A fishing village about 20 km (13 mi) south of where we live was severely damaged by the Asian tsunami of December 2004, and 53 families lost their homes. Over the next two years our local TFI community raised sponsorship for the rebuilding project, but still had nowhere near the amount needed to provide housing for so many families.
We met with the village council and asked if they would prefer that the funds be used to build ten quality houses, or twice as many houses of lesser quality. The council and the needy families agreed that it would be wiser to build ten quality homes, and they also chose from among themselves the ten neediest families. From the groundbreaking until the day the new homes were inaugurated, everyone in the village cooperated in the building project and no one resented that they hadn’t been chosen to receive a new house.
At the inauguration ceremony a spokeswoman told us, “The time you first entered our village over two years ago, you became part of our lives. Whether you or God are able to provide more houses makes no difference. You are and will always be a part of our village. You are always welcome here.”
Originally Published in 2007.