As a cumulating event for this year’s Project Possible core team, ten GMI Corporation staff members and their guests, just completed GMI’s fourth home build with Homes of Hope International, a ministry of YWAM, earlier this month in Ensenada, a port city Mexico’s Baja peninsula.
It’s a whirlwind trip with a day of travel, two days to build and then another day of travel home. Over the two-day-build, the GMI team helps to bring to life a secure family home for a hard-working local household in need. Homes of Hope identifies the family through an interview process. A financial need must be present, the family must own their land and have children under a certain age.
Prior to getting the newly constructed home, the recipient family’s living conditions are extremely difficult. Most homes are made of loose walls and tarp roofs, with no water or electricity. Nights are cold, there is much uncertainty and families are either sharing a single bed or sleeping on dirt floors.
For the recipient families, the new home provides a beautiful new beginning, a sense of security and hope for the future.
This year’s recipient family of the GMI build was the Reyes-Sosa family, a family of three. To provide for the family’s needs, the parents are like ships in the night, one working a day shift and the other a night shift, in order to care for and keep their young child safe in their makeshift dwelling.
In Mexico, wood frame construction is very accessible, affordable, and team-friendly. Upon our arrival, the YWAM team already had locally sourced materials and a furniture package ready, and we quickly got to work. By the end of day two, the home, with a concrete pad, sturdy walls and a secure roof, was finished and as a thank-you the recipient family cooked and hosted a meal for the entire build team. Recipient families have to save up quite a bit to feed the volume of people, but the families note how honored they are to scrimp and save over the months prior to their build to provide the heartfelt meal for all.
“It was a beautiful moment of coming together,” said Aaron Barr, GMI President. “Our recipient family made delicious fish tacos and fried chicken with authentic mole sauce. This part of the trip gets me every time. You realize any problems filling your headspace are miniscule comparatively.”
“There is such a great impact for the family and our team. New relationships are built within our team, and I take great pride in seeing how our employees conduct themselves on a trip like this. One of my favorite parts is our de-briefing. Each person shares their big moment from the trip and what they are taking back with them. Sometimes, people have a tough time putting that into words, and often there is mention of not taking things for granted like simple fresh water in your morning shower.”
In addition to the new home, annually, our team brings toys, clothes, coloring books, candy and other items to share with the family and their community.
After the shared meal, our build team adds paint fingerprints to the decorative border of an entry sign for the family. The sign reads Casa de Reyes-Sosa and includes the handprints of the family. Then after the sign is in place, the new home keys are handed over to the family, they enter and then we knock and are greeted as their very first guests. It’s a trip that leaves us in awe each year, and we hope you enjoy this fun video recap of our experience. Learn more about how to get involved at https://www.ywamhomesofhope.org.