Things don’t always work out the way we planned

June 24, 2012

The plan today was to build two more homes. The plan did not work out the way we hoped.

  When we arrived at the first build site, after a terrifficly steep drive, we found what our leader Boli termed an “untenable situation.” There was a home that was to be demolished, which had not been done. And the site was contaminated with the remains of “fecal incontinence.” As Boli pointed out, just a little bit of airborne “stuff,” and we’d be laid down, if not in the hospital. We reluctantly left the site, begrudginly, frustrated that we were not following through on our commitment. That was mitigated, as Gato stayed at the site with a volunteer from Spain (Julian), to demo the house. They joined us later.

To compound things, we learned that the intended (and eventual) homeowner, Sara, has advanced MS, fecal incontinence, and some other health issues. She has NO means of support, and two children to boot. In an interesting turn, the community that lives around her arranged for her to get the Hogar home. They advocated for her, and made the commitment to get the site cleaned after the demo today. It is the community that brings her food, and essentially keeps her alive, at the age of 32. Tomorrow, on our day off from building (we will spend a good bit of the day learning more about Hogar and their broader ministries), Gato and Ivan will install the home in our stead; so Sara and her family WILL have a home.

We were able to stop by where Sara is staying temporarily, and present her with the Cross and Ascension window, and pray with her and her family.

The other site was a challlenge, as well. Sandwiched tightly between atwo fence lines, a brick home and a block outhouse, it was a challenge. But with both teams working on this one build, we managed to squeeze the home in and get it built. The homeowner, Maria, is building on land that her mother (also named Maria) has given her–Maria the senior is the owner of the brick home, which had a stove, washer and dryer, and all tings considered, was a relatively nice home.

Maria the daughter did not smile a lot today, despite the fact that she was receiving a home. Mother Maria was not present, as she got a call that she had work today (she is a shrimp cleaner.)

Maria the daughter works downtown, selling bottled water, soda, and candy on the streets. She also has AIDS. This was discovered when she gave birth to her second child, and is also when her husband abandoned her. Yet she is there, she now has a home near family, and she is doing what she can to provide for her family.

We consider it a privilege to be here, to be doing wht we are, and to be the hands, feet, and smile of Jesus.



We’ll play tourist a bit tonight, having dinner at a sports bar that we discovered a couple of years ago. Tomorrow, as I said, we will meet with the Hogar leadership, and play tourist some more.

One Response to “Things don’t always work out the way we planned”

  1. Hi Chuck, I’m so glad you posted about your blog on FB. Thanks for sharing the stories about your trip. Some of it breaks my heart, but I know that you and the Peachtree gang are doing tremendous work and are being paid back spiritually ten-fold. I’m am praying for you and the team, and asking for God to bless your work tremendously. I can’t wait to hear more details when you return. The shady Silver Comet Trail will be here waiting for you always!

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