Sweet Exchange

Bill Bigler has been leading Home Build teams in Mexico since 2012. He first served on a trip hosted by another church, but on it, Bill encountered VMC missionaries, Zak and Katrina Stevens who were there working with YWAM's Homes of Hope projects. Bill had a meaningful experience on the trip and started thinking that it would be great if Ventura Missionary had an opportunity like this, as well. Since Bill is a general contractor by trade and has significant experience heading up construction projects, he thought it would be something he could lead.

That was four years ago, and Bill could never have anticipated the effect each trip has had on the families who have received homes, and also the lasting impression the trips have had on he and his fellow team members. One thing he loves is using his gifts to have a great impact in a short period of time. He says, "In a few short days, (Friday through Monday), we are able to change the course of a family's life forever."

Bill's wife, Laila, their four children and a niece and nephew are now going on the trips. Laila loves that her kids get to see first-hand how some people have to live, and the difference we can make when we reach out and do something. They get to go as a family and connect with another family. Laila gets to see her kids grow and develop as a result of the experience. At the beginning of the trips, they travel through impoverished areas and finally reach the location where they will build the home. A large family will emerge from a make-shift dwelling, pieced together by what they could find.

The kids in the family embrace our kids and can't believe that we would spend our time and resources to build them a home with a floor, real walls, electricity and more. Laila especially likes the shopping at the end of the trip, when they take the family to purchase food, furniture and small appliances. The joy and excitement that overflows from the hearts of the parents and children makes it a "sweet exchange." Laila says, "We give THINGS and we get JOY ourselves."

Bill is also touched by the way this experience impacts team members as theyare sharing and being bathed in God's love themselves. Some of those who go are colleagues from his construction work and don't attend church. One such man was so moved by the privilege of helping a family that he wanted to play a role in the final presentation. He got down on one knee and humbly gave the family the key to their new home. Bill says that on these trips "God's love is not contaminated with all that fights for our attention. As we're there serving, our hearts are melting and our attitudes disappear."

Homes of Hope has been building homes for the poor for over 25 years. To date, over 54,400 homes have been built for the needy in 21 different nations. This has been possible because of teams like ours. Our next Home Build trip will take place October 21-24. You can help make this trip happen by supporting or going. Note: "Mexico Home Build Trip" on your gift.