Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vacation with a Purpose

I've mentioned before that my brother and his family moved to Mexico in December. They are there with One Mission, to build relationships with the poverty-stricken locals. The first step in this process is to build them a house. Groups of 20 or more from the U.S. or Canada pay for the supplies and provide some of the labor. One Mission requires the locals wanting a house to work a minimum of 45 hours building houses for others. A group of 26 from my sister's church (plus me) went this past weekend.

Here's how to build a house in the barrios of Rocky Point, Mexico:

1. Mix cement by hand.

2. Saw lumber for the frame.

3. Smooth cement for floor. The structure you see in the background is the beginning of a kitchen/living area that the family began on their own.

4. The next day, put up frame.

5. Put on roof and plywood for walls.

By the way, no prior building skills are required. Even those with manicured nails can do this.

6. Put on paper. That's my brother on the roof in white and my sister in the pink.

7. Apply stucco (which was also mixed by hand in wheel barrows).

8. Ta-Da! A new house!

9. Celebrate with homeowners! (the family we built for is in front - young Samantha in orange, mom Samantha behind her in brown, dad Sergio beside her on the right).

It was a great weekend. It was good to see my brother, sister-in-law and nieces. To see what God is moving them to do there. The people I met in Rocky Point are awesome, warm, friendly, hard working & genuine. They have next to nothing, most don't have running water or electricity. We had extra money and were able to purchase a bed for the couple and one for young Samantha. (Can you imagine sleeping on the ground? They do.) We also bought them a propane stove. Some of them know the Lord, most of them don't. He has not forgotten them, though. That's why One Mission is there. If you would like to change someone's life, get a group to go to Mexico and build a house. Here's the website: How's that for a shameless plug? :)

Thank you for your prayers and support while I was in Mexico. I felt it. It's good to be home and yet my mind keeps returning to those beautiful faces I met in a place that was far from beautiful. Please pray for the people in the barrios and for the whole team at One Mission, I know they appreciate it.


  1. Awesome!! Thanks for sharing your pictures, what a blessing for you to share in God working down there. Makes me think warmly of doing similar projects in Mexico, I love the people down there. So excited for you to have had your wonderful experience and visit with your family!

  2. Very Cool, Mel! I hope I get to go soon!!

  3. Oksy, I SO want to do this!! Checking out One Mission's site now...