Building Dreams Takes A Community


I have always liked building things.

When I was a toddler, I started building things with my Playskool wooden building blocks.  From there, I moved to Lincoln Logs.  I build many log cabins with my Lincoln Logs.  The natural next step was LEGO building blocks.  My favorite thing to build with LEGO blocks was houses.  I built one-story houses, two-story houses, and even taller houses.  For a little while I built “dog houses” with pieces of scrap wood from my Dad’s workshop.

For me, there is something fun and energizing about building things.

When I was considering a possible career choice, I definitely considered architecture.  As a fan and student of math and science, it’s natural I would pursue engineering as my career path.

My engineering career has brought me into some amazing building in the New York City and Philadelphia area.  I’ve been in the top ten floors of the Rockefeller Center, the orchestra pit of the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, the basement hallways under the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the roof top of Liz Claiborne headquarters.  I’ve been in data centers, hospitals, schools, universities, shopping malls, and pharmaceutical laboratories.  These are all buildings I’ve helped to build in some form or another.

When I had the opportunity to help build a house in Guatemala two years ago, I was definitely in my element.  This experience two years ago in Xenacoj was the spark that reignited my passion and dreams for building.  There was something truly special about building something for someone else.  I still remember the feelings of watching a family as they received a new house.  I want to participate in changing the lives of more families.

With this in mind, I dream of building 100 homes in Guatemala.  (This is one of the dreams I shared in yesterday’s post about Guatemalan Dreams.)

This summer, our family had the opportunity to build two more homes for two families.  There was something amazing about giving this kind of gift to a family.  They were definitely appreciative.

Achieving this kind of dream doesn’t happen by accident, and it definitely doesn’t happen with the help of many, many people.


The two houses we built this summer were built by the generous financial donations of many friends and families.  They were built by German Espana who coordinated the efforts in Guatemala.  They were built by several local workers who helped with concrete work, roofing, electrical work, and framing.  They were built by family members who helped on the job site by debarking the wood paneling and cleaning up sawdust.  They were built by Gregory Espana who skillfully constructed doors and windows for the homes.  They were built by other members of our team who dealt with blistered and sap-stained hands to make sure the wood for the walls looked as good as possible.  And they were built by Dave Sgro, founder of GO! Ministries, who encouraged our family to pursue this dream.

It takes a village – a community – to make a real difference for others.

In order to make my dream a reality, I’ll have to find a way to build 97 more houses.  This won’t happen through my efforts.  It will take others jumping on board and joining the dream.

So here’s my question:  Will you take part in my dream?  What role might you like to play in making this dream a reality?

What’s your dream?  What help from others do you need to make your dream a reality?