Felicia Brannon, a volunteer from Los Angeles, CA, has been on several building trips with Habitat for Humanity.
©Habitat for Humanity International/Ezra Millstein
Building together provides a new perspective and new hope
By Teresa K. Weaver
Ten-year-old Sherling Góngora Arauz found it hard to express her feelings at the dedication of her family’s new Habitat for Humanity house in Managua, Nicaragua.
She could only cry. She had written a letter to the volunteers who helped build her family’s house, though, and it was read aloud in English. The last line: “When you leave, there is an empty space in my heart.”
By then, everybody on the build site was in tears.
“The little girl just started hugging everybody,” said Helen Usera, a 42-year-old management consultant in Rapid City, South Dakota, who was one of a dozen volunteers who paid their way to Nicaragua to build and to advocate for decent housing.
“When we started to pray over the family’s new home, Sherling just clung to me. It was so genuine and so emotional. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is why we’re here.’
“At that moment, it wasn’t about the adults anymore. Those two young children — Sherling and her brother — were going to have a concrete floor, a solid home. That’s what it’s all about.”
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