New House for Minerva!

This is the before picture. It is very tiny, smaller than most American bathrooms. The floor is dirt and the walls and roof are a patchwork of tin, carboard and plastic. The climate on the North Baja penninsula of Mexico gets very cool and windy. It can hover around freezing at night. We are also having quite a wet winter which leaves all the kids wet and cold. There are 5 children. One died before we came (from what Minerva told me, it sounded like swine flu or some other nasty respitory and high fever illness). There is also a mother and another baby on the way. The inside of the house makes the outside look nice. It's hard to even describe the sights and smells.

The two oldest children ,Minerva and Alvaro, lived at the childrens home here where we are working, for a few months. They were returned to their mom by a gov't agency just before Christmas. It's a strained and uncertain situation at home still as nothing really changed. During the time they lived at the childrens home our family sponsered Minerva, however both kids called us "Tia and Tio" (now all five do). We spent a lot of time with those two and they became part of our family here. If we went somewhere , they went with us. When the children unexpectedly left the childrens home (we all expected them to be here for a very long time) our financial sponsorship of her ended but our role as Tia and Tio didn't. I told them as they tearfully drove away, not knowing if we would ever see them again and heart broken for the situation they were returning to, that we would always be their Auntie and Uncle.

We were determined to find them again. To make good on our role as auntie and uncle. Once we saw the conditions our kids were living in we knew we had to do something. I wasn't going to go back to my comfy house in Canada while kids I love huddle in dirt trying to keep warm. The problem was we didn't have a clue how we would get them a new house. We don't have the money. My husband has the skills as a Journeyman carpenter but we would need help. We took the whole situation to God and stepped out in faith.

An nearby organization called IDT facilitates groups of volunteers who come down and build houses in this impoverished area. The wait list to get a house built is long though. We talked to IDT to see if we could get help with getting a slab poured and we could worry about the rest when the time came. One thing lead to another and pieces all fell together. A youthgroup from Alberta Canada came this week to build their house. This group has been working toward, raising money and preparing for this trip for 3 years. For some reason they were coming but at the last minute had no one to build for, the house they were supposed to build fell through. God had other plans. I think he had this figured out three years ago when they started dreaming about doing the trip. IT's been really cool to witness how God has so completely provided.

We also had a couple big hearted family members send us some money to help out with the house. We still needed to level the lot, haul in gravel and are providing some basic furnishings. So far God has used a whole lot of different people. We didn't send out letters, beg or knock on doors. We had decided to just go ahead and see how God would provide. It's been amazing to see how God's people answered the call.

My hubby has been working with the group this week offering his construction knowledge to the willing hands and servants hearts that came with the group of youth. That was part of what IDT needed to get the job done...a construction supervisor for the project. One of the peices that just fell together perfectly. It's making a busy week for him as he balances responsibilities here and out at the house project.
I havent' been out to see the work being done during the day but he did take some pictures for me.

This is the group that is working hard and is even providing some VBS and games for all the curious neighborhood kids.
Thankyou SOOO much to the Lethbridge youth! Thankyou for making this happen. God has used you this week! You have been an answer to many prayers.

Last night we drove out to see the progress. I was amazed at how much had been done in two days! They are also doing repair work in the neighbor house (the one that lost its roof in the big rain storm). They still have at least another full days work...probably most of two.

It was incredible. The last couple times I've been out to visit the oldest two (Minerva and Alvaro) were at school. Upon arrival Minerva met me at the car door with a huge bear hug and a "I missed you Auntie!". She was one big smile as she showed me her new house. I was just as giddy as she was as we disucussed where their bedroom would be and where she would put her new little propane stove.

Tomorrow is the dedication ceremony and fiesta. Minerva made sure to tell me I had to come on Thursday. I wouldn't miss it for the world!

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