Monday, June 27, 2016

Property Development | June 27, 2016

New Office Plans
Property Development
Casas por Cristo is looking towards the future. We have begun plans to construct a new headquarters on our property in order to reach more communities with the love of Christ. But, we need your help to complete these plans in a fiscally responsible manner. We are still seeking licensed or experienced contractors in the following areas so that we can assemble volunteer teams to accomplish these tasks. Please contact us if you would like to offer your skills pro bono or at a reduced rate to help us continue to grow and share the Gospel around the globe.
Needed Services
  • Excavators
  • Plumbers
  • HVAC Technicians
  • Electricians
  • Contractors
    • Painting
    • Drywall
    • Framing
    • Stucco
    • Concrete
    • Millwork
    • Landscaping
  • Manufacturers/Distributors
    • Doors
    • Windows
    • Building Materials
      • Wood/Metal Studs
      • Sheeting
      • Doors/Windows/Hardware
      • Insulation
      • Landscape (Rock, Plants, Design Features)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Family Spotlight June 2016 | Santiago, Dominican Republic

Osoky and his son Onerlene
Meet Omelio, Charlene, and their son Onerlene (a combination of Omelio and Charlene). If you have been on a trip with us to the Dominican, there is a strong chance you have gotten to know our one and only Omelio, or as everyone likes to call him, Osoky. He is one of the group chauffeurs employed by Centro Cristiano. He is outgoing, fun, and takes great pride in helping our teams. Since the beginning, on top of driving our volunteer teams from point A to point B, Osoky has chosen to work right alongside our teams in the house building process. He considers it an honor and a privilege to help minister to his people while all along living in the same conditions as those he is helping. 

Before Osoky became a God fearing leader in the community, he stood out in other ways. He was known for being the head of a local gang. In fact, at the house dedication, his mom claimed Osoky used to be one huge headache. Like many people in this world, he was only living for himself until God turned his life around. Osoky decided to begin chasing after the life God intended for him. Centro Cristiano chose to hire him because of his past and his knowledge of the local crime. What Satan once used for harm, God redeemed. Osoky now uses his past knowledge of crime to ensure the safety of our volunteer teams.
Pastor Michell, Charlene, & Osoky
When Osoky is not serving alongside groups, he works as a local motor taxi driver. His wife Charlene, on top of taking care of their son, is going to school to become a teacher for early childhood development. Onerlene is a ball of energy and, like his dad, is always the life of the party. When their family found out that they would be sponsored for a home, they were overjoyed. Charlene was so excited that she had their belongings packed in boxes two full weeks before Peace Lutheran Church of Eau Claire, Wisconsin arrived in February to build for them. 

The entire build was a testimony to the man Osoky has become in Christ. The community rallied around their family, helping in any way possible. They helped pour concrete, level walls, nail siding, and even made sure Peace Church had their fill of fruit and coffee daily. This time, Osoky wasn't building for someone else. He was building a home for himself and for his family. At the dedication, he said, "I now understand in a completely new way what these families feel when receiving a home through Casas and how God is glorified in the process. I can now help share Christ and relate in a new and real way to the families that we will serve together." 
Volunteer team from Peace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, WI

915.778.0046  |  

Monday, June 13, 2016

New Office Plans | Property Development

Casas por Cristo is looking towards the future. We have begun plans to construct a new headquarters on our property in order to reach more communities with the love of Christ. But, we need your help to complete these plans in a fiscally responsible manner. We are seeking licensed or experienced contractors in the following areas so that we can assemble volunteer teams to accomplish these tasks. Please contact us if you would like to offer your skills pro bono or at a reduced rate to help us continue to grow and share the Gospel around the globe.

Needed Services
  • Excavators
  • Plumbers
  • HVAC Technicians
  • Electricians
  • Contractors
    • Painting
    • Drywall
    • Framing
    • Stucco
    • Concrete
    • Millwork
    • Landscaping
  • Manufacturers/Distributors
    • Doors
    • Windows
    • Building Materials
      • Wood/Metal Studs
      • Sheeting
      • Doors/Windows/Hardware
      • Insulation
      • Landscape (Rock, Plants, Design Features)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Missionary Spotlight | Jake White

Meet Jake White, missionary with Casas por Cristo. Jake came on staff in 2015 as one of our Juárez Field Coordinators after serving with us for two summer internships. Jake helped to develop the new model house plans for our Acuña location, and he makes sure all of our tool kits and nail crates are ready to go for each build.
INTERVIEW WITH JAKE

1. Tell a little bit about yourself and where you're from.
  • Hello! My name is Jake White. I am 24 years old. I grew up in Northeast Ohio. I will always have a deep love for Akron/Cleveland and all sports teams from that area. A year ago, I graduated from the University of Akron with my Bachelor's in Construction Engineering. Like I said, I love Ohio, but I knew God was preparing me to be sent out. I like to get dirty, work with my hands, travel, and be outside. I am into martial arts, backpacking, and occasionally mountain biking. I enjoy reading and playing guitar to relax in my downtime. The thing I want most for my life is to be most effectively used by the Lord for His purposes.

2. What made you choose to serve at Casas por Cristo?
  • I came on my first trip with Casas por Cristo back in 2012 and fell in love with missions. I was asked about signing up for the intern program and decided to take that leap of faith. I ended up spending a life-changing summer in Guatemala. It was there that God showed me I was created for missionary life. I came back for a second internship and spent the summer here in Juárez, México. It was here that God showed me the eternal effect this ministry has in the lives of the people we serve as well as those we serve with. I was so sure that God wanted me here that it was as if he spoke directly to me. Not with words, but with the Spirit guiding my life. I applied to join staff that summer and moved down six days after graduating college. Life has been a whirlwind ever since, but I have God to cling to through it all!
3. How have you seen God through your ministry at Casas por Cristo?
  • The short answer is that I have seen him in every way. I have seen Him in my life, my coworkers' lives, in the lives of our volunteers, and especially in the people we are privileged to serve. It seems like everyday something happens, and I think to myself, "What a God thing!" He is so abundant in our ministry that I never question if we are aligned with the Spirit or not. There is something so simple yet amazing about the way we serve people. We work, sweat, and hurt with the families we serve. It's not glamorous, but that's why I love it. Jesus got dirty to love us, and that's how we want to reach out to people.
4. What has been your biggest challenge so far?
  • It was definitely tough to leave behind life as I knew it to move here and serve. My biggest struggle has just been finding myself in the midst of a new lifestyle. I am constantly learning more and more about how God has created me and gifted me. It's been a crazy transition from being a college student in Ohio to serving as a full time missionary down here in Juárez. I'm trying to forge a new life here, and fundraising isn't always the easiest thing either.
5. What are some things people can pray for on your behalf?
  • I would love prayer that God would use me to show His love to the world and to glorify Him. I would also appreciate prayer that our ministry would continue to grow and reach the world. Lastly, pray that I would figure out this new lifestyle and get connected with the generous people I need to be able to stay here long term. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Family Spotlight | San Raymundo, Guatemala

Macaria is a single mother with four children. Their lives before and after receiving a home are radically different. They used to live with her parents, all seven of them together in one room. It was a tiny structure with tin walls, a tin roof, and a dirt floor. Since they only owned one bed, the majority of them slept on the dirt floor. When it rained, the roof would leak and water would run under the tin walls, turning the dirt floor into mud. Macaria wanted a better life for her children, but with little income, it was difficult to provide. Like many people in Guatemala, Macaria made fireworks for a living. She worked roughly 40 hours/week to earn Q70, which is the equivalent of roughly $9, or $.23/hr.

Physically, it's easy to see why it was tough to make ends meet. And spiritually, it was not any better. Macaria was not a Christian. She never prayed. She never went to church. And her four children were following in her same footsteps. One of our pastors, Tomas Uyu, heard of her story and visited Macaria. He told her that she could apply to receive a home from Casas por Cristo. His hope was that Macaria and her kids would witness the love of Christ during the week while physically being blessed with the gift of a home. Macaria's father gifted her a piece of land to build on, and she said she felt a change in her heart after turning in the application. Although it was difficult to believe at first that a group of strangers were actually going to come build her family a home, she began praying and attending church with the pastor. Throughout the process, she continued to attend church and prayed everyday that a group would indeed come build her family a home. That was the first time she turned to Jesus and put her hope in Christ. 

University Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas then came and built Macaria and her family a home in Spring 2014. To this day, Macaria still struggles to put into words the impact the home has made on her and her children's lives. It was a new beginning. Physically, she now has a safe, secure place of her own to raise her four children. With a concrete floor and a roof that does not leak when it rains, they are able to sleep comfortably at night while their things stay dry. Spiritually, Macaria has accepted Christ and has been attending church ever since. She is now also a leader in her church and helps organize songs for worship. When you visit with Macaria, she will tell you that before she lived with her parents and had nothing, but now she has everything she has ever wanted. She has a home of her own, a roof over their heads, beds to sleep on, food to eat, a happy family, a sense of community, and most of all, hope. Because of their renewed hope, Macaria began selling fruit at the school her children attended. Through saving her profits of Q15-20/day, or $2-3/day, over the course of the past couple years, she was able to begin renting a place in San Raymundo and opened up her own store. She successfully sells tortillas, fruits, and vegetables and hopes to soon begin making and serving meals for people to dine-in and enjoy. Sometimes, all some people need is a jump-start. Through a group of believers stepping beyond the walls of their church and providing the free gift of a home, Macaria and her family witnessed love, received hope, and put their faith in Christ. Macaria now shines as a beacon of light and a testament of God's provision in the community while owning and operating her own business to provide a better life for her four children.
When asked about what she would like to share with potential or future groups, Macaria said the people of Guatemala need help. She feels deeply for families who are struggling, particularly single mothers with children, because she has walked in their shoes. She continuously reminds them to keep hoping and put their faith in Christ because God will provide for their needs like He did for hers. Macaria said, "Continue on, keep going, and God will provide you strength to keep serving. Thank you very much for helping the poor people, and if it were not for the group, my family and I would not be where we are now. I would instead be worrying about how to provide a safe, secure home for my children. I pray that you will continue to help the Guatemalan people and other families like mine."
915.778.0046  |  

Monday, May 9, 2016

Team Casas

WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING TO GIVE
Partner with other individuals to meet the physical need of better housing as a way of also meeting the spiritual need for Jesus Christ.

We need volunteers for the following Team Casas dates.

The deadline to schedule a trip is 30 days prior to each México trip and 60 days prior for trips to other locations. If the trip is scheduled, new registrations will be accepted until the trip takes place.

2016 Team Casas Schedule

MÉXICO
June 13 - 16 | Juárez
(scheduled; still accepting volunteers)
October 7 - 10 | Juárez
(scheduled; still accepting volunteers)
December 27 - 30 | Acuña
(at least 14 volunteers still needed by November 27)
December 27 - 30 | Juárez
(at least 10 volunteers still needed by November 27)

GUATEMALA
July 3 - 8 | San Raymundo
(scheduled; still accepting volunteers; only 1 more volunteer needed to add a 2nd house)
December 27, 2016 - January 1, 2017 | San Raymundo
(at least 12 volunteers still needed by October 27)

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
June 12 - 18 | Santiago
(scheduled; still accepting volunteers)
December 27, 2016 - January 2, 2017 | Santiago
(at least 16 volunteers still needed by October 27)



915.778.0046  |  



Monday, May 2, 2016

Missionary Spotlight | The DeWitt Family

Meet Scott and Jonna DeWitt, their daughter Madison, and their son Mason. Scott came on staff in 2006 as the Director of Spiritual Outreach after serving as a youth minister in Illinois for twelve years. In 2014, he moved his family to Del Rio, Texas to serve as the Acuña Field Director.
INTERVIEW WITH SCOTT
1. Tell a little bit about yourself and where you're from.
  • I grew up in Southern Indiana, and my wife is from Western Pennsylvania. We met at Johnson University in Knoxville, TN and were married in 1992. We served in youth ministry together before we were married and knew that God had called us to a life of ministry. We were privileged to work with one part-time ministry in Kentucky and two full-time ministries in Illinois prior to our work with Casas por Cristo. Those experiences and people will forever be a part of our lives.
2. What made you choose to serve at Casas por Cristo?
  • We brought our youth group on several Casas trips. On one of these trips in 2005 our bus broke down. As a result, Jonna, Dave, one of our youth sponsors, and I stayed behind to get the bus fixed and to drive it home. At the time I had just joined the board and was getting more involved with Casas. I enjoyed the work and loved the people and mission of the ministry. We were able to spend a couple days with the Casas staff and later that summer were asked to consider coming to Casas as the Director of Spiritual Outreach. After speaking with mentors and praying lots, we knew this was an open door God had placed in our path, one we couldn't refuse no matter how hard it was to leave our church family in Illinois. We committed in September 2005 and through many gifts and prayers were able to move our family to El Paso the summer of 2006.
3. How have you seen God through your ministry at Casas por Cristo?
  • God continually amazes us everyday. The blessings and strength he has given us to be able to continue with Casas are amazing. It is not to say the devil hasn't worked hard to stop it, but our God has carried us through it all and continues to open doors for us to walk through. The opportunities that our family has to build with people and for families is a true blessing to us. Seeing the love of God poured into a home and a family fills our hearts to overflowing. Who else can say that they get to see God come alive in the people they serve?
4. What has been your biggest challenge so far?
  • Well, a challenge is something that is hard to overcome. We have to say challenges are there all the time. Being so far away from relatives, being away from the kids and Jonna, raising support, being weary and tired from weeks of consecutive builds, the weight of an entire department and now location on my shoulders are all challenges, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. These struggles have strengthened my love for God, family, and the ministry of serving others.
5. What are some things people can pray for on your behalf?
  • We covet prayers for strength, courage, and boldness to serve in the times we are weary or overcome with tiredness. We would love prayers for our family structure as our children are getting older and things are changing with teenagers that are involved in so much. Most of all, pray for people to come and serve with us to reach those that have physical needs and burdens.