About two years ago, my dear friend Aury told me about a plot of land that she and her husband owned out in Sumpango, a village about an hour from Guatemala City. She told me that they dreamed of building a house there – out of the pollution, crowd, and danger of the community where they currently lived. Her passion for this future home humbled me – she shared it would be the first time she lived in a real house.

Fast forward two years. After years of saving, planning, taking two steps forward and one step back, Aury, Eddy, and their two boys were able to move into a beautiful, finished home. We were privileged to be invited to the housewarming party. I made a load of cookies and cakes and headed out of the city. The view as I drove in took my breath away – green, space, mountains, crops – I could see Marco and Pablo running wildly through those fields without a care in the world

Then I saw the house. A precious red and yellow house situated against corn fields and mountains. This was my friends house – Aury’s house!

There were a few things that stood out for me during the housewarming party. First, was the humble gratitude with which Aury and Eddy received us in their home. They opened the doors to anyone who needs a respite from the city. They beamed with pride as they said, “our home is your home.” They know they’ve been blessed to bless others. This is beauty.

Second, the words of my good friend Fito, Aury’s brother. He spoke truth about where he and Aury come from, the shack they grew up in. The stark contrast between where Aury’s family was a month ago and where they are now. The stark contrast between where Aury’s family is and where his family is. It would be easy to see how bitterness could creep into that scenario, but not with Fito – he spoke with the same humble gratitude and pride that Aury and Eddy did. He was truly rejoicing with his sister and inviting us to do the same.

We sang. We prayed. We gave thanks. We broke bread (well, tamales and cookies). We asked for God’s blessing on the home and the family in it. We had a near disaster with a floating lantern. We laughed.

I hope last night was one of many joy filled, warm evenings spent in Aury and Eddy’s new home!

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