Early morning start again today in Jasmin. The word "climbing" would be our word for the day. We had an informal goal of what we wanted to see accomplished by the end of the day today. We are Americans after all! The first was to get the final touches on the first house done -- windows installed (4), doors installed (2), and locks on the doors. Steve & Paul became our "finish carpenters" and spent the entire day doing this intricate work. Honestly, we could have done a far less professional job, but our constant sense here is that we want to give our best to these beautiful people who rarely are the recipients of anyone's best.
Our second goal was to complete the deck/floor on the second house. This meant building up from the columns placed yesterday, then building the floor joists and then place the planking that becomes the floor. By the way, the houses are 20' X 20' (yes, the entire house is just 400 sq. ft. and it is a huge step up from the dwelling these ladies and their children had previously). Craig, Phil, Ed and Jeff determined the best method to use in this undertaking and spent their day measuring, hammering, putting in screws, sawing, measuring, refiguring...did I mention measuring??
I spent the day running with Rodney our host bringing supplies to the site from various other locations. Along with our good friends Louis and Tito AND 10 children from Jasmine who loved riding in the truck, we hauled doors, wood, planking, nails, glass, wall panels and anything else needed down the step hill to the work sites. At one point, the kids had helped so much (really) that we bought them all a frozen treat and watched as they enjoyed this simple gift! Don't even get me started on "the little things" for which kids should be grateful. Cafe' and Freso again at 4pm and then off to Los Anonos.
Before dinner -- and before showers -- don't ask, just imagine!!! We went into the village of Los Anonos with drink boxes and cookies. We divided into three groups and invited drug addicts to a gathering taking place this Thursday night at 7pm (CST). The guys who had not ben here before got to see the depthof need and the depth of poverty in this community. As the sun set and darkness set in I could not help but physically fell the spiritual darkness that entraps the addicts we net tonight. But not only them, but those who, like in towns everywhere, think they have it together but live in darkness that has them in prison.
Today was also a day of important connections made with others doing minsitry work here with whom we can reconnect with later and stengthen our efforts as we learn from each other. Well, walls and part of a roof tomorrow!! We now lay our heads down knowing that we attempted to be the hands of Jesus today! He was a carpeter too you know!