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.
Casas por Cristo's mission is to build and serve. We strive to build relationships between volunteers, families, and pastors that would have otherwise never known each other. Through the building process, God allows us to interact with our teams, local families, pastors, churches, and vendors. We do not want to take any of these interactions for granted. We believe that these are unique opportunities presented to us by God to serve each other.
Delia, who is married to one of our Mexican representatives, David Quiñones, is the head cook for the meal plan in our Acuña, México location. She is an excellent cook, but for Delia the meal plan is about so much more than just food. She uses it to feed souls. She is the perfect example of making the most out of the opportunities God gives us to share His message of love with others.
The week of March 13, 2017, which we referred to as the crazy week, was the busiest our Acuña location had ever seen with 19 houses being built. As a result of the high volume of teams using the meal plan that week, Delia offered to hire several ladies to help with the meal preparations. Throughout the week, she began each work day by sharing a devotion with all the cooks. She would pray and tell the ladies that God had chosen them for this special work and that they were cooking in order to feed God's angels. Delia had been building a relationship and sharing the message of Jesus Christ with one of these ladies, Aracely,for awhile, but she was not very receptive. She had refused to help cook on two prior occasions because she didn't want anything to do with "los hermanos" (Christians). But God had a plan for Aracely. Before the crazy week began, Aracely had a change of heart and invited Delia into her home to pray for her youngest son who was sick. A few days later when they began to cook, Delia asked Aracely how her son was doing. With gratitude to God, she responded that her son was already feeling better. But that's not all. Aracely's husband told her, "It's very possible that God wants something with us" (They had known God in the past but had been living apart from Him).
At the end of the week, Delia, as is her custom, brought all the cooks back together in the kitchen in order to thank them for their help. One last time, she shared with them the message of God and reminded them that they are special women who have value in God's eyes and who have the potential to serve God in meaningful ways. Delia began to pray for the women in the kitchen. All of a sudden, as it says in the Bible, the Holy Spirit fell on them, and they began to cry and glorify God. Aracely was ministered to by Delia and everyone was very grateful to God for the week. When Delia told her husband the emotional and unexpected story, he could sense the presence of God. Without a doubt, Aracely went home with the message of God in her heart. God did something special in her life. Aracely will never be the same again as a result of Delia's faithfulness in using the opportunity the Lord gave her.
"So be careful how you live. Don't live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days."
Meet Miguel Flores, Mexican Representative for Casas por Cristo. He has been serving full-time with us since December 1994 (23 years). If you've ever been on a trip to Juárez, you've probably seen him checking up on your team while you work. Miguel makes sure all of the materials are delivered to the work sites, he checks up on the families to ensure they are ready, he serves as the caretaker of the Shane Harris Outreach Center (SHOC) compound in Juárez, he helps make maps, and he does various other tasks to keep the ministry running. On top of all of his duties with Casas, he also pastors a small church that meets next to the SHOC.
Interview With Miguel
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and where you're from.
I am from the city of Juárez, Chihuahua, México. I was born into a very poor family, and growing up I learned the mechanic trade from my father. I married Verónica at age 18 and began working as a mechanic to support our family. After being married for two years, I began to go to pastor Aaron Rodolfo's church. Pastor Rodolfo happened to be the director of Casas por Cristo, and he got me involved serving with Casas, which changed my life dramatically. I began to understand and experience the love, unity, and work of God. Day by day, I began to know Christ more. I had been a very troubled young man with marital problems. But when I began to follow Christ and work with Casas, my life turned around, and I began to love my wife and family. We have three daughters, Jazmin (25), Lorena (21), and Cinthia (19), a son, Isaac (9), and a granddaughter, Genesis (3). This is my family. They work side by side with me now that I'm older. I began to work at age 23, and now I'm 45. I have learned a lot of things over the years in this career, primarily to give honor to God and enjoy the blessings that God gives us. I love visiting the recipient families and seeing their faces filled with joy when I announce that we're going to build their house. It's amazing to see how the families are transformed through the ministry of Casas por Cristo.
2. Why did you choose to work with Casas por Cristo?
I don't think I chose to serve at Casas. I think God chose it for me. It had always been my dream to be a mechanic, but God lead me to Casas, and here we are 23 years later. That's how it is with God. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. He knows better than we do.
3. Give us an example of how you've seen God in your work with Casas por Cristo.
Recently, there was a family of 9 people that received a Casas house. They didn't know Christ. The sponsoring pastor couldn't be there for the dedication. So, I stepped in to lead the dedication ceremony. I was asking God, "What should I do and say?" God put it on my heart to share the testimony of how Christ transformed my life. This family, after hearing my story, accepted Christ into their hearts. I think that Casas por Cristo isn't only here to build homes, but also to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to families.
4. What is the biggest challenge you've faced as a missionary?
It's hard to leave my family. I have to be gone all day and sometimes all week without spending much time with them. This has been one of the hardest parts of working for Casas. When my children were young, I only saw them at night and in the morning when they were asleep because there was so much work to do. So, they only had a "dad" on the weekends.
5. What are your desires for the future?
I hope that my family continues serving with Casas. And my greatest desire is that my son, Isaac, will take my place when I'm too old to work anymore.
Please pray that God will give me the words to carry the Gospel message to the families. I know when this happens, God will do amazing things.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Want to build a home with us but don't have a group to serve with? Join Team Casas, and we'll partner you with a team of 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.
June 12 - 15, 2017 | Juárez | $650/person
(at least 4 volunteers still needed by May 12)
October 6 - 9, 2017 | Juárez | $650/person
(at least 9 volunteers still needed by September 6)
December 27 - 30, 2017 | Acuña | $650/person
(at least 13 volunteers still needed by November 27)
December 27 - 30, 2017 | Juárez | $650/person
(at least 11 volunteers still needed by November 27)
July 2 - 7, 2017 | San Raymundo | $750/person
(at least 12 volunteers still needed by May 2)
December 27, 2017 - January 1, 2018 | San Raymundo | $750/person
(at least 14 volunteers still needed by October 27)
June 11 - 17, 2017 | Santiago | $750/person
(at least 4 volunteers still needed by April 11)
December 27, 2017 - January 2, 2018 | Santiago | $750/person
(at least 15 volunteers still needed by October 27)
The deadline to reach the minimum number of trip participants in order to schedule a trip is 30 days prior for 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.