Friday, March 16, 2007

The Blue House...

So I meet up with a Rafael Aranada. He is the Director for an organization called Brazos de Jesus (Arms of Jesus - AOJ). This is one of those God connections. I first contacted him regarding a reference I was following up on regarding our work with the school for street kids in San Lorenzo el Tejar.

While in this meeting, I learned about the ministry that AOJ is doing in the neighboring community of Parramos. In short they are working to improve communities through education, nutrition, and housing. Since we had been involved with building homes, I inquired further. They have a home design intended to get people out of the dirt floors and bamboo walls and into a simple slab home with wood framing and a tin roof. By any standard from the US we would see this as a really nice tool shed. But for these families that recieve these homes, it changes their lives.

On the recent visit from PCC Clearwater, we put the simplicity of these homes to the test. Of the 18 team members that came that week, 5 left on Wednesday and the family units stayed through to Saturday. Of those extra days, we took one and built a couple of homes. I know that sounds odd to let that statement roll off of your tongue, "Oh yea, we built a couple of homes today..."

AOJ has been building these homes for the past 10 years, and those original homes are still standing solid. The design includes a pre-numbered assembly of 16-4x8 hardy board panels (two panels being windows and one panel being a door), 15-2x3 sticks of various lengths, 8 sheets of tin and an assortment of bolts, screws and nails. They net out to be a two room home 12'x16'. Water and electricity are optional pending what was in the orginal home and availability.

With our team of 13 plus a Nancy, Amber and myself and 3 participants from the World Race Missions Team, two homes were built averaging 2hrs and 30 minutes each. That included painting. This team went into the project not knowing first hand what we were getting into. But now we know.

These homes open up doors for outreach in many methods. Our missions goal for IDC is not to re-create the wheel. We want to enhance life and ministry for any and all in the Panchoy Valley. We have another strong mission project for any teams whether they be 15 college students or a family of 4.

Improving quality of life both physically and spiritually, that is where it is at.

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