Bill Lifsey lay in his hospital bed after brain surgery with one thought on his mind.
â€œLord, if you get me out of this place with all my wiring intact, I promise to do nothing but good with my life,â€ said Lifsey.
The Habitat for Humanity volunteer has done his best to honor that promise.
Since he was forced into retirement due to the brain tumor, Lifsey, a former pilot from Denver, has spent his time building houses for those less fortunate.
His current cause is raising $2,100 to go towards building a Habitat for Humanity House in Mexico, which is part of the Jimmy Carter Work Project (JCWP). He currently has $200.
A house for the JCWP costs only $6,300 to make. Volunteers for the project plan to build 150 houses in five days in the towns of Veracruz and Puebla, Mexico.
Lifsey has volunteered in Mexico before and personally witnessed the poverty of some of its residents.
â€œI thought, â€˜God, there is a lot of work to do down here,â€ said Lifsey.
On that trip he passed fields with 10 acres of shanty towns. Some houses were simply made of tarps and cactus poles.
â€œTheyâ€™re poor, poor people,â€ said Lifsey.
The JCWP plans to build 585 square feet houses for people in similar poverty out of pressed earth, home made brick and using cement for the floors.
The small homes will have a living room, kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms.
Those receiving the homes will work side by side with volunteers to build it. Although they are poverty ridden, many of these people offer volunteers gifts
â€œThe people are so nice and so grateful they cry,â€ said Lifsey.
Lifsey spends the bulk of his time working on Habitat for Humanity houses in the United States.
Heâ€™s currently volunteering on a house that is being built in Charlotte. While putting down floor for the Habitat house, Lifsey was challenged to raise money for the Mexican homes.
Along with two of his friends, Lifsey believes he can raise enough money for one home.
â€œ(The money) is in the community, isnâ€™t it?â€ said Lifsey. â€œIt just happens to be in someone elseâ€™s pocket.â€
Lifsey hopes to raise the remaining $1,900 of his portion of the money through speaking engagements and word of mouth.
He leaves for Puebla on June 20 to work on pre-building activities. He plans to come home once a month until Oct. 29, when the five days of building houses begins.
Those interested in more information can call Lifsey at 704-483-1842 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Sarah Grano