Rolling Hills Baptist Church team builds house in Juarez, Mexico

Shown above (L-R) are Renee Lebby, Savannah Stout, Guy Hester, an unknown helper, Ashley Hughes, Dave Lebby, Lauren Hughes, Josh Hughes, and David Lebby raising one of the walls that will become the Solis home in Juarez. Photo/Special.

A team of 18 adults and college/high school-aged youth from Rolling Hills Baptist Church recently returned from Juarez, Mexico where they built a house for a young missionary couple named Mariana and Marco Antonio Sanches Solis, their three children, and the couple’s parents.

In temperatures consistently exceeding 105 degrees, the team transformed an empty dirt lot into a safe and secure three-room home for the family of seven; complete with cement foundation, electricity, windows and doors. In addition to using the house to live in, the young couple also plan to use it as a tool for ministry.

The build was conducted in partnership with Casas por Cristo (www.casasporcristo.org), a ministry based in El Paso, Texas that partners with local churches and volunteer teams to build homes for families living in poverty in Juárez, as well as Acuña, México, and San Raimundo, Guatemala. They rely on the labor and resources of full time staff missionaries, local pastors and community leaders, and volunteers from across North America.

Juárez, México is a city of over 1.3 million people that borders the United States by way of El Paso, Texas. Unemployment is high, and many families are in desperate need of housing. In recent years, Juarez has been plagued by severe violence.

Many of the families served by Casas por Cristo earn an average of $60 per week or less, and live in structures made of cardboard, wood pallets, or other scrap materials available to them. Many families live without running water. Extended families often live together, making their small living area that much more crowded.

For the Solis family, the new house was an answer to prayer, and the culmination of a process that took seven years to come to fruition, as the need for houses far exceeds Casas por Cristo’s ability to field teams to come to Juarez. However, members of the Solis family weren’t the only ones blessed by the experience.

“I’m blown away by our church and their devotion to serving others,” said Frank Mercer, senior pastor at Rolling Hills. “But more than that, I’m continually blown away by the kindness and compassion of God. He gave us the awesome privilege of building a home for Marcos and his family and it became a double blessing. They were blessed and we were blessed too. I mean, we get to see God at work through our own hands and feet. That experience causes us to be more grateful, more humble, more generous, more compassionate and more determined than ever to make a difference in our world. It’s like they say at Casas por Cristo — ‘I need Mexico more than Mexico needs me.’”

Rolling Hills worships on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. at the NCG Cinemas at Fischer Crossings in Sharpsburg, just across the Fayette-Coweta line. For more information on Rolling Hills, visit http://WheresTheSteeple.org.

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