CrossPoint Christian Reformed Church in Chino, Calif., and The River CRC in Redlands regularly turn their parking lots into building lots as they put together prefab homes to be delivered to and assembled in Baja, Mexico.
They work with Hands of Mercy to build loft houses. “A loft house is 12 x 12 feet, with four windows, a door, and a second-story attic loft for sleeping that is reached by an interior ladder,” said Christine Nydam, coordinator of the program at The River CRC.
Between them, the two churches have erected more than 20 houses.
“The pre-build is a day of nail-pounding fun in the church parking lot. Grandparents, parents, and kids come with hammer in hand ready to pound some nails,” said Nydam.
Lumber is sawed and marked with codes telling those doing the layout where each piece goes. The entire operation takes about four hours per house, including loading the trailer, according to Bob and Mary Findley, coordinators for CrossPoint CRC.
The assembly weekend includes the trip to Mexico, introduction to the recipient family, devotions and worship, assembly of the house, and a ceremonial gift of a Bible and keys to the house.
“Prior to [receiving] their loft house, the families often lived under pallets and tarps and have no way of securing their belongings. This leaves them with no way to attend church as a family. After receiving a loft house, they can secure their homes and gladly attend church together,” said Nydam.
“Most participants agree that the final ceremony with the family is extremely fulfilling,” said Findley.