Pray, Go, Give Blog

"I Build Therefore I Am" - How Building Homes for Families in Need is Changing My Life











I have the privilege of leading the Dwellings home building ministry for Alternative Missions. I love the "hands on" and personal nature of this ministry. I have benefitted by my involvement and received far more than I have given. Let me share with you what building homes for others has meant to me.

Join me and Pray, Give and Go.


How Building Homes for Families in Need is Changing My Life


  • By entering the world of the "poor" I learn how people can be marginalized by economic class and it helps me be more aware of how I view and treat others. 
  • I learn about how people survive in tough times and it gives me peace to know that I can do the same if the time comes for me to do so.

People / Community

  • I see how helping one another is the essence of community life and that makes me a better person back home.
  • The build gives opportunity for new friendships to form and love to be shared across race, ethnic, and economic barriers which is a blessing for all involved. Working together allows relationships to form that may not have a chance in any other way giving place to love and shared life. Shared life changes me. As I love others I see life and hope and love birthed in them and in me.
  • As I build I connect with people with different life experiences but the same dreams like health and safety for children and the hope that they will have better lives. It grounds me in the truth that we are really very much alike. As new friendships are formed confidences are shared, discussed, and prayed over. God is there and good things happen in all of our lives.


  • I enter a world that I would otherwise never experience and it gives me the ability to think differently.
  • I am exposed to how little is needed to live, which affects what I want, leading to contentment with a simpler lifestyle.
  • I watch how those who have less to distract them have more time for each other which encourages me to evaluate both what I posses and what I spend my time doing.
  • The build is a time dedicated to serving which is a form of worship and an excellent time for contemplation.


  • I see how giving encourages giving and when we choose that lifestyle we create an environment that others will join. I participate in miracles of provision and those miracles build my faith and renew my hope for all aspects of my life. I have opportunity to meet people on planes, in taxis, at restaurants, and on the worksite and as I share what I do it is encouraging to hear how many people want to help. I meet and experience interesting people and those people enrich my life.
  • Building homes (hands on) puts me in a place of doing that thinking or wishing or dreaming can not accomplish. We live in a fast paced technological world where reading or thinking makes it seem like we are doing more than we really are. The doing is making me a better person.
  • I experience extreme dependence and sense the very real need for God to be our friend, father, and provider which helps me recognize that God is my source.

16 comments so far:

Looking forward to sending more people down to help with this great ministry...

Wow Tom, that was pretty powerful and incidentally exactly what I needed to read today. It teminds me why I not only enjoy the trips but more importantly your friendship.I am praying for the ability to make it down with my brother and our kids for a building project. It would be awesome.

That is awesome, Tom. I have no words, but am thinking on what you said. Thanks.

Tom, I'm glad to have had the opportunity with partnering with you and your team in cofradia, and I'm looking forward to more trips and houses built and lives changed.

Tom, praying and wondering how God might give me opportunity to join you on one of the construction adventures. Is there something planned for the near future?

Tom, I was going to ask the same question that Paul just asked. When is the next trip? Do we have to have our own team or could my family of 3 join another team?

hey tom , we live in a world where there is a need for a lot more of god's presence and god's people and I live in a country where there is a dire need for missions like this .

I would personally love to be a part of this mission god willing . do tell me how someone in India can be a part of this , will keep praying for your work.

PTL! so practical and so God, meet them at the point of their need. Good Job.

I am blessed by your involvement and look forward to building in 2011.

Joey / Paul / Jack;
I would love to do a build together. A group of any size can work. The last build I had one other person with me and we teamed up with locals to get the job done. If we have the funds for the home we can make it happen.

The concept is simple and reproducible. I am sure you could do it in India.

Daily I am challenged by the people I encounter. I am challenged to understand why they do what they do. How they live and why they became who they are. As I reflect on my recent trip with Tom, Tim, Tony and Joe. I can't help but think about how we as men hide! We hide behind our families. We hide behind our jobs. We hide behind God. When in all reality, when we let go of all f our hiding places. We grow! We gain! We get the opportunity to become one with others! These trips if nothing else, allow you to be open and honest with youself! Thanks Tom! Love you Brother!

Tom I have to stay pretty close to home because of finances but have the oppertunity to go on builds in Puerto Penaso. I am thankful that I got exposed to building projects with Alternative Missions.Thanks for getting me started many years ago .Keep up the good work.Jesus is Lord.

Kevin; That was a great trip. I hope it was the first of many.

Arden; Great to hear from you. I appreciate your support and friendship! Keep up the good work brother!


Tom, Continue to bless one family at a time.

Thank you for all that you do for the kingdom.


Hi, Tom!

I didn't realize until recently that Jesus was a carpenter.
(Mark 6:3). I had always believed he was the SON of a carpenter. I'm wondering whether before he reached the age of 30, he might have done some of the same things you are doing with some of the same types of spiritual growth. I'm wondering whom he built houses for or whether he was ever hired to build the "bigger barns" he refers to in scripture.

That is a fun thought. Jesus doing a Dwellings build. I know it sure is a great way to spend time with a family, neighbors, community, and people in all aspects of the process. I really enjoy the relational part of it along with the benefits of providing a home. I wish David could join me on one...he would love it.

Mary,Thanks for asking. I guess my qusiteon would be, does God ever turn down anyone who has surrendered and willing to go? I do not think so. We would take the same position. As a department we have turned people down for a short term experience only if references show that a person is not living faithfully for the Lord (surrendered) and not willing (available) to submit to the leadership God has placed in responsibility. We have needed to ask people to withdraw if they have not put in the effort needed to be part of a team. As far as career work, we go through multiple evaluation, education, and mentoring paths we help people understand God's call of their life and how to best see that fulfilled. If this has not answered your qusiteon, please let me know. Have a great day.Rejoicing,Pastor Bruce


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