Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mid April Update

Hey Team:

I just wanted to write you guys a quick email to update you on what all has taken place over the last few weeks.

Since I have last written to you we have had another team come help with the project, celebrated Easter, and completed quite a bit of work on the site. Now that the footings have been completed, the other workers and I have been working on what is called the "cement corridor", which is basically a cement footing upon which the walls will be built. While the team was here they worked and eventually completed the corridor so that we could move forward with putting the blocks in place for the exterior wall. As of today (April 14) we have completed the first few phases of the putting the exterior wall in place and this week plan to work on pouring some vital floor beams that will hold our interior columns together. If you would like any more information, please let me know and I will be glad to answer your questions.

The team was here for about a week right before we celebrated Easter, or as they call it here: Semana Santa (Holy Week) They were comprised of 14 college students from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and I will brag on the hard work that they provided the entire week, plus no one was robbed, so... Victory! Not only did the students do all kinds of strenuous work--like mix and pour concrete, bend re-bar, and dig trenches--they also won the hearts of the construction workers and the children attending classes here in Guatemala. I´m not just saying that either. To give examples of their hard work I will mention that one student dropped a rock on his toe the first day and injured himself, but for the rest of the time he was here he helped mix concrete 8 hours each day--and--to give examples of their love I will mention that my workers still talk about their attitudes and refer to them by name when telling stories. In fact today, Felipe was telling me about how one of the students had the nickname "rock" and he thought it was so silly when he actually found out what the word "rock" translates into, but that they were so friendly that it didn´t bother them being called "rock."

Once the team left the school and practically the entire country of Guatemala took off for Semana Santa. Many people traveled all over the country going to Antigua, the beach, or just visiting with family. I took the time to relax here in Toto after the previous hard week of work. One of the most amazing things here in Guatemala is that people will create these murals in the street of sawdust for Holy Week. It takes them hours to put them together then on Good Friday the town will have a parade which will march over the artwork leaving it all scattered. It is a pretty amazing thing, and I would recommend either looking at pictures online or coming down here next Easter season.

I would also like to let you know that I have actually met some other English speaking missionaries in Xela, and they invited me to attend a Bible study. The first meeting was last Tuesday and it was very fun, except that when I left and returned to my car I found out it had been stolen. Yes, in three hours between 7 and 10 p.m. my car was stolen, but the story gets better. After learning it was stolen I phoned Timoteo (the campus director) and the two of us went to the police station to file a report. While we were there Timoteo was describing the car: "Toyota. 1983. Beige." The police officer said, "Beige Toyota? We just had one returned here." Praise the Lord, it was at the police station! Apparently, someone stole it, drove it out of town and then left it. The car was reported as suspicious and then the police went and picked it up. I tell you it was an amazing relief to see that car parked at the station. After about thirty minutes of inspections, police work and a "tip", the police let us drive the car home. As I think back I can't help but notice Gods hand in all of this. I don't know why the car was stolen, but I do know that it was reported back within three hours in a country not known for savvy police work, and to me that is amazing. Everything was out of my hands, out of my control. But in the end God showed me grace and the car was found and returned. Praise God.

I know this has been a long email, but I recently (yesterday the 13) encountered another set of events worth mentioning. My house was burglarized. Luckily, I had my phone and ipod with me and the thieves overlooked my passport, but other than those things they wiped me out (computer, camera, wallet, sunglasses, even a flashlight). I'm a bit confused as to what the Lord is trying to tell me write now through all of this crime, but I know He is there somewhere and His way are just and holy. I believe God is in control over all things, but sometimes it is hard to see Him at first through unfortunate events. CS Lewis. in the book the "Problem of Pain" wrote that "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain." I do think there is something to be learned here, and I pray the Lord gives me patience while I seek the answer. After all "life is more than food, and the body more than clothing" Luke 12:23

Well, I hope that all of you are experiencing moments like this as well that show God's people (team), God´s love (Easter), and God´s grace and mercy (car), and His holiness in despair (theft) . Granted, I'm not praying for your car to be robbed, but I do pray that the Lord opens your eyes more and more everyday to the wonders of His being. Thank you again for your prayers and support. It really means a lot and encourages me daily...I´m not just typing that....it really does help.

God Bless

"All people walk each in the name of their god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever." Micah 4:5

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