Doug Ross, Director of Promotion for Sun Lakes Community Church
For 18 years, a group from Sun Lakes Community Church has gone to Mexico to build a house over one long weekend. This year was no exception, and they all say they carry the blessings of the trip and the memories in their hearts for a very long time. This year, 18 from the Community Church joined with a similar number of people from Living Stone Bible Church in Chandler.
Rich and Judi Brown went this year for the first time and wrote this poem to express their feelings:
On the first day, God sent the dust and the wind
On the second day, God sent the rain and the wind
On the third day, He made mud
But God’s great love began a house
On the fourth day, God helped His people finish the house
Then they said God is good and rested
One member of the group commented, “That is beautiful, and it captures the spirit of this trip.”
Referred to at Sun Lakes Community Church, as the Mexico Build, it all started 20 years ago when Larry and Jade Alvarez began to travel there. The congregation from Living Stone Bible Church provides the building supplies, and we supply the food for the whole camp, and we work together to build the home. Now, 18 homes testify to the success of this effort, and each of these families now has a home that is more secure. For the first time, they may have a door and a lock. Many of the families previously slept on the floor, sometimes a dirt floor, and if they had a bed, an entire family may share it. Their fragile little shacks are constructed of pallets, cardboard and black vinyl sheeting.
Amor Ministries, headquartered in San Diego, accepts applications from families and are selected based on need. The ministry website, www.amor.org, offers this description of what they do, “Amor is committed to serving alongside families in need by building homes through transformational impact trips.” Over the years, they have been instrumental in starting 354 churches and built homes for 18,500 families, with 352,000 individuals participating in the transformational trips they organize to both Mexico and South Africa.
This year, an 11×20-foot two-room home was built for Phillip and Bernice Garcia and Jesus, Shiloh and Tomas. In just three days, a concrete floor, the walls, roof and stucco are completed, and the family moves in before we leave for home.
According to Pastor Jerry McGhee, “The entire congregation at Sun Lakes Community gets involved. Some provide financial support (this year our offering was $2300.00), we pray for the team and each year about 18 people go. Our church has been supportive of many missionary endeavors over the years, including local projects and internationally. A fixed amount of our budget goes to missions – our by-laws require 10%, and usually it is a lot more.”
Each year, everyone returns saying the same thing, “We can’t wait to go back and do it again next year!”
Sun Lakes Community Church meets for worship every Sunday morning in the Sun Lakes Chapel at 9240 E. Sun Lakes Blvd. N., across from the Sun Lakes Country Club. More information is available at www.sunlakescommunitrychurch.org or by calling 480-895-9147.