by Rachel Canouse
Make a Miracle builds homes for families in extreme need, and as Director of Program Development and Global Relations I get to participate in these constructions all the time. Recently we built two homes in one day that really touched me more than others and reminded me how special this really is.
The first home went to a single mother, and her 16 year old daughter: a duo who are the best of friends. They work together in the home sewing to provide for themselves. The day we told them they were approved for a home, the mother was sobbing and her sweet daughter was just stroking her hair. The mom suffers from scoliosis among other health issues, so being comfortable in her own home is essential. It was her own mother's dream for her to have a beautiful home like this, and unfortunately she had recently passed away making this significance even heavier. Being able to see her mom's dream become reality was such an incredible blessing for both of them.
This home was funded by a prior member of a Remote Year team, and things came full circle when a recent Remote Year team come out to build the home for this amazing family. They cheerfully carried and assembled the furniture so that the family could just sit back and soak it all in. When it came time for the blessing, the mother had few words to say. Her daughter shared with us it was because she was so emotional that she could not get the words out.
The second home we built was such a special case. The mother of the house gave the best reaction we have seen to receiving her new home. When we told her that she was approved for a new house she was ecstatic. Later that same day she chased us down, asking us to repeat what we had said because she had blacked out from excitement. She is a single mom of 3 kids and her home was literally falling down due to a recent earthquake leaving huge openings for any intruder to enter. She would not work because she was terrified to leave her 15 year old daughter alone with the possibility that something might happen to her.
This woman works extremely hard, selling juice in the hills in order to support her family. We added a small storefront to the home so that she could have a way to provide for her kids without having to leave them alone.
When we blessed the house after building it, we gave the new homeowner the time to say a few words. She said Thank You about one million times through tears and even physically shaking. She said she never thought she would have a house as beautiful as this one. The Remote Year team was excited to be able to deliver and assemble furniture for the family including a kitchen table and chairs and a bed.
The week before we built this house was the daughters Quinceañera and the mom shared that she had been heartbroken because she could not give her daughter a party or a gift. We told her this house was a gift from God for her daughter's Quinceañera and she absolutely loved that. It was such a special day for us all! I want to thank the special people who donated the funds for these homes and furniture. You have no idea how meaningful this was for the families involved!
Rachel Canouse has worked with Make a Miracle for 4 1/2 years. She has helped select, plan, build and dedicate countless homes.