Sunday, August 25, 2013


As per usual, the above word can draw many pictures in the minds of those it is spoken to. We think of everything from the security guard we see every day in the mall we frequent, to our friends and family who spend their lives working towards the pot of gold they call security for their loved ones because of the all too common belief, no matter what might happen, the money stored up can provide the sense of safety they need.

Considering I am currently in a place where no malls exist, and my unemployment leads me to have no incoming pennies to store into my ‘pot of gold’ for the unexpected, we can agree that my idea of security is coming from another image.

Opening the door to his new home with many happy volunteers
and excited members of the community watching this amazing
moment! Check out Live Different on Facebook for more
pictures from their Hero Holidays.
While in the Dominican Republic we; being my wonderful husband, a handful of amazing world changers and myself, are leading teams of youth to grow their perspective of the world and participate in a life changing ten days where they get to contribute to building a home for a deserving family. The entire experience leads up the always-emotional moment of handing over the keys of the home to the family. All the sweat, tears, awkward moments since you don’t speak the same language, relationship-building, and heart changing moments find their climax when the family stands in front of their home on dedication day and, with the keys passed on from a Live Different volunteer to the family, they unlock the door of their new home for the very first time. Thinking about this moment gives me shivers and makes me smile so big due to the sheer amount of 'epic' involved in this exact moment. For most of these families this door is the first door they have ever had that can be locked.

Can you imagine never having a door that can lock on your home? Picture living in a less than ideal neighbourhood; the power goes out at night, you live in a home with a door that shuts but does not lock. There is no lock on the door, the windows—anything can happen. Praying for protection is your security.

Our second house build site this summer for my husband and I gave this security to a man who works as a security guard at the most high end resort in the Dominican Republic. How perplexing to think of a security guard who raised four sons on his own and didn’t have this one basic means of security for his family-- until this exact moment.

To get to our third build site we would walk past the home of the security guard and the three sons that currently live with him. I have two favourite scenes to lay eyes on as I pass by: While they are home the door is left open (as is common in Neuvo Renacer) and I often see the father in the kitchen, cooking away. He looks so pleased—happiness bursting inside but escaping to the outside world in the form of a content gentlemen working away. The next scene is that of the door closed and locked. No one is home, it’s quiet inside, and standing guard is a white door—locked and providing the security we often take for granted.

The happy family before opening the door to their new home!