Our team had the opportunity to build two houses today in a small village located just outside the city dump. Many of the people in this villages formerly lived at the actual dump, until the mayor gave them a plot of land to live in. It is crazy to see the homes that these families live in, many of them made from materials taken from the dump itself. So, basically they build their homes out of trash. I just want to preface this post with a few words to all those who donated financially to our group. You should know that the supplies used to built these homes that are now housing actual families with actually children, were purchased with the money that you donated to us. Even though you were not here to dig the post holes, or hammer the nails, you were definitely a huge part in providing much needed shelter for these families.
To be completely honest, I was not looking forward to building a house today. This morning I could tell that my body was starting to breakdown a bit and I knew today was going to be hot. The actual building process can be a little daunting, digging post holes on a mountain side, sometimes through solid rock. Building a house from start to finish takes some time. It is definitely an all day task. There came a point when I first started helping dig the holes and I was using the stud bar, when someone mentioned how they wanted to find some gloves. I thought for a second that gloves sounded like a good idea, but then I realized that I wanted to get blisters on my hands. I wanted to feel the pain of doing hard work. I wanted it to be difficult. I was looking at the view of the mountainside across the valley from the building site and I couldn’t help but to be in awe of God’s glory. I thought about how building this house was going to completely change the life of this family. I began to think of what Jesus went through during his crucifixion, the pain he must have felt. Jesus’ hands and feet were pierced. He was nailed to a cross. I wanted to feel the sting of the blisters that were forming on my hands. I know that a few blisters and a sun burn hardly compare to the horrible, brutal death that Jesus endured. Still, I decided not to wear gloves.
This is the second house that I have built in Honduras. Both times I volunteered to help with the roof. I’m not really afraid of heights and it’s fun to balance on two by fours for hours in the hot Honduran sun, or something like that. But the thing about building the roof is you are usually among the last to finish working. What this means is that when the family is first able to step foot inside their new home, you are still on the roof. Today while hammering the last few nails into the sheet metal roof, I could hear the family and the other village kids directly underneath me, playing and celebrating their new home. To me, this was just a house, but to them, this was where they will call home. I couldn’t tell you how exhausted I was as I was climbing down from being on a roof for three hours. Even though I was completely sun burnt and my arm hurt from hammering, nothing was going to stop me from going inside that house and playing with the kids. Within seconds, I was transformed into a human jungle gym, with half a dozen village kids climbing all over me. We played and laughed for at least twenty minutes until my body pretty much gave out. As I lay there on the floor at the bottom of a pile of maybe ten Honduran children, I couldn’t help but to think of how happy these kids were, just playing in their new house. They were so willing to love and laugh with total strangers. They trusted that I was there to serve and love them.
For some reason, as I was playing with the kids, I started to think of what it will be like when Jesus is reunited with the Church. The bible uses the analogy of a wedding and a wedding feast. Playing with the kids in the house reminded me of a wedding feast. Now, I know that in this analogy I am kind of playing the part of Jesus, with my blistered hands and then reuniting with these children for a party. But this is just what came to mind. How awesome is it going to be when we are reunited with Christ in heaven, a house that He built for us? The joy that we will experience on that day will be so much more than the joy I felt today playing with the children, and let me tell you, I experienced a lot of joy today.