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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Home for Easter

Congregation without a building builds home for a neighbor in need

In the shadow of the new upscale housing developments on the outskirts of Phoenix, Sonia Estrada raises four daughters in tiny makeshift shacks.

There is no air conditioning for the hot desert sun, no kitchen sink or counters, and no insulation. Running water comes only from an outside faucet; showers come from a can. The Estradas, Queen Creek, Ariz., make do without these and other staples of American life.

Still, the children, Jeanette, 15; Marisa, 14; Perla, 6; and Ashley, 5, are clean and well cared for. They are polite and complain little about the hardships they have had to endure all of their young lives.

Jeanette and Marisa look and laugh like normal kids and keep up at school. But in the morning when the school bus arrives, unkind comments greet them from kids who mock their home.

Sonia Estrada's friend, Ysidra Lesperanc, bemoans that "most people look down on that kind of luck."


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