard as it was, we decided to take the pad out. With one borrowed sludge hammer, and two new ones from Home Depot, we pounded that pad to bits. Using the broken pad, we then backfilled one side by 13 inches so that we could pour a level foundation.
Our theme for this summer is UNshakeable! We will talk about building a house on solid ground, not on the sand (Matthew 7:24-27). We will share about the passage where Jesus tells Peter that upon this Rock, HE will build the church. (Matthew 16:13-20) This Mexican family was in desperate need of a home, theirs burnt down. There new home needed a strong foundation, and we were up for the task. We also spent time and money bracing the retaining wall on the one side of the house to make sure that the foundation stayed solid. Our prayer is that this house will be UNSHAKEABLE!
Because of all the work with the foundation, we were unable to finish the pour of the pad on the first day. We came back to camp tired and concerned that the house may not get finished.
Then came the second day! We finish the pad and by 3:00 were able to carefully place the walls on the new unshakeable foundation! We put up the walls, placed the rafters on, squared the roof and tightened all the wires so that we were ready for the tar paper. After a busy day, we were no longer behind on the project! The house will be finished! We were excited!
Wednesday and Thursday went as planned and the house was built. It was time to celebrate with the family and take them out for Chinese Food (their choice)! The family was overwhelmed with emotion when walking through their new home. It was a great privilege to build the home.
May it be Unshakeable!
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