Our first full day got off to an early early start. After a less than restful night of sleep due to the rain, SOME of our group was up and out of bed by 5:15. Roody informed us last night that breakfast would be on the table at 6 o’clock this morning, and even though the 4 guys from the original trip had their doubts about the validity of that statement, they were the first 4 moving around this morning. To our surprise though, we were summoned for breakfast precisely at 6 AM and managed to leave the complex by 8.
On the way to our first set of houses, Roody wanted us to stop by the church in the “neighborhood” where we will be most of the week. This church is located literally within spitting distance of the local sugar cane mill which is a long way from church mouse quiet. It is walled and roofed by blue Samaritan’s Purse tarps and stood up by glorified tree limbs. It was quite the humbling experience without a doubt. Given the fact that the majority of this group comes from Park Hill Baptist Church, this church house was the polar opposite but it clearly did not bother them one bit. They hold school in the structure 6 days a week for the kids in the area. They apparently don’t have the same separation of church and state issues that we deal with back home. They are not only taught reading and writing but also how to pray and sing praises to God. Roody found out that I was the designated picture taker for this group so he asked me to go visit the school today to snap some pictures and videos of their activities. I didn’t get to stay for long cause Roody didn’t tell me to go down there until the end of their day but the 15 minutes I got to see was inspirational enough. They started off with a prayer from the pastor. The younger kids were a little distracted by the strange, light skinned fella standing at the back of the class but the older kids stood as still as rocks with their hands folded and listened with intent. Then the teacher and preacher led them in a song in Creole. Every one of the kids clapped and sang along with all of their energy. On the way back to the worksite, our interpreter, Rommie (no idea how he really spells it), explained to me that the song was exclaiming how great God is, how He loves them unconditionally, and how He has never left them or let them down. I don’t know if I can possible understate how little these people had and how miniscule their church house was. Yet they understand the fact that God is still with them. Humbling indeed.
Progress report time I suppose. We managed to finish two of the partially built houses and got two others within about a solid hour’s worth of work of being completed. Having to make adjustments on what the original groups did to them slowed us down drastically on the first set but we kind of found our groove by the second set and figured out what things to look for and fix. We should be able to fly through those and possibly finish another couple after church tomorrow. No one really knows the plan for church tomorrow so we aren’t sure how plausible that goal is.
Terry got a little overheated today and had to sit it out for a couple of hours this afternoon but was able to fix himself well enough to finish out the day with us. All 10 of us worked ourselves tired today though. The food was filling and nutritious enough to give us the energy we needed but we are all ready for a good night’s sleep for sure. Please keep praying that none of the rest of us get under the weather the rest of the week and that we can all stay on our feet to complete the works that we have been called here to do. It is going to be an incredible week for us from the plans that have been discussed with us so far.
I am being forced off the computer cause apparently the rest of these guys have family and stuff that may have emailed them.
Thank you for continuing to protect us with your prayers.