It's All Just Smiles
Jessica Yach from Chicago, Illinois, celebrated her birthday during the JCWP 2004.
Jessica Yach is just one of many volunteers at this year's Jimmy Carter Work Project from the Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Willow Creek's Axis group, a ministry aimed at church members in their 20s, frequently supports Habitat for Humanity.
But this is Jessica's first Jimmy Carter Work Project, and she's soaking it all in! "I love services projects like these," she says. Jessica says she felt a calling to participate when she heard the opportunity mentioned during a church service. Her trip to the JCWP was partially a birthday present to herself—she turned 28 on Thursday, Oct. 28, and was thrilled to spend her birthday on the build site.
The best part of the week for Jessica has been getting to know so many people from so many different places and experiencing the harmony that pervades the build site. "Everyone is working together, despite language barriers, despite frustrations," she says. "And we're building a home for someone. It touches my heart."
Jessica says the biggest challenge for her is not being able to have a full conversation with the homeowners of the house she is building, House #36, sponsored by Cinépolis. "The first day of the build I walked up to Sandi (the homeowner) and said, 'Su casa?' She said, 'Sí,'" Jessica explains. "Then I asked her, 'Habla inglés?' and she said, 'No. Habla español?' I said, 'No.' All we could do is smile at one another."
"It's all just smiles," Jessica says.