There is nothing more thrilling than building houses in Honduras. They are what we call, “instant gratification.” That’s because in one afternoon you go from an empty dirt lot to having a home for someone. The family who’s getting the home comes and watches and everyone is happy, smiling and thankful. My friend John Henderson said after his first house, “I’d be happy building 2 houses everyday for the rest of my life.” Last week was a good week, we built a LOT of houses. Marc Tindall says he gets about 11 requests each day for a house. TORCH does not receive enough funds to build that many houses, but they do what they can when they can.
Houses are not always easy. Many times you have to carry the lumber up the side of a mountain to the place you’re going to build. All the people we built homes for were living in terrible conditions. Here’s Amber showing off her muscles.
A great picture of two doctors, Green & Darter, who did more than see patients.
Our girls weren’t afraid to get dirty and work. (Kristie, Amanda & Kristin)
John & Lonnie. FYI: If you build a home with John, make sure you don’t work directly under him. He may drop a hammer or himself on you.
Clay doing the roof.
An excited family has a new home. One of the things I love is that before we leave a home, we give them a “home kit.” Which consists of a box full of blankets, sheets, pots & pans, a teddy bear (if there are kids) and other things for their new home. That’s always so fun watching them open it.
I had to include this picture and tell you the story behind it. As you notice, it rains a LOT in Honduras. We got wet everyday. They finished this house just about the time the rain started. Everyone working, and the little family that was getting this new house, all ran inside to get out of the rain. As everyone sat listening to it rain, in a very dry house, the mother became so overcome with joy and emotion that she started weeping. Finally she and her family wouldn’t be living in a home where they were constantly getting wet when it rained. Needless to say, there wasn’t anyone with dry eyes in the house.
The dump. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t like the dump. It is the complete opposite of building a house. When you finish building a house you feel good about what you’ve accomplished. You’ve given someone a home and everyone is happy. When you finish at the dump … you simply hurt and cry. It’s a place that lacks a lot of hope, but you can’t quit. The good news is that there are plans, big plans, for bringing some hope to the Tegucigalpa dump. I can’t wait to tell you more. But in the meantime, we went to the dump twice last week to feed hungry, dirty people. Due to the heavy rains, the stench was worse than I had ever smelled. But what really matters is that hungry people got fed.
I hate seeing children at the dump.
Here’s something amazing … I’m not sure it’s ever been done before, but the ladies broke out their fingernail polish and began to polish the ladies fingernails. They’d take a wipe and clean their hands and then paint their nails. All the woman were so excited to have their nails done … IN A DUMP! I can’t get past that.
The hand on the right belonged to a little old woman whose hands were so tired and worn out. At first she was embarrassed when the ladies asked to paint her nails, but she gave in and had hers done. As you can see in the following picture … she began to cry and then hugged all the ladies for her new manicure. Heartbreaking that a woman her age would be found digging through trash at this stage in her life. But that day … she did it with pretty nails.
Thanks for letting me share with you about something that I’m very passionate about.