DR Mission Trip – June 12 – Villa Real

It was a long, hot day of mixing cement to finishing pouring the footers for the walls that are yet to come. Truthfully, there were three tasks going on simultaneously. There was the mixing and pouring for the footers, laying block on the portion of the footers already poured, and the framing of the ceiling/roof at the water house. That means there was lots of work going on involving mixing cement and “mortar,” pushing wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow from one side of the building to the other while basically running an obstacle course, cutting and tying rebar for the forms, taking time to interact with the children near the site (and trying to get your tools back from them), forming human chains to move cement blocks and water and mortar, lots of water consumed (20+ gallons), and trying to communicate effectively across both a language and culture barrier. To sum it all up, it was a great day full of sweat and laughter!

It is becoming far easier for the team members to see the future building that will be on that site. For me, I saw it a year ago when we first visited Villa Real. As I spoke with the Pastor through a translator about the community and the church, it became abundantly clear that this was the mission The Lord had called us to be part of. Grace Fellowship’s team will the third team to work on this project. By the time they arrive, the vision will be well under way of being made real. Today I talked with one of the teens from FUMC Waynesboro. Her question was, “Where will the door be?” It made me smile, because now you can begin to imagine doors and windows, and soon people will begin to imagine a roof.

I am blessed to be serving alongside this team. They have some great adult leaders and some hard-working teens. Lauren started off the day with a white t-shirt but ended the day with some decidedly not white. She was covered in dirt, dust, cement, and who knows what all, but she kept doing whatever needed to be done and even carrying one of the little neighbor girls on her back part of the time. She did it all with a smile.

Mattie is certainly not the oldest teen out there, but today I saw her “take charge.” Now, she has been immersed in the DR for a while being John and Donna Bearden’s daughter, but she could have put it on cruise control and gone through the motions. I saw her becoming a leader today, which is always a thrilling thing.

Nobody has gotten hurt or sick, other than a few scrapes here and there. The food has been good. I even got an ice cream cone at Jumbo (I’ll have to describe Jumbo to you later). I thank each of you for your prayers and support, and I am so grateful for those back in Greene County who are taking up the slack in my absence. I’m praying for y’all as well.

Good night. More later…

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