The Restoration House or Casa Restauración sp. was a necessity to the young men of our community to provide a safe environment in order for them to work on restoring their lives to the original, intended condition.
At the end of last month, Wilber sold some of his pigs and used the money to lay a foundation for a room on his property. I spoke about his passion for the work we do, never did we realize the extent until he was willing to sacrifice his income to help the ministry.
The ministry bought the materials for all the electrical needs including fans and helped with the construction of the room and rewiring of his entire property. Unless you have been in a third world country you cannot imagine the conditions of wiring in homes and older businesses. We wanted to make sure that all would be safe.
By October 15th, we had moved the guys from our house and along with one newbie into the Casa. It was the second anniversary to the day since we launched the Casa Restauración. We had all of the original beds, kitchen equipment, tables and chairs from the first Casa that will be used in the new Casa.
We will continue to do minimal improvements to the property as funds become available. There has been a roof installed over the area between Wilber's house and the room. This provides for a covering of the gathering space. Currently there is a mud floor, the rainy season is still upon us. Also, we need to add additional roofing to the kitchen area to divert water run off into the gathering area.
I said that improvements would be minimal to the property to make it habitable for the guys. We have all decided that we need more space in the near future. Currently, we can house 6 guys. It crushes Wilber to have to turn guys away for lack of space. Remember, this is the guy that wants to, no let me rephrase that, has to save the world.
This issue of wanting to take everyone in is something that we have had to wrestle with for years. We are teaching Wilber, that there has to be a limit and not everyone is a candidate for entry. We have several meetings and classes every day of the week except Saturday. We encourage attendance while waiting for space to open within in the Casa. If they do not make an attempt to attend meetings and work at making life changing choices, they will be denied entry to the Casa when space is available.
During this time of year, it gets cold (well for us 70 degrees is cold) and guys don't like sleeping on the sidewalks or park benches. They come for food and rest, showers, clean clothes and when they feel better, walk away. Our resources in staff and finances makes it impossible to allow this to continue. We try as well as we can to discern the intent of the individuals seeking help.
Our goal now is to find approximately 2 - 3 manzanas (3 1/2 - 5 acres) that will be a complex for the entire ministry. This would include the vocational cabinet shop, dormitory for the guys, chapel, barn, personal and caretaker residences. It all sounds like a dream but, it was the vision that we were given before we moved to Nicaragua and God has shown the same vision to Wilber. Now we have the joy of having someone to talk with, plan with and dream about the future other than with ourselves.
All things are possible with God!