On October 21, 2017, twenty-three volunteers from Incarnation Lutheran traveled down to the outskirts of Tijuana to build a house for the Ruiz-Gonzalez family, 28-year-old parents with three children, two of whom have disabilities.
At 6am, leaving the church, in the dark, the group headed south. They met up with the Project Mercy team leader and another group of builders, 2 robotics teams from San Pasquel and Poway high schools, at the McDonald's just north of the Otay Mesa border crossing. Combined it was a big group of over 50 volunteers, and after fueling up with coffee and McMuffins, the caravan of 12 cars crossed into Mexico and arrived at the job site around 8am.
Work at the site began with a group prayer and some project instructions. It had been decided that instead of building the two houses as two groups, the groups would all work together to get both houses done. There was lots of work to do and the weather was warm but the two groups worked well together so by 6pm the houses were done, painted inside and out and filled with gifts and supplies brought down by the volunteers. The families were elated and so grateful. When one of the owners was shown where the key for her front door was, she began to cry saying, "The next time it rains, we won't get wet."
As the day was growing dark, the groups set off for the home. The ILC team headed for tacos in Tecate before lining up for the border crossing.
At 8:30pm, after a quick 30 minute wait to cross the border, the team from ILC was headed back to the church. It was a very long, productive and emotionally uplifting day. Thanks to everyone who participated and supported this project!
For more information on Project Mercy.