What a day! My goal is to keep this post short because I am wiped out, as is most of the team. It has been an intense, event-filled day. Aaron put it this way... "full & rich"! This really does say how the 9 of us are feeling not even half-way into this trip. I am thrilled at the unity of our team considering we come from 3 different churches and only met as a team one time before coming for a day of training. On day four, it feels as though we have know each other for far longer than reality tells us. This has contributed to the level of ministry we have been able to be a part of. We discussed tonight the things that build relationships -- laughing together, crying together and serving together. This is very, very true -- give them a try!
So... today we finished wall panel construction, finished the floor, continued work on the mural (almost done), got caught in a rain storm, prayer walked, visited in homes and even made a valiant attempt at a ladies craft project (it's all good, but don't ask). Let's just say that plastic bags and young boys don't mix!!! We also continued the in our joy, experiencing the intense emotion of being in a very small room while waiting out a rain storm and listening to 15 or so young men, many of whom have struggled or are struggling with addictions, worshiping God with their voices shouting out as loudly as they could. Watching these guys, who we have been working side-by-side with on our projects, close their eyes and praise a God who has shown them His amazing grace, brought most of us to tears! Now THIS is church folks! This was not happening just a few short months ago. Only Jesus pulls this kind of stuff off!!!
On a personal note, Rodney and I visited in the home of a lady names Sandra who lives in a very small house with her EIGHT children (ages 3 months to 16 years). All of the children share beds...in the same "room" that is just big enough to hold two bunk beds. When I was invited to go into the room, I had to turn side ways just to stand in it. This lovely lady has a wonderful spirit and is making progress in her walk with Christ -- just another story of what God is doing among the people of Anonos. By the way, I held her youngest throughout the visit and got spit up on five times -- now THAT is a mission trip!
On a far less serious note, their is a tradition here (at least that's what we are told) called "spider". It consists of grabbing an individual by the arms and legs and throwing them into the arm and then stopping their downward trajectory just before they hit the pavement below!!! Sound fun? That's all about that for now, but it will give you something to ask about when we get home. The best part is that it is done only among those who are friends -- we are now officially friends!!
Words and even photos cannot really do justice in expressing the things that God is up to here or what He is doing in our lives. I think that some of you will be welcoming back a different person than got on the plane just 4 days ago.
NOTE: The picture of the white-haired man is Marvin, for whom we are building the house!