By Alejandra Diaz-
As part of our mission to help Guatemala’s children, Forever Changed recently built a one-room house for a single-parent family that has been living in the ghetto for 16 years.
Three mission teams worked on the home, which took about three months to complete because of a lack of resources.
Although only constructed of tin, wood and nails, Maria Graciela is grateful for it. The 44-year-old mother is raising two teenagers and two grade-school children on her own after her husband abandoned the family five years ago. Maria’s oldest daughter lives on her own.
“She can see the hand of God over her and her family,” says Joel Juarez, our missions coordinator and project director. “At first, when we mentioned helping her, she did not believe it. When we started to work with her, though, she got very excited.”
Joel notes that Guatemalans call a house made of tin and plastic a “cobacha.” Maria says she used to have a cobacha, but she now has a real house.
Volunteers also built a small retaining wall with used cinder blocks, cement, sand, rocks and metal columns. It will help protect the home during the rainy season.
The tin and wood columns on the old house were the same ones that were in place 16 years ago. And, while the new home sounds like a modest dwelling to most Americans, for this family it is heaven-sent.
“This project fits with us because we want to reach communities and improve their lifestyle,” Joel says. “So with this house we know the kids will feel better and live in better conditions.”
Not only is the family excited, so is the community. Before, they saw an old house that was ugly and dirty. Now, they see a solid structure that will resist the rainy season.
This house has boosted the family’s self-esteem, since they were ashamed of where they lived. Now they are proud and wear smiles on their faces as they express how thankful they are to God and Dorie’s Promise.
“For me this was an amazing experience—just seeing their conditions before and how they live now,” Joel says. “I am very happy for them. I can see the hand of God on this too, because He brought the right people at the right time.
“Once again, I can see that God is always taking care of us. Looking at this family inspires me to keep working and reaching people. It also teaches me how thankful I need to be.”