Today it was time for the rubber to hit the road and for our team to start building homes for the families of Valle Verde, El Salvador. We packed drills, hammers, tin snips and 22 people into the back of trucks and headed to the build site. Our goal was to build six homes on the hills and in the valley of this community just outside of San Vicente. As a brand new community partnering with Shelter Canada, none of the community members had experience with building these homes, and only a few of the team members from Canada had experience either. Thank goodness for the experienced local builders who work with Shelter Canada on a regular basis – they knew what to do and how to keep things moving forward.
It was truly inspiring to see a pile of galvanized metal be transformed into a house before lunch. All future homeowners from the community worked hand in glove with the Canadian team – many of us remarked how tirelessly and diligently they worked throughout the day. The building of relationships was also intentionally pursued throughout the day. Young boys that were hanging around were given drills and happily put to work. Toddlers were given bubbles to blow. Babies were cuddled. Building teams sat down for an in-depth conversation about their life story and what these new homes meant to them. These stories were sometimes heartwrenching and always touching.
At the end of the day, six homes were built and the proud owners had somewhere safe and protected to raise their families. We definitely sensed God at work in this community to build hope as well as homes.