Day 3 – Posted by Brad
Are you Michaelito?
I’ll explain the question you see above towards the end, as it came after a very wonderful day of work.
We began the day heading to build a house for the Mosh family. We knew very little about them when we began. There was a mom, dad, 4 daughters, 2 sons and two grandsons. When we arrived, the dad was cleaning up their land. You will notice from the first picture that Mario did not seem very lively when we began the day. He seemed tired and distracted. As we began to build, he picked up tools and started to help. Before long, he was lifting, holding metal and a real part of the team. You will notice by the time we finished, he was smiling and very proud.
To see the conditions they lived in was humbling. The family has lived in their inadequate home for 24 years. The mother said that all of her kids have been sick over the years. The 8-month old seems to be doing much better. Now that they are in their new home, it should be great. You will see from the photo that Rick took how the baby stayed in their old house. Great photo!
All of the guys worked hard. It was especially cool to see Tim and Keith on the worksite. Tim loved getting in there and working with his hands. He was a little concerned in the beginning that the house was not built with the highest accuracy we would in America. It is Guatemala, and we had about 5 hours to build it. Keith, Tim and John really did a great job.
We also built a kitchen for the family, and installed an ONIL stove. We then decorated the house, set up the bunk beds and had the house dedication. When Chris asked the mom what she thought, she replied that she never thought it would be that nice! They were truly pleased. So were we. One funny picture was of Scott working on the house. He was totally unaware of the little one watching everything he did. Cute!
We then skipped lunch and went to build a kitchen for a mom. You will see by the photo that she had a bad situation. She always had to go outside to cook (rain or shine, no roof), and her stove was bad. But, the most interesting part was to come.
As Chris walked up to the site, a beautiful little girl named “Claudia” ran up and grabbed Chris’s arm. She looked at him and said, “Are you Michaelito?” Chris said no, he was not. She said, “no, no, I know you are Michaelito!” She was so emphatic about it. I guess someone built their house, and she remembers his name. It obviously meant a lot to her that Chris was him. So, Chris said, “OK, if you want me to, I will be Michaelito”. She was extremely satisfied. She clung to him the entire time. She smiled, laughed and was completely adorable.
She had two brothers, who were both good boys. You will see one young man named Joel. The smile on his face from the hat Rick gave him was huge. Wow, he really loved that hat and did not take it off the entire time. We gave them backpacks and shoes. In fact, I took Claudia and her brothers to the van to look for black shoes for school. As I opened the bag, I was unsure if there was a pair of girls shoes that would fit her. Keith later told me that he was watching as this went on, praying the entire time that there would be one pair. Guess what, the only pair of girls shoes we had…fit! By the way, if you have the opportunity, please collect all the black shoes you can. These things are literally like gold. Backpacks are a huge help (thanks Debbie). When I gave Claudia her backpack, people literally came out of the cornfield next to us. Kids came from everywhere. “Mochilla, mochilla!!!” That’s backpack in Spanish. For Juana’s benefit in Louisville, I now know it is “Mochilla”, not “Machete”.
As we left the house, Claudia gave the saddest look ever. None of us got a picture. Probably for the best! I had been saving a special blanket for that perfect opportunity. The grandmother of this family came at the very end. I ran back to her and wrapped this warm, soft blanket around her like a shawl. She loved it, and it was totally the perfect choice.
In the end, we had an amazing day. All of the guys are doing a super job. Working hard, enjoying the Guatemalan people and serving Christ with all of their hearts and hands. I am so thankful to be here with a great group of men that love Jesus as much as I do. It makes it totally worth it. It has also been a special blessing to have Rick and John here from Iowa. Thanks for coming with us guys! One of the things I appreciate about John Mitchell is that he is always thinking about how to help, and ways to make people’s lives better. But, he is not afraid to stop and just let the moment sink in. I love the picture of him sitting next to the three young men.
I will close with a picture as we drove back to the hotel. You will see the volcanoes in the background. One of them is smoking (hopefully not going off).
Tomorrow we build a chicken coup for a single mom. She will get 50 laying hens. We will also continue to visit families. We will also go to church tomorrow night. So, I will not be able to post until much later.
One special prayer request. John and Rick sent a container of wheelchairs from Iowa. They are in Guatemala, but the container has been flagged by Customs. They plan on pulling everything out of it and searching it. The US Customs has already done the same thing, so it is crazy. Please pray that the men who do this simply open the door, look in and close it again, knowing the lives that will be changed by the wheelchairs.
Dios te Bendiga,