Members of Texas churches built homes for four families in the Rio Grande Valley during last week’s spring break. The families are served locally by the Buckner Family Hope Center® at Peñitas. Buckner Director of Missions Chris Cato called the week “a return of larger-scale Buckner missions efforts” in the Valley following a slowdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more than 15 years, churches from all over Texas have traveled with Buckner to the Rio Grande Valley to build homes for families in the community. Cato said the homes this year were built by Valley Ranch Baptist Church in Coppell; Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco; and University Baptist Church in Houston. Construction on these homes began at their respective churches’ locations and were transported to Peñitas for completion. The fourth home, initially built in February by South Main Baptist Church in Pasadena, was drywalled by students from Wayland Baptist University in Plainview and youth from BT.Church in nearby McAllen.
“There is a lot that goes into this process, from the family doing their due diligence to qualify for the home to finding collaborative churches to come alongside us,” said Gabriel Flores, manager of missions and humanitarian aid for Buckner Rio Grande Valley. “We put in all this effort because we know the impact a home can have on families for generations.”
The Juarez family received one of the homes after qualifying for it by completing required classes and family coaching at the Family Hope Center.
“I am very happy,” said Rosaura Juarez, mother of the recipient family. “I am thankful for God’s provision and everyone who made this happen.”
As of last week, the Juarez home is at its halfway point of completion. All work to date has been completed by Valley Ranch Baptist Church volunteers, First Baptist Church of Garland volunteers, and Buckner Missions staff. Construction on the home began in the Valley Ranch parking lot, where it was framed by members over a six-week period. It was then transported to Peñitas, where it was reassembled. The final additions will be completed by the homeowners, their friends and family, and other community volunteers. Construction on the home is expected to be completed and ready for move-in in about four or five months.
In addition to home builds, volunteers also conducted vacation Bible schools hosted at the Family Hope Center and a local church, Flames of Fire, provided Peñitas children with recreational activities, songs and Bible stories.
“We wanted to get our entire congregation involved in this project, not just those with the ability to come over spring break,” said Arthur Mendes, adult pastor at Valley Ranch Baptist Church. “It is in our church’s DNA to serve people, and this is a great opportunity for us to do that together.”
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