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, September 26, 2016
Family Spotlight Guatemala | September 26, 2016
San Raymundo, Guatemala
Chano's daughters, Blanca & Irma
Meet Luciano UyU Pirir, or as most know him, "Chano." Chano has been a part of Casas por Cristo in Guatemala since it began in June 2011. It was a great honor and privilege to build a home for Chano and his family with Preston Road Church of Christ. Chano is a single father of nine. Only three of the children still live with him: Fredy Alexander (16), Blanca Anabella (13), and Irma Leticia (11). Chano's wife passed away nine years ago from a blood infection. Providing a home for this family was a huge blessing that gave them the hope needed to carry on through not only the emotional burden of losing a loved one, but financial burden as well.
Chano and his children in front of their new home
Chano works full-time as a maintenance man at Colegio Cristiano Mañana Gloriosa (Morning Glory Christian Academy). Morning Glory, a faithful ministry partner of Casas por Cristo from the beginning, provides housing and food for our teams coming to serve in Guatemala. Chano's smiling face always greets us when we visit their campus. Moreover, Chano was an instrumental helper in the building of our first couple of homes in Guatemala.
Chano was one of the small crew of Guatemalan pastors and friends that helped construct our prototype home in 2011 for Hermana Concepcion. His expertise in the nuances of construction in Guatemala proved invaluable as he helped us in our planning and decision-making. It was a blessing for our ministry to give back to Chano and his family for the way he helped Casas por Cristo get off the ground in Guatemala five years ago.
When Chano was first chosen by Pastor Eugenio Nij to receive a home, he immediately broke down. He even went to Lori Nij, Eugenio's wife and director of Morning Glory, to make sure it was for real. Ever since his wife had passed, Chano and his three children have all been living together in a single room in the house of his eldest daughter. Just as our heavenly Father would do anything for us, Chano has worked tirelessly over the years to provide a better life for his children. In addition to working at Morning Glory, Chano spends his time working as a laborer in the community and investing in ways to better the people around him.
Throughout the build, it was such a joy to witness the transformation that took place on Chano's face. From the beginning, he outworked us all as we leveled the dirt and poured the foundation for his new home. His children pitched in, as well, hauling buckets, hammering nails, standing walls, and providing delicious snacks of fruit each morning. As the house became a home, emotions overcame Chano and his three children. They began to realize that they would finally have a place of their own, a place to call home. Four people living in three rooms, rather than four people in one room.
Volunteers from Preston Road Church of Christ after completing the foundation
Mankind is a unique possession of the Creator God. To witness Chano's story of faithfulness come full circle from helping pioneer the first house in Guatemala to receiving one of his own makes me shift in my seat as I ponder the awe of our wonderful Creator. As Chano was searching for answers to better the life of his children, Jesus came searching for him.
These are the days we live in - Jesus has come, He is alive, and He is working amongst us. He takes care of His children when they have more questions than answers. He takes care of His children in spite of the challenges, difficulties, and situations we may face. He takes care of a single dad who dedicates his spare time to investing in the betterment of people's lives all while trying to raise and provide for three of his nine children in the best and most honorable way he can.
Volunteers and the Pirir family in front of the completed home