Since today was Saturday, we were scheduled to work construction only a half-day, but that meant and even earlier start to the day so we could get a good amount of work in. It is pretty amazing how hard this team is working – on their summer break – and considering we were up and ready by 6:30am (Note to parents: they are obviously capable and willing – Ha!).
So we did hit the ground running when we arrived at the construction site and divided into a few block laying teams and trench diggers. But then we needed the occasional “play with a kid break” for all involved. It’s amazing how quickly the team will spring into action to learn a new skill or jump in to give someone a much needed water or shade break. It is a rewarding part of the masonry work to see the walls going higher and higher. But even better was a chance to see the blueprints and mock-up of what the final ministry center will look like. This certainly helped give us all a bit of perspective on what we are doing, but also knowing that we are helping a much bigger vision and project than our team could possibly accomplish.
The plan was to stop midday and then head to a river with a group of teenagers from the village for a ministry outing. We we excited to get a chance to cool down (and the water was pretty chilly) and just have some fun as a team and get to know some of the teenagers. We had lunch together and then at the end of our time together gathered everyone and I had an opportunity to share the Gospel by talking about relationships. We tried to do a bit of a Q&A, but culturally, they are really quiet and we also knew they were a bit unsure of us. So, we decided to divide into a guys group and a girls group. Then we could also talk a little more directly about a challenge to be a Godly teenager and understand relationships from God’s perspective. It was a bit hard to process the reality that many of the girls here become emotionally and physically involved around 13 years old and some are even having babies at that age. We were grateful to be able to present a different perspective and also help them see the beauty of the Gospel in a relationship with Jesus.
After the river outing, we were able to get some much needed down time before we loaded up to head to Sarai’s church in a village not too far from where we are staying. It was an incredible experience to see her home and her neighborhood and join them in worship. The music is fast, celebratory and passionate and we did our best despite not knowing many of the songs. Two of our students, Parker and Anisa had the opportunity to stand and share their testimonies as a part of the service. I was incredibly proud to see them have the courage to stand and share the hope they have found in Jesus. Then I was privileged to have the opportunity to stand in and preach the sermon for worship tonight. After worship, Sarai’s family made dinner for us and then we were able to walk down to another home for an ice cream like desert. It was the perfect finish to a great day.
God is certainly moving in and amongst us and we are noticing. We are doing our best to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit and be aware what He is doing in and through us. Thanks for continuing to follow along and please continue to pray for us!