Back in April 2014, Pulse had an exciting opportunity to partner with Aston Clinton Baptist Church in taking a group of young people to Mexico to build a house for a family living in poverty. We jumped at the chance and were privileged to take part in this truly life changing experience.
Our team worked in some of the most extreme conditions many of us had ever experienced, ranging from the desert temperatures to a back breaking workload. However, we finished the house in 5 days and were able to hand the keys over to the family we were building for, which was a very emotional moment for all those on the team.
As soon as we arrived back home, talk began of what another trip would look like and a vision for April 2016 was born. This time our team consisted of 16 young people and 5 leaders, which made up one whole build team for the duration of the project.
Our team needed to raise considerably more than last time, around £27,000.00, in order to make the dream into a reality. As daunting as the fundraising seemed, our young people were committed to seeing the target reached. The whole team worked together over the course of 2 years in the run up to the trip in order to put on several large fundraising events alongside their own personal efforts.
Soon enough our financial target was reached and it was time to depart on what was sure to be another challenging and life changing experience. It was a great feeling to arrive in California for the second time with a team of young people and it certainly made the long journey through the night to the Mexican border that much easier.
We spent our first full day setting up camp and meeting the family that we would be building for and after some much needed rest that night we were ready to begin our house build.
Day 1 of the build involved laying the foundations for the house, which meant mixing the large amount of concrete needed by hand and getting it all down within the day. This didn’t quite go to plan and as the late afternoon became evening we still had a way to go. The bus ride back to camp that evening was a long one with a very tired team yet still in good spirits about what was to come.
Days 2 & 3 were comprised of catching up whilst continuing the rest of the build to get us back on schedule. This meant we had 2 smaller teams building walls and roofing sections, whilst another team finished off the foundations.
By days 4 & 5 we were back on schedule and with the roof and wall sections put together on top of a finished base, we were very much on the home straight. All that remained was to fit the doors & windows and finish the walls with a concrete plaster to protect them and the occupants against the elements.
The morning of Day 6 was filled with excitement as we made our final journey from our camp to the build site. The day had finally come where we would get the chance to hand over the keys to the incredible family we were building for. The moment was filled with emotion and truly was a beautiful experience for all those involved. The culmination of a 2 year journey was the gift of a house to a family in need that the team had just met and would almost certainly never meet again. The thought of the small part we had played in giving a family hope for the future was incredibly moving and will challenge all those involved for years to come.
We’re now thinking about the next one and already looking to get a team together for another life changing experience, building hope for a family living in poverty.
Please stay tuned here and on our Facebook page for more information about our exciting fundraisers, interviews with our team members and updates on the progress towards our targets.