We were up and back to the site at Villa Real before the weather heated up too badly. It was just a little cooler today than yesterday, and we were all grateful for that.

The team from Journey Church is made up of teens and youth leaders. They have worked hard and gotten a lot done! They mixed and poured a lot of concrete for the foundation of the church building, but there is still a good bit left – more than half. In addition, they put a lot of work into the water house right behind the church. This was their main focus. The water house has walls and a floor. The plumbing was roughed out. Next will be putting the roof on that building and continuing the foundation for the church.

Pastor Juan’s brother is an engineer and a surprisingly detail-oriented gentlemen who will correct even the slightest error. For those who have been to the DR to work, you will note that his attitude toward construction is a bit different that most we have encountered. We also have a great master block-layer in Raul. This is the first time I’ve worked with him, but he is quite good.

The cement mixer has helped. We would not have this kind of progress if we had to mix it all by hand (our typical m.o.). We’ll probably need that again to finish the foundation, but we don’t want to ruin Matt Ferman’s fun so we’ll make sure to have a mudpile or two.

We knocked off earlier than usual today in order to clean up, rest up, and get ready to go to Pastor Juan’s church. The ladies of the church have prepared dinner for the team, and I get to tag along. If it’s anything like last year, the chicken will disappear in a hurry – especially with a pile of teenagers.

Tomorrow, we’ll take the Journey team back to the airport in Santo Domingo, then head back for the camp for a few days. I’ll enjoy spending some time with John, Donna and Mattie Bearden and also do a little writing in the shade of mango trees.

My checked bag did show up at the Santo Domingo airport today and was transported here. Sadly, there were a few contents missing including a little kit with nail clippers, etc., my pocket knife (ugh!), and two pair of golf shorts. I didn’t plan to play golf, but they were good for days when I needed to be somewhat presentable. Not sure what else may be gone, but I’m glad to have my razor.

One of the neatest parts of today was watching how hard the teens worked. They got filthy dirty but hung in there shoveling sand and gravel. They also had a good bit of time today to play with the kids in Villa Real. That is one of the most important parts of any mission trip. It’s not about the buildings; it’s about the people.

I’ll write a bit more tomorrow. Thanks for all the prayers for me and for Nancy as she holds down the fort and deals with the aftermath of the power surge issue we had last week. Pray for Grace Fellowship, too, as they continue to be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus to the community. Finally, pray for the mission team from Grace that will be coming on June 18 – pray specifically for spiritual strength as they endure the attacks that are sure to come before coming down.

P.S. – It seems I have somewhat of a short in my Macbook power cord. I got quite a shock this morning!!!! So, we’ll chalk any typos up to me pecking away at this mini-keyboard…

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