This was one of my favorite days. Earlier in the week, the team had decided to take the money we set aside for a free fun day and build a house for a family instead. We were up early and headed up in to the mountains to a beautiful retreat center called Villa Gracia. On the way we passed many large homes, including those of the American, Canadian, and south Korean ambassadors. Quite different from most of the homes we saw and also surrounded by heavy security and large fences. At villa Gracia, we picked up the guy who would be leading our house building adventure, as well as some other people who would help us. We were able to get off the bus and enjoy the beauty. The retreat center actually reminded us a lot of Wisconsin...lots of pine trees and very peaceful. After loading up all of our equipment, the bus followed Mark up the mountain.
We reached a place where the bus couldn't go any further or it wouldn't be able to turn around again...meaning we had to hike up the rest of the way. It was a hard trek in the heat and altitude, but we all made it to the site, which had already been cleared and prepped for building. All of our materials were waiting for us, and we were also able to view the outside of the current home, which was ready to cave in on one corner. We were building for a mom and her 3 children, as well as the grandmother.
Using post hole diggers, chainsaws, hammers, and nails, we erected a 15x16 wooden one room house with a slanted corrugated tin roof, wooden floor, and a hinged window and door. We placed a sign over the door that said en el nombre de Jesus (in the name of Jesus). We prayed with the family, and they said they hoped we could come back to bless another family in the same way.
Trekked back down to the bus with all of our stuff and scarfed down some lunch. We built the whole thing in about 5 hours. Everyone was able to help, whether pounding nails, hauling lumber, holding walls in place, digging holes, etc. It was a beautiful thing to experience.
Spent the rest of the day relaxing at the house...we were exhausted!