In April 2014 Pulse got an incredible opportunity to partner with Aston Clinton Baptist Church in taking a group of young people to Mexico in order to build a house in a very poor community.
On the 5th of April our group of 12 flew out to Los Angeles and met up with another 8 young people from St Lukes Church in Watford.
We travelled by coach to San Diego where we met up with the Urban Saints and Amor Ministries team before travelling across the border into Tijuana Mexico and to our campsite in the desert.
Our group now 20 in size learned that we would be building a house for a family of 5 who earned just over $100 dollars per month (£70) and were currently living in a very small room which was not water tight.
Many of the people in the community we were working in were living in extreme poverty. Amor Ministries who organise the “Rebuild” project have been working in Mexico for 20 years and in that time have built over 17,000 houses for poor people in these communities.
The house building was due to take a total of 5 days from start to finish, so we new from day 1 that it would be no easy challenge. With not a cloud in the sky we arrived at our build site early in the morning and encountered first hand just how difficult it would be.
As the temperature rose to 39ºC the fight was on to finish our foundations and lay the concrete slab before the end of the day, to ensure that we would finish within our 5 day deadline. In this extreme heat our team of young people showed nothing but courage and determination in mixing 8.5 tonnes of concrete by hand and laying it to make a perfect solid base to build our structure onto.
Over the next 3 days the team worked tirelessly to construct and piece together the frame of what was to be the house that this Mexican family would live in. In fact our team worked so hard in temperatures exceeding 40ºC, that we put ourselves around half a day ahead of schedule, which allowed us some extra time to make the concrete coating on the walls of the house extra neat and tidy.
On our final night at the campsite we held a special celebration for all of our team members and congratulated them for all the hard work they had put in, not just over the 5 days it took to build the house but also over the 2 years previous in raising the money to get there.
All that was left to do was to hand over the house that we had built to the family that we had built if for. This was a really special moment for the whole team and it is incredibly difficult to put into words the emotions that were felt by each of us that moment.
We even got the chance to hang out with loads of the young people from their community.
After arriving back in San Diego we had time to relax and reflect as a team upon the incredible experience that we just had back in Mexico. It is safe to say that this was an experience that had changed our lives in a big way.
We are already looking into the next trip in 2016 and beginning to plug this to the eligible young people that we work with every week.