Another Day, 2 More Blessed Families

June 8, 2013

Chuck and Joe making presentation to Alfredo and WilmaJoe's presentation to Julian and Tomasa It was another good day’s work.

We left our team leader Boli behind today, giving him a break from the heat and the labor of translation and decision, and the time to get some of his own work done (managing the rest of our trip’s arrangements, etc.) and the two teams headed out to build two homes for another two families. For only the second time in the six years that IRONMEN have been coming to Guayaquil on this trip, the two teams were in sight of each other. In fact, we not only were in sight of each other, we were across the street and one door down from each other!
Yes, this does fuel the competitive fires, but then each home has its own challenges, and when the day is done, we are grateful to hear about the families that we have each built for.
Team Ivan built for Julian and Tomasa and their three children (between 5 and 9 months) today. This family, led by a Dad who works for domestic gate security at the Guayaquil airport, started working yesterday at 6 AM to take down the home they have lived in since 2007, and did not finish until 3:00 AM. Then we all showed up at 9:30, and the team started work to provide them a new home. The kicker was that six of the holes for the support posts had to be cut through 5 inches of concrete, and then the holes managed without an auger, since Hogar de Cristo was locked up, and we could not access spare parts. Yet the team persevered, and at the end of the day, this small family was brimming with pride, and overflowing with joy, at the gift of their new home.
Team Gato built a home for another small family; Alfredo and Wilma and their three children (ranging from 3 months to 9 years old.) this home was built behind the ramshackle bamboo and scrap metal hovel they have been living in. Alfredo has spent many days excavating the bluff their home is on, so the new home would have sufficient space. While that sounds good, what it means is that the team had to work through yards and yards of fill dirt to reach solid ground, and only then begin to drill the holes to build the home. We never got a clear story on whether Alfredo works, but we find it remarkable that in these last two days, we have managed to work with and build for four nuclear families—when for so many years, in so many cases, we have worked for single mothers. When we presented the Ascension Window replica to this family, both mother and father were in tears.
We are blessed to be able and allowed to be the hands of Jesus during this trip, and our hearts are warmed by the fact that people—so many children—respond to our smiles. God truly is good, ALL the time!
That said, we are tired. Shortly we will go out to dinner at a sports bar we found years ago, then come back and crash for the night. Tomorrow is a day off from work; we could use a break before the final 2 days of building!

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