Nicaragua Missions Day 3
Our goal was to build 4 houses in 5 days and have three days of vacation bible school. It took us two days to build 4 houses, and we had just enough gumption and money to attempt another house for another family from a different church, not expecting a house. So while a crew dispersed to bend nails at the four houses we already finished and to give each of them a care package, we dropped a crew of five of us off to work on a new casa for our new friend. After two days and four houses,we had the process down pretty good, and thanks to our leader, Oscar, we were able to not only finish the house, we finished before noon. This included modifications to our normal design and plan. It was a true team effort, an efficient team.
looking in on the newest project
Remodel, restructure and build. No down time, lots of busy hands and busy feet.
A little girl from the home build doing her school.
And her brother
So once the easy labor of building was done, it was time for the hard labor, vacation bible school. Sixty eight screaming kids, a hot muggy room, tired bones, activities , coloring , painting, balloons, snacks and more. To a man we were begging to go back to construction. Back to shoveling concrete, back to sweating buckets,back to manual labor. It was hard, but we loved it and we loved seeing progress. This, the VBS, this was extremely hard. All the aches and pains came flooding out of our bodies, all the adrenaline melted away and just tired shells of men were left to help the energetic women deal with the two-hour chaos fest. I will not lie, it is a hard task for me. But we persevered, as the kids are starting to know, chasing on the streets showing us their wristbands and loving us as their gringos, a title we wear proudly. I will not proclaim that it is as rewarding as building a permanent structure, but I also cannot deny that it may have just as much of an everlasting effect.
Me trying to look cool sporting a Blue's Clue's dew rag. I think I pulled it off.
Dwayne jumping in with both feet, literally, to get this concrete done!
The grateful proud family.
I saw a lot of good things today. I saw that parents cared for their kids, I saw that although food is not in abundance, there was progress. There are young growing fruit trees, plants and even the start of small gardens as such was the house we built today; smelling the mix of oregano and mint leaves throughout the build. I saw that although their treasures on earth are small, their faith in God is big, and from that I can learn. I saw them work for their keep as 30-40 people were scouring the dump looking for something to use or something to recycle. And the kids would run after the dump truck with a new load of trash as kids in America would chase down an ice cream truck.
Scenes from the long ride home
scenes from the long ride home
And as much as the kids smiling faces warmed my heart, I was probably most touched by Gabrielle, who cried and hugged on me today thanking us all repeatedly for here nuevo casa (new house), her miracle from God. We were an answer of prayer, an unexpected answer, and nothing humbles me and touches me more than knowing that I was used by God.