On a Mission: The Art of Pulling Together



“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”
Hebrews 10:24 NLT

Karen Sanchez has the unique ability to get people together. . .

to get things done, and her involvement with uniting the community with Hands of Mercy (HoM) is no different. In fact, this agency’s purpose has a special place in her heart. By teaming up with HoM, Karen, whose life’s work as a realtor is to pair families and houses together, has the opportunity to extend this passion to the underserved of Mexico. What’s more, she wants others to get involved and join the fun.

How does helping families in Mexico can make our high desert community a better place to live?

Hands of Mercy works through groups in the US who sponsor the building projects with their resources. They purchase the building materials for a small 12’x12’ loft house and then gather community members to partially assemble the house before delivering it to its permanent place in Mexico. This whole process gives people an opportunity to serve others by giving money, swinging a hammer, or providing a box of household goods to welcome the family to their new home.

But it doesn’t stop there.

It also builds community here through working side-by-side to accomplish the task. What is even more exciting about Hands of Mercy is they have made the entire process family-friendly. Young and old can come together to provide a family with a basic structure that will give them security and raise their standard of living. Relationships are built as neighbors serve together. It empowers them to think beyond their front door, giving them a much larger worldview.

Karen serves as a catalyst in this endeavor. She has organized fundraisers and has spread the word through her various connections, encouraging people to get involved in not only giving money but also in the actual building process. If that’s not enough, she and her husband organize lunch for all who participate. In the end, well over three hundred people have had a hand in making a family’s life better while forming connections in their own community; now multiply that amount times four.

Just this past April. . .

the fourth house made its way down to Baja to its permanent location. The recipient, a woman who had been homeless for ten years, will now have a safe place to call her own. This is much in thanks to Karen Sanchez. She has taken her talent for making connections and used it to bring people together in a significant way. And through that, families, friendships, and communities are strengthened, making the world a better place to live.

Above all, put on love–the perfect bond of unity.
Colossians 3:14 HCSB


To contribute financially to the next loft house build and be part of something pretty great, go here.

To learn more about Hands of Mercy and the work they do, go here.

Smooth Passage

road-44360_1280The freeway that connects LA and Las Vegas is just a stone’s throw from my home. Over the past couple years, a rehabilitation project has been taking place to enable the tens of thousands of cars and trucks that use it each day to pass smoothly and unhampered through the Cajon Pass. But that is not the case now. Traffic, at times, is a nightmare. There is no other way to describe it. Lanes have been shifted this way and that to allow for old, worn-out pavement to be replaced. Hills have been removed to make way for extra lanes and bridges have been constructed to make the road more level. Each step of the way has been difficult, time consuming, and costly.

Although at the moment, it seems too much to hope for, when all is said and done it is going to be a beautiful thing. The road will be wide and spacious, and smooth to travel.

A voice cries out, “In the wilderness clear a way for the LORD; construct in the desert a road for our God. Every valley must be elevated, and every mountain and hill leveled. The rough terrain will become a level plain, the rugged landscape a wide valley. The splendor of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it at the same time. For the LORD has decreed it.”

Isaiah 40: 3-5 above describes a similar environment our community is experiencing with the freeway construction project. Raising valleys and leveling mountains is no small task, but it must be accomplished. The view of the Lord’s splendor is at stake.

When I read this portion of scripture, it always makes me consider how I am living my life. Am I a person who prepares a way for others to see all the majesty God possesses, or am I a hindrance, blocking their view of an invincible God? Do my professions of faith match up with my actions? Do I trust He knows best? Do I wait for His timing? Am I an example of His grace? Or, do I dig deep valleys of hopelessness as I worry and fret, hanging on to the superstition that perhaps God will not show up this time?  Maybe it’s mountain building I do, heaping up requirements or expectations so high the climb would be unattainable. Are my actions such that they add to the view of God, or detract?

Isaiah’s words ring in my head, “Clear the way! Construct a road for our Lord that is level and wide and straight, perfect for seeing God’s glory.” The translation? Don’t be a distraction. If fact, make it as easy as you can for others to see God by clearing the way.

Why is it so important to make the way smooth? The verses right before the road building instructions in Isaiah 40 answers our question.

 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

Isaiah 40:1 NET

It is not for the awesomeness that God’s splendor is, although it is breathtaking. It is for comfort, and a clear view of God will do just that—bring ease and security.  To cause someone to feel less worried, upset, frightened, and give strength and hope is very good indeed. I want to be part of that road crew that makes it happen. A smooth road is a beautiful thing.

 “Prepare the way for the people! Build it! Build the roadway!
Remove the stones!
Lift a signal flag for the nations!”
Isaiah 62:10 NET