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.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Family Spotlight | Acuña, México
Meet Raymundo Santos, his wife, Yonelli Zamarron Fuentes, and their young son, Raymundo B Santos. The 2015 summer interns built a much needed home for this family in July. The home that they were previously living in consisted of old and broken down pallets with a rocky floor.
Former intern Victoria Owens explained, "One thing that really got to me on the first day was the fact that their original 'house' had no interior walls, just sheets hanging from the ceiling to indicate the separation of 'rooms,' and it had dirt floors. I have built for lots of families, some poorer than others. But without a doubt, the Santos family had the worst living conditions I have ever seen in both of my internships. And they had a three year old son running around barefoot through all of it. This was all the motivation we needed for the week and definitely helped us to stay focused and want to do a good job."
This was not an easy build for the interns, nor was it easy for the family. In the beginning there wasn't even enough flat land to build a house. Raymundo, who is a twenty-six-year-old fried chicken cook, worked diligently for weeks to fill in the land. When the interns arrived to begin construction they still had a lot of leveling to do. "This was the most challenging, sweaty, tiring, intern build of the summer, but we were so happy that we got to be a part of it. We had to dig down eighteen inches on one of the corners since it was on a hill, and we couldn't raise it. It was kind of dangerous and we were all a little nervous," Owens said.
Our interns spend a lot of time leading volunteer teams through the construction process. However, for Raymundo's family, they got to do an intern only build, without a team. It was a special treat for the interns to take a little break from team leading, which allowed them to focus on building the house and spending quality time with the family.
"The group of interns got extremely close over this week. We had to deal with a lot of hard work that we weren't really expecting (because intern builds are usually pretty easy), but that made the end result that much more rewarding. The family was so good to us, and we all wanted to keep 'Little Raymundo' forever. He was absolutely the most adorable three year old ever, and he helped us all three days of the build. He would take our hammers out of our hands and start hammering away. He fully understood that it was going to be his new house, and he wanted to help build it," Owens shared.
Even though it was a rough beginning, it turned out to be an amazing week for the family and the interns. Owens said, "Some of my favorite memories from the 2015 summer internship happened during this week. It impacted me more than I thought it would." Raymundo and his wife attend Yonelli's father's church. Their faith and hope in God were evident in the passion they exuded during the dedication ceremony where they received the keys to their new home. They understood that this was a gift from God that would serve as a continual reminder of his love. They were so thankful that their son now has a safe place to grow and learn about how great God is. Please pray for this young family as they continue to trust in God's provision for their lives.