Not a House But a Home
Blog post written by Philline Qian (Senior at Northwood High School)
Today was our second to last day serving in El Salvador and our team was excited to continue working on the concrete house for the Hernandez family.
As usual, we woke up bright and early-- leaving the beloved mission house at around 7:45 AM. The good news: we were woken up with the scintillating smells of frying bacon and pancakes (the food this week has been AMAZING thanks to chef Cameron), it was like a real California breakfast! The dads on our team (Ron, Thomas and Jeff) decided to cook a special breakfast for the team, what a treat!
After leaving the house, we made a pit stop at Walmart to purchase about 280 bags of food to deliver to the people of Ahuachapan (see Jenni's blog for more!). We made the world's greatest (and most cramped) assembly line on the bus to prepare the bags of food. God has led our group to have excellent teamwork and a positive attitude and it's made the whole trip the best it could possibly be.
As we listened to several testimonies from our translators on the bus ride to the construction site I started to realize the incredible way that God moves uniquely in every person's life, no matter their situation. I learned that often God's plan is revealed in the most unexpected ways as he rewards our patience. I think everyone was really thankful that our translators were open and courageous enough to share these personal stories with us.
When we finally reached the construction site our team was pumped and prepared to put everything we had into building the house. We focused on cutting bricks, laying bricks, mixing cement, shoveling dirt, cutting wire, and of course playing with the adorable Hernandez boys. Although it was the fifth day of serving, God blessed our team with boundless energy and enthusiasm to serve Him and it showed in the positive attitude exuding from the entire group as we worked hard and fast. In the end, we did not finish building the whole house (it will probably be finished in the next two weeks or so), but knowing that we played a small role in building not a house, but a home for an incredible and godly family is a victory in itself.
We ended our day by dedicating the house. Because of generous donations from several North Americans we were able to bring the family things like toothbrushes, soap, detergent, toys, clothes, shoes, dishes, games, food, and so much more. As we prayed over the house we asked God to bless the the home with the Holy Spirit and to allow it to be a place of growth, learning, worship, and above all, joy as the Hernandez family prepares to move in.
By supplying the funds and providing the manual labor to make the building of this house possible, I believe that our translator Jenny was totally right when she said that by God's grace we made it possible for a Salvadorian family to dream big-- the Hernandez sons can now focus on their studies, their relationships, and most of all just being the children God created them to be. The Hernandez parents can save for opportunities to slowly build up the way they live (with electricity, televisions, flushable toilets, etc.) It has been a blessing and a privilege to serve a family who taught us more than we could ever teach them or ourselves-- I can't wait to see what the future holds for the Hernandez family.
Last important part of our day: Kurt just surprised us by picking up McFlurries from McDonalds. It was another great day in El Salvador.