Let me come right out and say that the House of Hope is not ready for occupancy. Of course, we did not really expect to have all of the work done. Unfortunately, we were not able to get to the point we wanted to be at. Fortunately, our God is still an awesome God! We worked valiantly right up to the fiesta (some not even having showers). A lot of the plumbing that was buried in the concrete had to be replaced which delayed the plumbing work several days. Three sides are completely sided with vinyl. The front is done except for the dormer and some soffit work.
Now to the important part – the Fiesta! The team was split between the 7 houses and was served by the girls and Tias. Good food and fellowship. The girls again performed the Chilean dances. Tia Melita was honored by VfC for 41 years of working with the girls. She is retiring in January from the Hogar but she does live practically next door to the House of Hope. VfC donated a new computer for the girls to use as their big gift. Each girl, Tia and Tio were given small gifts. Special bags were prepared for the four girls going into the House of Hope in March.
Willy and Tio Juan are working on the House of Hope as I type this. They expect to have the siding done before we return from Vina. Willy will be working daily on the house and Tio Juan will be there two days each week. Praise the Lord for these two Godly men! Today we met with Alfonso to discuss the remaining work. Decisions will be made whether another team will come down or Alfonso will contract for the remaining work to be done. If you are able to come down and help on a possible team 4, let Tom Orme know.
Thursday morning we went to the work site to clean it. Our bus driver arrived early, parked the bus in front of the Hogar and walked to the store by the work site. Unfortunately, he was mugged by two men who took his wallet and keys. This makes it clear why Tom has the buddy plan! We delayed departure for Vina until 11:00 but the new bus and driver did not arrive until about 11:30. The weather in Vina was great. Our harbor tour was clear but the Navy vessels were all deployed. A few made the dive into the ocean! We had more shopping back in Santiago and a quick stop at the Hogar to pick up the rest of the luggage. We took time for one last look at the House of Hope and a last team picture. The siding is completed and the main circuit breaker panel is installed. Thanks to each of you for your prayer support! The house will definitely be ready by March when classes begin.
Each one here has been changed in some way by our experiences. One thing is for certain, we do not get into heaven because we have sore muscles, even if they got sore in Chile. If you are reading this and have not taken a short-term missions trip, why not take a trip and see God in action. Our team this year ranged in ages from 13 to 70 – do you fall into that range? We discovered that God has a job for us all! Not all jobs require swinging a 22 ounce hammer! Often the unsung heroes work in the kitchen. Tom tells them to cook plenty of food, then comes to them and tells them that there will be twice that number and later may double it again. We have never gone hungry on a VfC trip no matter how many guests show up!
The House of Hope will not be self supporting but rather will require giving on the part of God’s people. Are you able to donate monthly to change the lives of these girls forever? Click here to give.
I am finishing this up as we pass over Cuba on our way to Atlanta. The rest are on a plane to Dallas. One of our team, Peter, asked to remain an extra two days to finish the plumbing rough-in and will be returning on Monday. Again, the House of Hope is a long term commitment for VfC. If you sense God calling you to provide financial support for either construction or operational expenses, please listen to that call and act upon it. Thank you for your prayer support for all three teams. Continue in prayer as work continues and the girls prepare to move in. Sometimes we do not realize what a giant step this is for the girls. Also, pray for Anita, the new director of the House of Hope as she works through all the planning necessary to open. Pray for Willy and Patty as they continue work on the House of Hope. Pray for Daniel and Jessica as they work with the girls at the Hogar.