Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS Realtor Finds New Way To Spend Vacations
Deseret News 15Feb00 P2
By Linda Thomson: Deseret News staff writer
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- J. McDonald Brubaker is the new head of the
Utah Realtors Association and owner and president of Tate-Brubaker
Corp. The association has focused this year on developing leadership
skills and industry background. Two major objectives of the
association are helping its members to do their work well and
broadening the policy of standing for the rights of people to own,
use and transfer real property. With all of the challenges of work,
Brubaker has set some incredible goals for service and charitable
work of his own.
Two years ago, Brubaker announced to his family that he would treat them to
a vacation on a sunny Mexican resort to celebrate Christmas. Suprisingly
the family turned him down. He suprised them by saying that what he really
wanted to do was work on a service project with Choice Humanitarian, who
built schools in Mexico and Peru. To his suprise the family of eight, with
some spouses, were backing Dad's plan to serve in a remote area of Peru,
building latrines for schoolhouses.
"Obviously, I had misread my family," Brubaker said. "I've heard before
that we human beings have a greater need for service than recreation, and it
certainly played out in my family life." While in Mexico that year, the
Brubaker family slept on the ground, endured many inconveniences while
thoroughly enjoying the experience of helping others. "They told me it was
the best 'vacation' they ever had," Brubaker said.
The family of volunteers, minus an eighth Brubaker on a mission for the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, toiled on the island of Tequile
in Lake Titicaca on the southern border of Peru, 12,500 feet above sea level
in the chilly Andes Mountains. The local villagers helped to haul l3 tons
of rock to build eight latrines near schools so children could have indoor
toilets for the first time.
"The Peru situation was particularly humbling in that the Tequilenos had
nothing, yet they held their heritage with value. They wore their costumes
daily, including hand-woven caps," Brubaker said. "I think it's a very
positive experience for all of us to learn how benefited we are by our
standard of living, our quality of housing, quality of sanitation, quality
of schools. As a father, it is very gratifying to see my children recognize
that and they come home appreciating what they have."
These days, Brubaker is active in the legislative arena for Utah Relators
as well as a service project for realtor members. "I'm very pleased that
this generates a number of local service projects, including Paint Your
Heart Out, which is where Realtor members paint homes inside and out for
people who are disadvantaged from a physical standpoint, either from age or
disability," Brubaker said.