So as you can tell by the subject line we have finished all of the footings, and let me tell you, that is a major relief. Now, we have moved on to the task of re-routing a sewer line and moving dirt to prepare for the walls. I know, I know. It seems like we are moving extremely slow, but when you only have three workers and you do everything by hand, things tend to move really slow. One interesting thing I saw a few weeks ago was a well digger here in Antigua. He digs wells here by hand anywhere from about 30 ft to 400 ft! He uses no shoring--just a shovel, a bucket, and a home-made winch to lift himself out and lower himself down everyday. Some of you may have already heard this, but I still can't get over it. Crazy. That's just a taste of what it means to work without the benefit of machinery.
Other than that it has been pretty slow here in Toto. I attended a missionary conference two weeks ago here and it was very encouraging to talk with other English-speaking missionaries from around the country. I met one couple that is 80+ and has been here for sixty years! That was amazing and super encouraging to realize that no matter what age we are God can still use us. It reminds me of the part in Jeremiah 1:7 when God says, "Do not say I'm a child because everywhere I shall send you, you will go." I think the conference was also good because people are beginning to see the value in constructing things properly. With the recent tragedies in Haiti, Chile, and Taiwan many people here in Guatemala are scared that their buildings will crumble on them. When I hear it I just remind myself to thank God for what has been given to me and think of Psalm 127: "Unless the LORD builds the house its workers labor in vain." Also, I learned of a documentary about Guatemala that is supposed to be coming out in the near future named Athenticos. I will try to keep you all posted on the film because the clip I saw looked really interesting.
I still greatly appreciate your prayers, notes and support. Each day I rely wholly on the strength of the LORD, and knowing that I have people praying for me is an enormous encouragement. One thing that could also use your prayers is one of the construction workers here named Antonio or simply Tono. Tono didn't show up for work this past week and when I asked where he was, everyone said, "Don't worry about him. He is probably at the lake getting drunk." The people told me he is an alcoholic and spends all his money on booze. Now I don't know the extent of his problems, but I do know that this culture is very legalistic and they seem to marginalize people into certain classes that they can't escape. So I just ask for prayers for Tono, his family and for the community to accept him when he returns.
Again, thanks for all the support. It has given me great peace with each passing day.
The LORD has said, "O mortal, what is right?¨ And what does the LORD require of you except to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God? -Micah 6:8