Homes of Hope has seen over six thousand homes built for the poor in twenty-three countries around the world. On average, one new Home of Hope is being built every day somewhere in the world. An estimated thirty thousand people have received shelter, and the total value given to the poor is over $55 million.
Every home built, and every group that comes has an incredible story of transformation to share. We couldn’t possibly capture each individual story, but a few years ago, our founders Sean and Janet Lambert took the time to write down the Homes of Hope Story. They included many of the stories that define us.
Here is just one...
“Steve asked me if he could bring to Mexico a group of business leaders who were all part of a board he was on. He thought it would be good for them to participate in a Homes of Hope build because they had been going through a time of conflict about the future of their corporation. Steve said some were so frustrated they were threatening to sue one another. He also scheduled the company’s next board meeting during the Home of Hope trip. It was a challenge to get all the members to come to Mexico, but at Steve’s urging they agreed to the trip.
The first day of the build was dry and warm, and the board members got off to a good start. On this particular build, they were serving a young woman named Aurora who had three small children. Aurora’s husband had recently left her, and although she owned land, she was living in a six-by-eight-foot wood structure with a tarp on top, held down by pallets. The next day, before the board members could finish the house, it started raining and didn’t let up. The work site soon became awash in mud. By lunchtime everyone was wet, cold, muddy, and exhausted. The group wanted nothing more than to get back to the hotel to take hot showers and to rest. Steve decided that YWAM would need to finish the house at a later date when it stopped raining.
Steve slogged through the mud over to Aurora’s shack to tell her and the children that someone else would finish her new home at a later date. When Steve opened the door, he noticed a river of water running through what used to be her dirt floor. Aurora was sitting on a makeshift bed holding her one-month-old child, shivering from the cold. In that moment, as Steve looked at her desperate living situation, he couldn’t find the courage to tell Aurora the group was leaving. Instead, he smiled at her and said, “We are going to have lunch now, and then we will finish your new home.” The young mother beamed a smile back to Steve as he closed the door. Steve gathered his fellow board members together and informed them of the dire situation Aurora was facing. They all agreed to stick it out and finish the house.
After the build, my staff told me it was one of the toughest house builds they had ever been a part of. But the team got the house done and handed the keys over to Aurora and her three children. The next day, back at the hotel, Steve and the team gathered for their board meeting with a new attitude and perspective. During the meeting, they were able to resolve all of their differences and make decisions beneficial to the future of the company. Steve told me later, “Sean, it was amazing to see how Homes of Hope adjusted everyone’s perspective. It was the best kind of team-building event and exactly what our board needed to get us back on track.”