Hey! My name is Emily Strasser. I'm a freshman at WKCTC and decided to write the blog tonight!
Day 4 began as every other-- woke up early and ate an amazing breakfast prepared by John! His food is amazing! Once we got in the van though, I knew it was going to be different. We loaded into the van and headed out on our two hour trek to the building site. We stopped on our way at a gas station and got some drinks and snacks. As we continued on towards the building site, we passed by such amazing scenery! There was a mountain looming in the distance across the vast, green, and beautiful valley. It was absolutely breathtaking. We arrived at the building site and were honored to meet the family for whom we were building the house.
At this point, I must take a break to explain this family to you. The family consists of a single mother who is caring for two of her boys. She has another two sons, however, one whom lives in foster care and another who perished in a fire a couple years ago. The mother and two sons, ages 13 and 3, currently reside in the mother's mother's house (the children's grandmother.) Our building of a house for the family to reside in will allow the mother's son who is in foster care to return to his family.
With the knowledge of these circumstances, I believed I was prepared for the day. However, this was not the case. As we met the family, prayed with the mother, and began laying the foundation, I realized that this was gong to be a far more humbling and rewarding experience than I initially supposed.
The foundation took a while to lay. We had to place cinder blocks and ensure they were level and squared up in order to lay the floor. The ground we were building on was not very level, so it took a while. We had to use shovels and pick axes since the ground was hard. When the cinder blocks were laid, we poured cement inside of them and let them cure briefly. We then laid the floor which had been painted underneath with a strong bug repellent. When we finished laying the floor, we took a break for lunch and then went back to work!
Next, we set the walls. It took a while since they were not entirely squared up, but Don Jose used his expertise and made them fit together perfectly. When we finished setting the walls, some of the boys and a number of the translators began placing the roof. The rest of us began painting the exterior of the house a beautiful green! Painting was such a blast--even if it made a mess everywhere. When we finished laying the roof and painting the house, we painted the Sus Hijos symbol with the year's date on the front of the house. It looked so beautiful and left all of us with a sense of accomplishment and pride.
While we were building, anyone who was not busy would play with the children there, the 13 year old son and his two cousins. We played frisbee and soccer! We also took endless amounts of pictures of the children, the translators, and ourselves. Watching
the other team members interacting with the children was such a beautiful experience. They all made sure to let the children know that they were loved and cared for.
When we finished the house, we all took pictures in front of it and the one son joined us too! You could tell that all of the children were so intrigued by the idea of there being a new house! The son also loved learning English words and was asking us about all sorts of things!
Today was amazing. I have never sweat so much in a day, but it was worth it--so worth it! Even though we were only able to meet the mother briefly before she left for work, I know we shall see her tomorrow at the dedication ceremony. I know it will be a wonderful ceremony and I know the mother's gratefulness when she sees the house will impact our whole team in ways we never imagined possible. I also know that this act will impact her life and that of her family. God has been doing amazing things this week and I know He will continue to do so!