“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
Hey there! Here is the story of the very first major project I was able to see through to completion. It all began sometime around 2011 when I was fortunate enough to go on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with my church. To tell you that it was anything less than a life changing experience would be a great understatement.
I fell in love, literally. The people were so kind and generous. We visited some areas that were not as fortunate as we are, yet the people there welcomed us and invited us into their homes. They offered us whatever they could. It was so heartwarming to see that, even though it seemed as if they had very little, they showed that their hearts were made of gold.
I came back with my heart full of love, but soon I had to resume to my everyday life. Fast forward to December 2012 when I found myself graduating with my Bachelors degree, but unemployed. I was so worried, one of my close friends suggested that I get in touch with this sweet lady from Dominican Republic who was a prayer warrior. I didn’t know what else to do, so I did. As we spoke I found out that, even though I had not met her during my 2011 trip, I stayed at her small town and met many of her neighbors. One day, as she was encouraging me to hold on to my faith, she asked me for prayer. I asked her for what specifically, she paused for a second and then said, “For my house. The river flooded everything and well it’s completely damaged.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The best comparison to that situation was that while I was drowning in a glass of water, she was encouraging me, she was praying for me, she was guiding me with her wisdom all the while floods (actual floods) were ravaging her life. I didn’t know what she was going through, she never told me, but truth be told I never asked. I asked her to send me a picture of where she lived so that I could pray for her and see what I could do. I shared the picture with my close friend (and co-worker) and she immediately said, “We have to build her a house!”
I agreed. Wholeheartedly. But, I was also scared. I had been working for about 2 or 3 years, but I didn’t earn a lot of money, I was drowning in student loans, and I honestly didn’t have the slightest idea on how to get started. I don’t like to make promises that I can’t keep, but I agreed because I knew this was something bigger than the three of us. Below is the image of the first set of blocks which were laid out sometime in August of 2015.
Eventually, we ran out of money and needed more people to contribute. I am a very shy person. I don’t like to ask for money, but this was for a good cause. To my dismay the people that I thought would definitely help looked at me side-eyed and thought I was crazy. My little heart ached. What had I gotten myself into? My friend couldn’t be left with half a house! She needed a place to live and soon. I kept praying. I felt in my heart that for this particular act of love God was going to use only but a small army. No GoFundMe – I am not against it at all, I just felt this was a different sort of project to show me that all I needed was a little bit of faith and a whole lot of love.
Long story short, help came from a very small number of people, from unexpected people, but that small number of complete strangers showed that little seeds of love can blossom into a beautiful and wonderful garden. We picked up where we left off and in less than a year my friend had a home. A nice sturdy, concrete home.
Our friend continues to need our help. I will be giving updates related to her story. Perhaps, this story will inspire you to take a leap of faith and do something unexpected for someone else. I will continue to give updates on my friend and hope that God opens doors so that we can help her and her family.
More projects will be coming soon and I am so excited to see the things that God will do through “A Blooming Heart”.