So much has happened in the past few days in Acuña. By day three, we were all tired and sore from doing construction for two days in a row. We were supposed to wake up at 6 am for breakfast at 6:30, but each day we stayed in bed just a little bit longer. We did a devotional before eating breakfast made by two wonderful ladies from Casas por Cristo. After eating, we loaded up the van and headed to the worksite jamming out to “El Mismo Sol” or the Jonas Brothers. As the house came together, we got more excited to work. Scott started each workday with another devotional and prayer. On day three, we continued putting up chicken wire around the entire exterior of the house for the stucco. While a team worked on that, Mason and I finished up some electrical work by drilling holes in the studs to run wires and by putting in outlet boxes. The family we were building the house for cooked all of us tacos for lunch and bought Coke. Both were so delicious! Today was also roofing day. Mason, Sam, and Jamie were on the roof nailing in the plywood boards, trim, and screwing in the roof. It was wonderful to have warm, sunny, dry weather today, but it was blazing hot on the roof.
Just as we put up boards around the outside, someone ran out yelling that Lexi got injured. All of us who were working froze, unsure of what was happening. Scott came out of the house carrying Lexi and brought her to a chair under the shade. She fell off a step ladder in the house while putting up insulation. Luckily, we had two nursing majors on the team who knew what to do. The team finished out the work day by getting the roof and insulation completed while Lexi played with the kids of the family. We drove to the pharmacy to pick up something to wrap Lexi’s foot with. There was a lot of decision making, but Scott, Sam, Lexi, and Jamie chose to go back to Del Rio to the hospital to get X-rays to make sure nothing was broken. All praise to God that nothing was broken according to the X-rays and Lexi and Jamie got Chick-fil-a and Rudy’s for dinner.
On Thursday, we finished construction on the house and dedicated it to the family. Several people put up drywall on the ceiling inside. The rest of us waited around to start stucco and talked to the family. Once the ceiling drywall got up, a team stayed inside to complete the drywall while the rest of us started making stucco and putting it on the exterior of the wall. The stucco process consumed the majority of the day for many team members as it required much attention to detail. As we worked, Scott played music which really helped encourage and energize the team so the day seemed to pass rather quickly. For the second day in a row, the family provided us with lunch which was above and beyond what we expected. Today, they served us chicken with mole sauce and tortillas which was just the pick-me-up we needed to finish the house off.
Finally, we began to put the last touches on the home! This included installing light bulbs, cleaning tools, sweeping out the rooms, and putting up the final shelf. As the building came to a close, we gathered as a group and poured immensely into our relationships with the family. By playing with the children, communicating with the adults in broken Spanish, and giving hugs, we saw that the project was much more than simply a building. We presented the family with keys to their new home, a Casas por Cristo plaque, and some simple house warming gifts before presenting final prayers and words of blessings. Each Casas por Cristo plaque has a number on it that represents the number of houses Casas por Cristo has built. Blas, the head of the family, nailed in the final nail in the house to hang the plaque. This particular portion of the experience was a standout to our team members and was impactful in ways that exceed words. Seeing a project that we poured our hearts into come to completion and reach others for Christ was life-changing to say the very least and is the root of change in many hearts.
Post written by Jamie, Sarah, and Delaney