From the Field

I loved my new house. Then they showed me theirs…

In January, my family achieved a life goal. We bought our first house.

After months of web searches and house-of-horror viewings, the century-old, brick house seemed to descend out of the mists of paradise. Sized right and priced right for raising our four children, it felt like a miracle.Two weeks after moving into this dream home, I flew to Guatemala to meet other families who were moving into dream homes of their own – and it was a reality check to be sure. My journey from renter to homeowner hadn’t been half as revolutionary as the transition these families’ were experiencing by moving from dirt-floor shacks to permanent cement-block houses with durable walls and solid foundations.

Umbelina & Julio Fam
Visits and inauguration of new homes and water projects in Los Chilitos.

I had admired the well-maintained hardwood floors of our new house.  These families were grateful to have a floor at all. I had geeked out over my keyless entry locks.  They took comfort in owning a lockable door for the first time in their lives. I had celebrated the convenience of three full bathrooms. They were content to receive a detached latrine as an alternative to relieving themselves in the bush. While it gave me peace-of-mind to hear my roof had recently been redone, they were thrilled to be able to sleep through rainstorms without waking up soaked to the bone. It was humbling to watch as they rejoiced over the miracle of having a water tap at their homes — a blessing they thought they’d never see in their lifetimes. It was also inspiring to hear them talk joyfully about community spirit, better relationships with neighbors, the power of prayer, and a profound sense of gratitude for the work of our ministry partner, the Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima. When you walk among the people the diocese has touched, you feel their renewed energy — the sense that positive changes are just beginning.Yes, God has answered the prayers of these precious people — and you and I got to be a part of it!  Thanks to everyone who made this life-changing work possible by supporting our “Restoring Hope” campaign. Your gift has made a profound difference in the lives of the poor.