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El Diario Article - July 2005
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Builders of Good Works
23 of July of the 2005
Date: 12:08:33 AM hour of Cd. Juárez

They belong to the Christian organization ‘People Building People'. Loaded with tools and goodwill, they come to build houses for families that live in poverty.

Cold Winds

In the mixture of water and cement with those that are constructing the houses of cement, the young individuals of People Building People add a large quantity of love, respect, and brotherhood.

Recent arrivals from the state of Ohio, this group as well as other evangelistic ministers, exchange the pleasures of summer vacation, for tireless hard work where they are not monetarily reimbursed.

The benefit this group feels in this case, is a feeling of satisfaction and a spirit of joy that they feel each time they do a good work in favor of families that live in conditions of extreme poverty and for those who have unfortunately suffered destruction from some natural disasters.

For these Christians, the work that they perform doesn’t have parameters that limit them, for during the months of June, July, and August, they take some supplies, bring the necessary tools and load their trucks that they drive in a convoy to this side of the border where the need is greater.

She saw them arrive just like that, Mrs. Francisca Patena, mother of ten children and one of those affected with a fire in mid-June that devastated eight homes in the neighborhood of Manual J. Clothier.

According to the rumor of the locals of Torreon, Coahuila, the Americans suddenly arrived, proceeded to build them a two room cement block house in front of what remained of the cardboard house where she lived.

“I feel like I’m flying, sometimes I can’t believe it, I’ve never had a house like this,” said Francisca, fascinated to see the youths building her new home.

Three years ago, Norma Patricia Meraz felt the same and ever since has worked with the youths of “People Building People,” with the only purpose of repaying a little bit of how much they have given her by raising the walls of her home just in time she needed it most.

“I work with all the groups. In 2002 they made me my house and I work with great appreciation. I feel good doing something for someone just like they did once for me,” the woman expressed while mixing cement.

Of the motives that (orillaron a verse un dia desprovista de una casa) XXXXX, the native of the state of Durango commented that after they were kicked out of the property they lived in, she had to move together with her family to a place 29 kilometers from the highway Casas Grandes, where they built her home.

“We’re fine now even though we don’t have any services, the water we have to drink from pipes because they haven’t arrived yet,” adds Norma, who doesn’t ask for anything in exchange, only to contribute her work and her experience in the job, beating and mixing cement was something that she already knew how to do since she used to accompany her husband to place he works.


With the same enthusiasm to help others, People Building People comes to Ciudad Juarez for the last eleven years, thanks to a contract that they established with the people of Life Challenge International Ministries, a ministry established in El Paso.

At the same time, Challenge of Life (LCIM by their acronym in English) directed people to work at Centro Victoria a (Juarez-JUARENSE) group that supports the rehabilitation of alcoholics and drug addicts, so they can join their mission and help them, offering lodging to the group of North Americans.

Just like PBP, other ministries in places like Cincinnati, Michigan, and even Canada, arrive every summer for a period of seven weeks in groups of approximately 55, are the same people that work taking turns every eight days by way of changeover.

In total, including only those who belong to PBP, are almost 400 youths that exchange their vacation for arduous labor under the sun to complete/comply with the altruistic mission and with the ideas of brotherhood they profess.

“We serve God with our hands, we share with the people, and at the same time we teach them to honor God,” expressed Alsion Steitz, one of the six organizers of the group PBP that work in the southern end of the city.

Next to her Tanya Waugh, Micheal Gardner, Jenny Gadsby, Heather Foster and Derek Fraits, assign tasks to the entire families that have added to PBP to share their same convictions.

Likewise, within the tasks they perform, the coordinating youths are planners of the work, the deposit of material, and the supervision of the work.

By that singular task those that are part of the organization don’t gain any monetary compensation or any other favor, and even are the same members that arrive with the tools, and the approximate budget for the purchase of materials that they need.

Beside, the expenses of transportation and food they covered, they receive a place to stay, whether in shelters or community centers like in this case, the lodging represent the only way they save.

On this occasion, the Christians are reconstructing the homes of eight families recorded in some of the poorest local neighborhoods; they arrived aboard four vans loaded with supplies that they bought in El Paso to prepare their food during the time they will be here.

This is the way they are able to organize what to eat at noon, when they stop for a few minutes from hammering.

Then exhausted from the heavy day, they arrive to the shelter La Vid-a place where they are lodging they take a shower and they prepare to praise God, to whom they pray to give them the strength to continue his work the following day.

When they’re not rebuilding the life of people who don’t enjoy a favorable economic condition, their routine activities are related with school (the majority are students) or with occupations that have nothing to do with construction (in this case the older people).

Nevertheless, it’s always in summer that the members of People Building People take the highway to arrive toward the neediest, as well in Juarez the other city of the Mexican Republic.

In Alisons experience, who has been to Monterey, Nuevo Leon, making a trip with the ministry, its in Ciudad Juarez she has seen the most poverty and subhuman living conditions.

Previously, saying, the motive is to continue traveling through the country in search of people who can help.

“If its God plan for this to grow and we can come to other people, we will do it,” she expressed.