The Union Recorder

January 10, 2014

Hope, peace and joy

Sisters turn faith into action

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Twin sisters Kanesia “KK” and Waynesia “WyWy” Sherman found their paths of righteous living through their faith and unconditional love of Jesus Christ. The siblings decided to take part in a short mission trip with their church to bring hope, peace and joy to a family in dire need through Casas por Cristo, “Homes because of Christ,” a humanitarian organization that has built homes along the United States and Mexico border since 1993.

“It was a life-changing experience for me because I realized I took things for granted,” WyWy said of their trip to Acuña, Mexico in the summer of 2010. “I was more appreciative of things when I got back home. I’m glad I went over there.”

Along with 18 other members of First Christian Church, what is now Northridge Christian Church, the Shermans helped transform an empty lot into a safe and secure home for a family of four in just five days. The family’s new home consisted of two rooms with a door and window, and no bathroom or kitchen.

“For us, it looks like a shack or storage room, but it’s a home to them. Everyone helped with the foundation, A-frame, flushing the wood and stucco. It was all very emotional,” KK said. “The friends of the family would come out and watch us every day. They even cooked food for us though they don’t have much; they gave what they didn’t have. That experience showed me the meaning of being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ; it was an amazing experience for me.”

Casas por Cristo’s core mission to reach people of Mexico and Guatemala with the love of Jesus Christ. Driven by a desire to provide tangible expressions of God’s love and provision, the ministry creates partnerships among various groups across international borders. To date, Casas has provided more than 4,000 families with homes.

“We had no expectations before we went; I was just excited to build a house. When I got there, it was just sad. The homes are very small and they’re using curtains as doors to block the wind,” WyWy said. “The people we encountered are very kind and very giving. Other people were excited for the family we were building for as if it were their own home.”

As a result of the experience, KK’s passion for giving back empowered her to apply for an internship with Casas por Cristo this summer. As she awaits to hear if she has been accepted, KK is nervous and excited at the same time because she is “stepping out my comfort zone.”

“After coming back, I just kept thinking about Casas and the experience I had; it was something I really wanted to do. I don’t like change, but it really touched my heart. Being a Christian, I have to let my light shine, and I can’t do that if I don’t venture out,” KK said. “If I get the internship, I’ll be going May through August. I’ll be trained in Juárez, Mexico for three weeks and then I don’t know if I’ll be in Acuña, Guatemala or the Dominican Republic. As an intern, I’ll lead groups that come in who want to build homes for families and show them the love of Jesus Christ.”

KK must raise $3,500 prior to leaving in May to help purchase tools and supplies for her mission.

“If I can lend a helping hand to reach out and make a difference for the better, most of the time, you can count me in because in the end when the hard work is done, we have experienced unity,” WyWy said. “I’m so proud of KK for taking the next step and stepping out of her comfort zone. I’m going to miss her, but she’s doing God’s will.”

The sisters graduated from Baldwin High School in 2004. They rededicated their lives to God two years later after attending First Christian Church.

“Before I went, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life until I went ... and it opened my eyes,” KK said. “If people do this it will open their eyes also; it’s unexplainable.”

For more information about Casas por Cristo, visit www.casasporcristo.org.

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VIDEO: Check out video footage of the Casas por Cristo 2010 mission trip: