Today (actually yesterday - I was too worn out to do the blog last night), the final touches started to take place at the house. First thing this morning, the crew began to put the roof on the house. They discovered that Marvin had moved a chair and small mattress into the yet completed structure and slept there for the night. He just could not wait to spend the night his new place! Roof work was complicated by a continuous rain that fell all morning. But our crew leaders, James and Jamie, made sure that the work was completed. Everyone was well soaked, but the roof was on. The electrician began work on the wiring while others crews worked on the doors and windows. This is very tedious work, but several Ticos caught on to the tasks quickly and worked hard with the details. At the end of the day we discovered that the glass was the wrong size by just enough to mean that it will need to be re-cut in order for the windows to be completed (just a minor bump). THEN the YELLOW paint goes on -- a task especially difficult this time because the house is built on a hill. Acrobatics were used to complete the task and no one fell and was washed away down river!! As the yellow goes on, I thank God for those of you who contributed to the costs of this trip and those who sacrificed to cover the cost of the house materials. Truly it has taken all these pieces and people to make this a reality.
Throughout the day, we also fix our blooper on the mural, shop for our big cookout at the rehab and do planning for the events of the next few days. Mark brought lots of soccer shirts with him and the young guys are thrilled to get a "cool" new shirt - just something insignificant back home, but not here. Our team had a wonderful prayer time this morning where we were able to minister to one another deeply. This is an easy part of trips to miss because of the physical work, but God always works on team members as much as He does the people here. I will let the team members tell their own stories of what God is doing in their lives, but it is VERY cool.
We are stalled fairly early by heavy rains, so we get a little more down time that has been usual this week. Then in the evening, three of us (Brian, James and Brandon) go to be part of the meeting for addicts. The young men and even some adults are so excited by what God is doing here that more than just addicts come to this meeting time. The small room is filled with well over 40 people. I am amazed that they come to be packed in to a small space that is not air conditioned, to sit on folding chairs, to listen to gringos talk -- with interpretation. Seems like at home, these variables would mean that no one would show up! We are very spoiled, aren't we?
Worship is wonderful with just guitar and the people enter in with passion. James shares his story of addiction, incarceration and loneliness. This story in very similar to many and they connect immediately with him. Rodney shares about our lives being like soil and asks them to seek to be someone who has soil where the Word can impact deeply. Then I share on 1 John 3:16 - we all desire to be loved, but often we do not believe that anyone loves us or even could love us. Jesus came and died because He loves us AND we are to love one another in this same way. When we understand the depth of God's love and then sense and feel it from other believer's we begin to live in freedom and gain a sense of dignity. This understanding gives us constant hope in the midst of our daily battles. Realize that addicts and even the poor struggle to know and accept that God could love them - just like us, right?
We then moved into a prayer time for three groups: 1. Those who struggle to believe that God could love them, 2. Those who have deep hurt and pain, 3. Those who can only think about where their next "hit" will come from. A lady steps forward and sings the song "God Will Make A Way" and it is obvious that the Spirit is at work. Chairs are moved to the side and those who desire prayer come to the middle of the room. As we begin to lay hands on those standing there, I can only describe what I believe to be a wave of the Holy Spirit touching lives. One young man falls to his knees crying out in repentance of his past -- just 15 years old, with a child already, terrible family situation, on and on. He remains on the floor sobbing and praying for over 45 minutes. God is at work healing all the junk of the past and freeing him -- just as He desires to do for each of us. Meanwhile others are being touched -- what is happening is from God because much of the prayer is in English, so there is no way that any of these happenings are forced. I am reminded of Pastor Steve's statement a few months ago that in the last days we will see God pour out His Spirit in amazing ways. I believe this is what we are experiencing. The room was filled with men and women understanding God's love and seeking Him in deep ways AND God ministering to them individually apart from anything that we were doing. I could go on and on, but this was an amazing God time. We can tell more when we are home.
The relationships that God is cementing her in Los Anonos are continuing to deepen in spite of language barriers! People deeply in love with Jesus, others being impacted by this wave of the Spirit in this place. Now our team is starting to feel the reality that soon we must leave. But I believe that we will leave here with a desire to see God move in this way in our lives, our churches and our communities.