“I can do ALL things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Sometimes we take this for granted. We don’t realize the power of the strength that God gives us when we need it. This morning was one of those times.
Getting out of bed was a struggle. Muscles and joints ached in places we didn’t even know existed in our bodies. Putting a t-shirt on this morning? Forget it. Most likely each and every one of us prayed that God would help us get dressed. Don’t even get us started on lifting a fork to eat the food that would hopefully give us a little bit of energy for the workday… Bacon to the rescue!
Hey, we know what you’re thinking. That we should have just sucked it up and stopped complaining. But no prayer is a wasted prayer. We called on God for physical and mental strength for the day. Because we needed Him. No matter how trivial it seemed.
Work day number 2. Same cattle car. Same ride up the mountains. Same beautiful scenery. We could have given you directions to Zoranje with our eyes closed. But we kept our eyes open, silently taking in what God had created.
Before we unloaded the cattle car, we celebrated Jamie’s 39th birthday with a card Bill had us sign for him and a big cheer. Who else can say they spent their birthday on a mission trip in Haiti doing God’s work?!
We also had the opportunity to pray for a local man today suffering with his eyesight. Yesterday he was a big help on the jobsite, carrying nearly 300 bags of cement weighing 100 pounds each, keeping us supplied during the floor pour. We believe God is going to heal him. And what is even more amazing… last Sunday was his first time in church!
After unloading the cattle car, we checked out the jobsite. Our work for the concrete slab was almost halfway done! We created a huge caterpillar of an assembly line intermixed with the Haitian workers. Passing along cinderblock after cinderblock down the line, we could have easily been the music video for “Whistle While You Work.”
Most of us are in pretty good physical shape. But this was a total body workout that you cannot possibly replicate at the gym. We will be pretty disappointed if we are not buffer than The Hulk by the end of this trip.
After the dispersing of the cinderblock around the concrete slab, we broke off into our separate groups from yesterday to help with finishing the slab.
There is more and more attention coming from the community. More and more people are stopping to watch. More kids are waving and saying hello in their broken English. And we are getting more comfortable going out to meet them. And what is even more awesome?! The local ladies made lunch for everyone and it was so delicious. Better than peanut butter and jelly!
A few of us went for a walk down the road today. We hope everyone gets an opportunity to experience the joys we have seen on every face we encounter in Zoranje. The children’s bright white smiles have been so infectious.
On one of the walks, a man that had attended the church service on Sunday, ran out to meet Pastor Andy. With a bag of 4 mangos, yelling out, “Past-or! Past-or!”’ he was so excited to give him a gift. Four mangos that are not easy to give away for these people.
At the end of the workday, Team Gravel claimed to be the best group of the mission trip. And they were hands down unanimously voted the best New Life mission trip group. Even future groups will not be able to compete. They easily set the bar high with their team chant, “We have the skill to fill at will!” They will fill your bucket with gravel in 3 seconds or less… or the next one’s free!
Team Haiti came in a close second to Team Gravel for pouring ¾ of the concrete floor slab! Block & Mortar United came in third for their tireless effort in finishing the water baptism tank in the corner of the church. And The Water and Sand Team brought up the rear.
The ride home in the cattle car hurt a little bit worse today from trying to hold on to the seats with our even more sore and aching muscles. But the gorgeous surroundings easily distracted that pain. Is it just us or is the sky just a bit more blue here? And the clouds seem to be brighter and fluffier. And the coastal views. Spectacular!
We are halfway done with our “work week.” Today Richard, our host missionary and the head honcho on the job site had already put up the corners of the exterior walls. Tomorrow we will be filling in the rest.
Please continue to pray for us. Because we may not know much about block and mortar. But we do know God and what He is capable of doing through us!
Bon soir from Haiti!
P.S. We are happy to announce there were no injuries on the job today. Pastor Andy’s ankle is on the mend after getting a nice tape job from Manya, his fellow CHS soccer coach.