The House that Love Built
I will never forget your beautiful smile. We met almost exactly one year after the devastating earthquake in Chile.
I will never forget your beautiful smile. We met almost exactly one year after the devastating earthquake in Chile. Your two little boys, shirtless and shoeless in the summer heat, were playing on a rope swing underneath bunches of purple grapes hanging from the vine creeping along the porch beams. You brought me into your simple wood frame home and, with your face shining with pride and tears of joy; you explained how your adobe house had come crashing down on the night of the earthquake right after you, your children and your husband had stepped out onto the porch. The porch, with its tangled old grapevine, is all that remains what had been your home.
You said you wouldn´t give up this dignified and clean, though small, house even if someone offered you a palace. “This home is blessed,” you said, “because it was built by love.” Love of your sisters and brothers thousands of miles away in the United States who heard about the earthquake, prayed about what to do, and organized to send an offering for the Blessing Cabins in Chile through Global Ministries. Love of your brothers and sisters from the national Pentecostal Church of Chile who worked with you to build the new house. Love of the brothers and sisters of your local church who provided the clothing, furniture and kitchen utensils needed to replace what was buried in the rubble. The gratitude in your heart wells up in your smile. “Yes,” I affirm, “this is the house that Love built.”
Elena Huegel is a missionary with the Pentecostal Church of Chile (IPC). She serves as an environmental and Christian education specialist.