Greetings! I hope that this message finds you and your family doing well.
As we embrace the holiday season and begin decorating our homes with festive displays, I am reminded of the many people in the world who don’t have a house to call their home. The disparity is jarring, difficult to understand, and impossible to address in its totality as individuals. However, we do have the opportunity to make small contributions, which help provide conditions that support the dignity and humanity of others in a very tangible way.
This year, my sister-in-law, Abby, will be spending Christmas with her Uruguayan family and friends, including four individuals whose impoverished homes are in desperate need of repair. Abby will partner with the 50 member Espronceda church community, located in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the capital city of Montevideo, to support those in greatest need.
Children from the neighborhood, often from situations of extreme poverty and social isolation, hold an important place in the church’s mission and community. Belen, whose life experiences make her seem older than her 12 years, is sensitive, lively and engaged, and has been one of the most faithful church attendees for several years.
A couple of months ago, Belen’s makeshift house burnt down, leaving her impoverished six-member family with nothing. No one was hurt, thankfully, but the damage was significant. The neighbors helped clear the debris, and some donated slats of tin and other materials. With what was given by neighbors, they were able to piece together a temporary room measured 6 ft. by 12 ft. Not unexpectedly, the structure does not keep out rain and other elements.
Church members provided the family with clothes and necessities for school. Belen’s uncles began to construct another, more permanent structure that measures 15 ft. by 18 ft. They built it up to three feet before running out of material. The church took an offering and used the $300 dollars given to buy more material. With this, they continued to build.
However, the project will require more than these $300 to make a house that will provide a healthy environment for Belen’s family. They still need materials and labor to put in roofing, flooring, windows and a door. Additionally, they need insulating sealant to prevent water and wind from entering through the cement-block walls. The cost of materials is $2,500.
Espronceda Church is committed to this building project, and has encouraged Belen’s family and neighbors to collaborate in providing the labor. However, the church cannot assume the financial burden of the materials, as they have little funding. There are three more stories like Belen’s, which will be addressed through the church’s Solidarity Fund.
This Christmas, we have the opportunity to come alongside the humble Espronceda church community in order to provide a sustainable living environment for Belen and her family, and for Cristina, Luis, and Christian. Would you join our family as we make a donation this Christmas? 100% of your donation will go directly to providing sustainable living.
In Spanish, the name Belen means “Bethlehem.” This holiday season, it is no coincidence that Belen’s name points us to Jesus’ first humble home here on earth, as God incarnate, laying in a manger in Bethlehem.
We are deeply grateful for your consideration in joining us on this project. Thank you for partnering with us!
Amy and Luke
**We would like to thank Abby for her skillful writing and compassionate heart, which bring these stories to life.**
- Douglas C Cannon
- Chip marcia Elliott
- Soren Johnson
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more