School is back in session, and thanks to your support, Project Baño is well under way with two schools completed and 5 more in progress! Because of your partnership, there is tangible change happening for thousands of students and it’s creating momentum in the community.
One of the biggest challenges in our work is changing people’s mindsetsfrom hopelessness to belief thattransformation is possible. But when that belief does starts to take hold, it’s contagious.
Pastor Juan, one of the pastors in our Nehemiah Challenge Project cohort, is seeing that happen along with his neighbors.
Pastor Juan shares, “A few months ago we decided we wanted to try and pave this street. I live on this street, I raised my kids here, and now some of my grand children live here, too.
We met with Urban Mosaic, got the neighbors together, organized the people – and we agreed – “okay, let’s do this!” That’s how we started.
It was a dream we’d had for years— decades, to pave this street. It’s dangerous; people have fallen and gotten seriously hurt. One woman, a mom who was working full time to sustain her family, fell and hurt her foot. She couldn’t work for a year after the fall and it was a great challenge to her family financially.”
He continues, “Today we are living in a transformation, a radical change. The neighbors are meeting up and working together. In just one day we are laying down 3 and a half tons of cement – by hand. There’s a lot of happiness and unity. The kids on this street used to stay inside, they didn’t go out or play with each other, but now they come out, play on the street and are sharing toys with each other.”
We are happy, really happy – to be able to see our street, which has failed us for many years, finally be finished correctly. Before the street was paved, neighbors didn’t know each other. We were all on our own. But now neighbors come out, they greet each other. Kids and adolescents hang out in the evenings. The elderly can walk up the hill in ease and safety. There’s so much harmony. It’s beautiful to be a part of this.
HOPE IS CONTAGIOUS
We celebrate stories like Pastor Juan’s because we know the impact goes far beyond a paved street – relationships are built, laughter fills the street, neighbors get to know one another, safety is increased, and most importantly, hope is restored.
Pastor Juan and his neighbors are just one example of the transformation taking place in the areas where we are working.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support which help bring these glimpses of Shalom to fragile communities and cities in Mexico and Colombia.