I had one of those moments tonight as I went house to house on a ‘house inspection’ in our first community. It started with an attempt to make sure that all the homes were being well kept. As I wandered from home to home it was soul stirring to really see how they live and what they live with. It’s amazing how 8 people can live in 400 sq ft. It’s shocking to see what happens when you have very limited running water. It’s distressing to smell the odor of unrefrigerated food. While I’ve been in their homes, this was the first time we really inspected all the space and I simply concluded that as much as we have done…we have so much more to do.
Lest I should be hopeless and distraught at the end of the day, context is everything. Earlier in the evening we moved two families into their homes in the first community. From where they have come from…the homes they are receiving (and the others I inspected that are lived in) are wonderful. It was amazing to move a family of 9 (2 parents, 5 kids, 2 grandkids) in less than three small pick up trucks (no Ford F-150). It was thought provoking to move a family of 8 (mom/dad and six young children) in two small pick up trucks. We are helping them greatly.
The family of 9 drove up in our pickups (as they have no car) to their newly painted house and it was as if they were ‘young kids in a candy shop’. They were speechless over the beauty and space compared to their tin shack. Speechless beyond words!
We are wrapping things up. The group heads home on Friday. I am sure we will leave our friends in the DR in a better place than before we arrived. I am sure the experience and time here will touch all of our minds and hearts and lives.
A key problem in the DR is with water, especially clean water. One hopeful note – thanks to the efforts of the Rotary and Stan Socha…they installed 30 homes with water filters today. Again, they were thrilled beyond words.
Going home to home was a sobering reminder to me of why we are here. Why we need to be here. Why we need our mission outreach to remind us of what matters. Why I need to continue to beg your support for our efforts to help some of the poorest of the poor in the world.
God bless you.
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