Last week our family was blessed to spend the week in Ensenada, Mexico building a house for a family there.  We went with a group from our church to work with an organization called YUGO Ministries, which is not (I realized as I just googled it) to be confused with Yugo the car.

People from our church have been going down to work in Mexico for many years - either building houses with YUGO or earlier working with the City of Children Orphanage.  As a result, our family turned out to be very inexperienced workers in a team of house-building experts.  However, we still managed to feel needed and helpful during the building process.  Even more than that, we were able to be blessed by our experience there.

Our goal during our five-day stay was to build a house for a specific family.  Our family consisted of a mom, a dad, and four little girls, aged 10, 5, 3, and 1.  While during some builds in the past the families have not been able to be on the building site, our family was with us every day.  Not only were they there, but they helped as much as they could in the process - even down to the youngest.  Here are the girls in action on painting day:


Not surprisingly, all of the working tired the littlest girls out, so we also got to see some of this:

The house itself was 18 feet by 20 feet - a size, I mentioned to Jason when we got back, not larger than our bedroom here at home.  It was a wood frame/drywall house built on a concrete foundation.  Here is how it looked on the day that we arrived:

Most of Monday was painting and framing, as well as adding the siding:


Tuesday was roofing and drywall day:

Plus some windows:

Wednesday was inside texturing and painting, as well as outhouse painting and finishing windows:

There was also a rescue of a sawhorse that somehow got pushed into the outhouse hole...obviously before we got to set the outhouse on its frame over it...

Of course there was also a break or two at the little store across the road:

On Thursday by lunchtime we were all done.  After a lunch provided by our family, there was a nice dedication ceremony and the keys were handed over to the family.

Finally at about 2:00 on Thursday afternoon we drove away, allowing them to start living in their little house.  It's funny, because all week it kind of felt like it was "our" house, as well.  We built it alongside the family, painted it, drywalled it, swept it out, and cleaned around it.  However, it was a wonderful feeling to drive away and let it be only theirs.

Except for the memories, of course.  Those we get to keep.

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