Before I forget….Happy Mother’s Day. I think everyone at camp has successfully called home and spoken to the mother(s) in their lives so we should all be welcomed back home when we hit the airport Friday evening.
Now that the official business is out of the way…today was church day (details later) and since none of had any clue what time we were leaving this morning, we were up at the now standard 6 AM. After church we had our lunch (honestly have no memory of what it was at this point) and headed out to the houses we left unfinished last night. It was roughly 150 degrees in the shade this afternoon and our first house has no idea what shade is. Both groups knocked out the remainder of those houses in no time- admittedly, the crew of “old guys” beat us and they were further behind at the start. We weren’t proud of that on the “not-quite-so-old-thanks-to-me-and-ted” crew. At this point, the temperature had dropped to a reasonable 99 degrees and both crews actually finished another house well before dark (we young fellas redeemed ourselves on that house though…not that anyone was keeping track or anything, of course).
We now have our bellies stuffed full of some kind of turkey, rice/beans, slaw, and a macaroni-like dish. Most of us are showered and all of us are exhausted. The generator has been hit or miss since we got here and the A/C units in the rooms are currently out of commission so we are looking forward to a sweaty night of sleep.
Highlight of the day: The service this morning. Granted in was in a language that none of us understood, but that was the least of our concerns. We showed up during the Sunday School hour and made our way to some seats in the back. We were just under the cover of the roof overhead. Let me tell ya, we were eternally thankful for that mango tree that acted as our roof this morning. Dad managed to disrupt the children’s Sunday School class (some of you are not surprised by that even a little bit) and wound up providing a Q&A session via Roody’s father who was the fill-in interpreter. Once the service started, Roody found a seat right behind a few of us (thank goodness) and provided random interpretations of what was going on in the service. Somehow, Robert wound up on the second row and dad found his way to the front row with his new friends from Sunday School. There were a couple of songs that they sang as a congregation that our entire groups swears we know the tune to but, unfortunately, this IS a group of men so none of us could recall the English names of either of them. They then had a scripture reading of Psalm 136 according to Roody. The preacher would call the first line of text and the congregation would recite the second line. In unison, the congregation of about 40 gathered under this tree, quoted in an excited fashion “His steadfast love endures forever” 28 times culminating with an amen that Paul would even be proud of- that is the same no matter what language you speak. At the conclusion of the whole service, every single one of the congregation members rushed to shake our hands and a couple even gave warm God bless you’s. It was another instance that made me see that these people have clung to hope through all they have been through.
It was an encouraging day all the way around. We are still figuring out the intricacies of the craftsmanship that we are dealing with so each house is getting quicker and quicker. 6 down, 18 to go. Since we have been in the same village both days, some of the locals are beginning to recognize us and enjoy the show we put on for them. Robert and Phil have both entertained the kids with their antics and have become quite popular. And all of them will yell “HEY YOU!!” every time that any of us go walking or driving by and they absolutely love it when we holler it back at them. They just love the attention no matter how small it may be.
It is supposed to get hotter with each passing day. That is kind of the opposite that we were hoping for but we are not doubting God. Continue to pray for shade, energy, and health for the 10 of us. We were incident free today which was definitely a blessing. That is all we can hope for the rest of the week and continue to trust that God is going to get us through this and provide for our needs as we provide for some of the needs of the community. We have at least 6 more houses in the same area (which is about 2 miles or 20 minutes from our compound) so travel has been far easier than expect/feared. Just another answered prayer.
We love you all and have continued to keep all of you in our daily thoughts and prayers. Thanks to everyone for the updates that some have received over email cause it has definitely taken some of the worry out of our days.
Time to pass the computer.