Casas por Cristo (Houses because of Christ) is a mission organization, founded in 1993, that builds homes for families in need in México, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala. In four days, volunteer teams transform an empty lot into a complete home. Families served receive a renewed trust in God’s love and faithfulness as volunteers are awakened to the realities of poverty and the importance of humanitarianism and service in the name of Christ.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
From Purdue to CpC
Rachel Weller, a summer intern from 2011, is leaving friends, family and familiarity behind to come on board as an apprentice with Casas por Cristo. Her university newspaper wrote an article about her decision to leave Purdue to come and serve as a missionary with Casas por Cristo. Read more about our newest addition and get to know Rachel a little more before her transition to El Paso at the beginning of the new year!
Senior plans move to Mexico, citing love of culture
Photo Provided by Rachel Weller
12/4/12 Working in Mexico
Rachel Weller, a senior in the College of Science, interacts with a child while in Mexico acting as a missionary building houses.
After helping build more than 20 houses in Mexico for the less fortunate, a Purdue student said she still cries when she hands the house keys to the family at the end of the week.
Rachel Weller, a senior in the College of Science, vividly remembers the last day of her first trip to Juarez, Mexico, when she was in high school.
“Initially I completely hated it,” Weller said. “It was hot, it was hard work and I had never done construction before.”
Weller said the turning point was when her group of 15 saw the family’s faces when they revealed the new house.
“That was definitely when it was all worth it,” Weller said. “And that feeling comes every time we build a house.”
Weller has visited Mexico multiple times since and is now preparing to move there for good next semester to work as a missionary. She will be the team coordinator for the short-term missions foundation, Casas por Cristo.
Bryson Maikranz, a senior in the College of Engineering, has built houses with Weller in Mexico and said it was an amazing experience to go to Mexico with her.
“When it comes to interacting with the people, especially the family we are building the house for, Rachel takes time out of personally working on the house to get to know them and spend time playing with the children,” Maikranz said. “Rachel knows that the most important thing that she can build for them is a relationship.”
Weller said one of her fondest memories was talking to a pastor’s wife in Juarez. She thanked Weller’s group, started crying and said she was glad people still care about them.
“That was definitely heart-wrenching,” Weller said. “But it’s times like that when it’s all so real and I realize how thankful some people are for what we’re doing.”
Weller said that on her first trip, she thought it seemed impossible to build a house in just under a week, but was surprised with how little they needed for the house.
“Everything is much more simple there,” Weller said. “They don’t need indoor running plumbing, they’re OK with not having kitchen cabinets and they really just need a solid, sturdy house and a roof over their heads and they’re happy.”
She said this idea of simplicity can also apply to other aspects of the culture in Mexico.
“It’s a very chill and calm atmosphere,” Weller said. “We’ve had a concrete truck show up 28 hours late and it wasn’t a big deal. People just go with the flow there and although there are schedules, it is a lot more flexible than here.”
Adjusting back to her
self-proclaimed city-girl lifestyle when she comes back is always a culture shock, Weller said.
“Anyone who knows me can see the difference when I come back,” she said. “I long to be in a culture that places importance on loving one another (but I) have to come back to the fast-paced life of school stuff and appointments.”
Although she enjoys the culture and job in Mexico, Weller said, she is sad to leave Purdue.
“I had wishes and hopes for my last semester at Purdue,” Weller said. “But as much as I love to be here, I feel called to be there and it’s really hard to leave – but I think once I get down there, I’ll be fine.”
Araminta Brooks, a senior in the School of Management, has known Weller since they were both freshmen and said it will be hard to see her go.
“I’m going to miss being able to call her up for coffee, going on runs together, everything,” Brooks said. “I’m so thankful for her and the step that she’s getting ready to take in her life. It takes a lot of faith and love to do what she’s about to do. I’m so proud of her.”