The Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas (WMU) traveled to the Rio Grande Valley for their 11th annual home build, an exciting adventure after completing a virtual build in 2020 due to the pandemic. Building a home each year for families participating in Buckner Family Hope Center programs is a meaningful tradition for WMU.
The Guzman family was living in a small trailer. Maria, Raul and their 6-year-old son, Raul Jr. became accustomed to killing snakes, scorpions and other dangerous animals entering the home through holes in the floors throughout the trailer. The bathroom had no windows or doors, and when it rained, the family could feel the dampness surround them. The dangers in the home were no place for Raul Jr. to play – or for the new baby on the way.
“We are there to build a house, but we are helping build a home,” shared Patsy Reid, WMU fourth-year volunteer. “As we work beside the family in fellowship, praying with them and for them as we work, we’re also building a relationship with the family.”
While the WMU volunteers worked to build the new home for the Guzmans, Raul worked side-by-side with them. He is an apprentice for a licensed electrician and was able to complete all the electrical work for their new home under the direction of his supervisor. Even Raul Jr. had his hand in helping build his new home.
“Raul Jr. showed us which room would be his, writing his name on the drywall of his very own room – which was going to be decorated with Sonic the Hedgehog,” Reid said. “To see him wrap his arms around his mother in excitement was a great moment for me to experience.”
The process of a home build is truly a relational journey. While the WMU volunteers work day in and day out, the Guzman family also takes pride in what will soon be theirs. Their hard work physically on the home is just another example of the hard work Raul and Maria have put into building a better future for their family.
The volunteers had shown Raul how to put siding up for the first time. With his newfound knowledge, Raul and his brother worked by the light of the car headlights late into the night to complete the siding on the front of the house.
“Like many families in the Rio Grande Valley, the Guzman’s previous living situation exposed them to a variety of hazards,” shared Victoria King, Buckner Missions project manager. “The safety and security this home provides helps alter the physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of the family. They can now focus on supporting each other and growing into a strong family unit in the safety of this home.”
Building a home in the Rio Grande Valley remotely was an interesting challenge and blessing for WMU, but there was nothing better than being back in-person enjoying fellowship and hard work together and being with the Guzman family.