When we purchased the piece of property where La Casa de mi Padre is located, we knew that investing in the community around us would be essential to safety, growth and being good neighbors. Over the years, many of our neighbors have come to feel a bit like family. We watch out for each other and support each other.
There are many needs in the community, and over the years, we have been asked by the local community leadership community to help with various projects in the community. We have been blessed to be seen as a part of the community as a whole. Not being the solution, but helping the community to be just that to each other.
One of the families in the community are known as the “Messi’s.” One of the men loves the famous soccer player named Messi, thus the nickname for the entire family. Each member of this family has varying degrees of special needs, so finding steady work in a culture with high emoloyment rates has been almost impossible. However, they are quite resourceful. They have agreements with different neighbors – to provide drinking water, to wash their clothes, to wash their dishes, to bathe. Other neighbors help with food when they can. They go to the local market to try to sell fruits they have picked from trees around. They are a resilient family for sure.
They found themselves in desparate need for a new roof. The old metal laminated roof had many holes and no longer served as protection, especially during the rainy season. Their home was being inundated with water each time it rained. They reached out to us to see if we might be able to help.
We presented the need to a youth team visiting from Atlanta, GA, and they eagerly agreed to go and help put up new metal sheets for the roof. It was a day where God opened everyone’s eyes to be thankful. The team saw how one has to resourceful, finding trees to make new posts to hold the roof up. The team called it a “lumberjack contest” where they got to witness locals use their machetes to chop down trees in a matter of seconds – skills they did not necessarily possess. They got to witness the simplicity of life in a rural community, but a community filled with hearts caring for each other. They were able to witness the gratitude that the family felt. And God used their willingness to show up to meet needs.
Take a peek at some pictures that were taken that day – and reach out to help a neighbor in need. You might be surprised at what you might learn.