Blog post written by Victoria Asciuto (Senior at Crean Lutheran High School, Irvine)
Today we had the opportunity to begin construction of a concrete home for a beautiful family. I had been anxious to build a house. I had no idea what to expect, but knew we were serving a special family that deserved this house. After a two hour bus ride to the village (a few minutes away from the border of Guatemala) we were introduced to the Hernandez family: Oswaldo, Iris, and their precious sons Eric, Vladimir, Willfredo and Freddie. As each member of the family introduced themselves, their faces lit up with joy. As much as I was excited to help with the construction of the home, I was even more excited to speak with them because I am fluent in Spanish.
After shoveling and cutting wire I saw Iris standing alone, eagerly observing the team building her home. I excitedly approached her, hoping to bond with her. I introduced myself and her face seemed surprised. She asked me “You speak Spanish?” We began talking and she told me the story of her family. Her oldest son Eric had battled Leukemia for two years and is currently cancer free. She told me that it was so hard to see her precious son go through an experience like that, but she had faith in God that everything would be ok. When I was about Eric’s age I had battled cancer as well. As soon as I told her I was cancer survivor we instantly clicked. We both agreed that no matter who you are or where you are from, we all face problems that money cannot fix. She suddenly began to tear up and I asked what was wrong. She said, “I would never think that Americans would be building a home for my family and I…this is truly a miracle. I cannot thank your team enough for coming and changing our lives”. She was such a beautiful woman of God who found joy in the most simple things. I began to thank God for giving me the gift to speak Spanish and connect with the people of El Salvador.