The Lai Times, Travel Lai Way

Building a House in Mexico

This past weekend I had the pleasure of going along with my church to Mexico to build a house for a family. Our church partners with Baja Christian Ministries and builds houses for families in need. For most of these families, this is the first home ever. Being able to be a part of something so big and help these families is something that is hard to describe. It was a pretty emotional weekend for everyone, not just the family.

We drove down to Baja California in Mexico Saturday morning with a team of volunteers from our church and spent the rest of the day building and painting a house. Even though the car ride down to Mexico is around 3 hours from where I live, I still took some motion-sickness medicine just in case, I’d rather be a little sleepy than be non-functional because I was too sick! This was my first time in Mexico (and first time using my new passport! So exciting!), and seeing how drastically different the two places are once you cross the border was astonishing…especially since I was a Student Assistant and Ambassador for my college for the International Programs Unit, I have met many international students from all over the world, some from Mexico as well. And seeing the environment that most of these students told me with my own eyes was impactful and made me start to think about my own life. Connecting words and stories with my own vision and experience were…simply crazy. There just some things that are hard to believe until to you go, see and experience it first hand. After this trip, I did a lot of reflection and some soul searching because seeing how different things are down there compared to 3 hours North…it was hard to believe.

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Spending the weekend here was mind-opening and really put a lot of thing for me in perspective. Take nothing for granted and be thankful for each and anything that comes your way…

For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose
– Philippians 2:13.

So with a group of about 20 people, we built and painted a brand new house for this wonderful family. We built a house and an outhouse, with their picked colors of orange and blue. The house was built on their existing land, in front of the small shed that the entire family was living inside of together. My older sister and I started by painting all the trim pieces and the wood that would be needed first while building. Painting for this job was almost more important than the actual building of the house. Without the wood being painted in a timely manner, it could halt the building process since it’s easier to paint the wood when its flat on the ground than climbing up a ladder and painting after its nailed onto the wood framing. Together we probably painted 80% of the house before going inside and helping them mud the place! Pretty crazy, but we were so happy to help! And being the only girls on the construction team, we thought would let the others swing a hammer because we can swing a hammer at home with all the projects my Dad likes to do, and it was fun painting the house pieces!

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When we arrived the wood was all ready for us to get started!
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We gathered to talk about the plan and got to work!
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My older sister and I, in charge of painting the blue trim pieces
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The contractor marked a line on each wood so we knew where we needed to paint. That way no paint is wasted!
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Wood isn’t too heavy…but when you need to move so many wood pieces so the paint can dry…my arms were pretty sore the next day…
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We had to hurry and paint these because they were part of the roof that was going to go up next!

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Every trim piece was blue, so we lined them up and used a roller to paint them faster!!

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The outhouse was built first, so we didn’t have time to paint the wood before it got put up, so we had to paint it afterward
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Along with the blue trim…little tricky but we got it done!
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Then we went inside and helped them mud the house!

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While waiting to cross the border back into California, we got the most delicious churros!! This entire bag for only $2!! So, of course, we got two of them!!

Be able to be apart of something as wonderful as this was AMAZING! And being able to spend this experience with my older sister and father was even better! In one weekend we were able to build a family a beautiful home where they can spread out and live a little bit more comfortable than the small house they were squishing into together.

Next time the opportunity comes around, I would love to go and help build and paint a house for a family. And the food that we ate there was just a bonus for the time spent working on this house.

Every day, Lai day! Have you ever done a random act of kindness for someone you thought needed a little comfort or just for no reason at all? I believe that any type of random act of kindness can make anyone’s day.

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