Members of joined a team of more than 220 worshippers from Bridges Community Church in Los Altos and Twin Lakes Church in Aptos to help build homes for poor families in Tecate, Mexico in December of 2011.
The group prepared meals and built 11 houses in three days for families that slept on dirt floors and under leaky shacks. The service mission took place Dec. 27-31.
The team also handed out food, clothing and shoe donations, according to
Eddie Huang, an elder and a volunteer from Bridges Community Church in Los Altos.
"They were quite touched by the generosity of our group. They could really feel our love for them," Huang said, who traveled for the third year in a row to Tecate, Mexico with his wife and four daughters.
Of the 11 homes, five were permanent dwellings and six were so-called "pop-up" houses. Each permanent home costs about $6,000 to build, while a pop-up home costs about $2,000, explained Huang.
A pop-up house is 10-feet by 12-feet and can be moved, while a permanent dwelling is built on a foundation and is larger, Huang said.
The group also donated $6,000 to help the Tecate community buy food and basic resources such as camping stoves, towels and water for about 10 families that lived near a dumpsite in Tecate, Huang said. "These people are considered the poorest of the poor," Huang said.
Materials to build the homes were purchased by the group from Home Depot. Huang said organizers of the home-building ministry have been traveling to Mexico for more than 20 years.
The volunteers belong to a group called Club Dust, whose mission is to build shelters for extremely poor families in the border towns of Tijuana and Tecate, Mexico. The donations were possible due to the club's generosity, Huang added.
Of the 220-plus volunteers, 31 were from Bridges Community Church in Los Altos, about 70 were from Calvary Church of Los Gatos, and the rest were from Aptos, Huang said. More than half of the volunteers are teenagers, he added.
"It is a beautiful thing to behold when strangers from very different worlds can embrace one another as precious human beings created in the awesome image of God,” Huang said.
A reunion 8-9 p.m., Feb. 11 at Bridges Community Church in Los Altos will celebrate their accomplishment.
Appletree Uniform, in Los Altos, donated about $1,700 in socks and clothing for the less fortunate in Mexico, Huang said.