New Year's day found my dad and me traveling up toward the US/MX border with our friends on our way to Tucson, AZ. The trip was long and mostly uneventful with only a couple of stops to change drivers and a little bit of delay at the border. Up until this point my dad had been working nearly non-stop on getting our upstairs ready to begin laying the roof (for any of you who might have missed when I said that we began construction on our house you can read about it HERE). The day we left the house looked about like this...
Anyway, my dad and I had headed up to Tucson in order to meet up with a team that was coming down to help us put the roof up for our second story. The team originated on a forum conected to a blog called THE REBELUTION. There were 8 people who ended up coming down on the team and every one of them -- well, except for the two who were father and son -- came from different states in the US. It was awesome seeing God pull together such a mixed group! The story of how God brought the whole thing together is amazing, and if you haven't heard it just drop me a note and I'd be more than happy to share!
We arrived in Tucson on the 2nd of Jan. in order to meet with up with the group on the 3rd. We did meet up with them and had a chance to pray together and go over some "dos and don'ts" for the bus ride ahead. At about 7:30pm we headed over to the bus station and we were off!
The bus ride was long, and I won't go into to detail about it. Suffice to say that we got off the bus in Guasave around 9:30am and my mom and the rest of my family were there waiting. The rest of that day went by quickly what with settling in and getting to know one another and, for the guys, working on construction.
On Tuesday everyone swung out of bed and hit the ground running. It might have been stressful, but, praise God, our focus was on Him, and rather than being stressful through the long hours of work it was just productive! Every morning we had the opportunity to start our day right by spending time in the Word. I think that that, more than anything, is what made the trip an absolute success.
So, Tuesday through Thursday was almost totally jam-packed with constuction...
And more construction...
And more construction...
And even a little bit of plumbing! In this picture Hillary and I had just finished changing the kitchen faucet. I had never done a project like this before, so it was a new experience!
On Thursday we -- the girls -- spent several hours packing gift bags for children a migrant worker camp we were going to be visiting later on that week. It was a lot of fun putting together the gifts and trying to decide what age each toy would be best for. In the end I know that God worked everything out just right!
Saturday we had the chance to participate in what was our second year of Operation Christmas Child. It was really great to be able to get the team involved in this and it was a big blessing to me as well. More than anything, though, it was neat to see the smiles on the children's faces!
Sunday after the church service we drove over to the camp where we had just recently started a church. Some of you may remember reading about it in my LAST POST but those of you who haven't might want to hop over there for a look-see. Anyway, we were able to share a short message from the Bible along with a drama that we had prepared for the children. After that we handed out the gift bags to the younger children -- didn't upload any pictures of that or of the drama, unfortunately ;). God really blessed our time with the people and since then has been working mightily in the lives of our new brothers there at the camp.
The team left on Monday the 11th. Right before we loaded up in the car to take them to the bus station we took some pictures of the finished result of their work...
Hurray! for the faithfulness of our God who CAN do all things!
Two days after they left, a cement truck came out to pour the roof. It was very loud and much faster than doing it by bucket -- which is how we did the roof on the bottom story. We were a far cry from being "done" with the upstairs, but we were well on our way to having our house finally finished!!
I know that anyone who was actually here for the week that I just finished summing up would call me on a thousand little details I missed, and I'll even admit that I didn't include even close to half. What with water fights and prayer walks on the beach and Bible studies together and walking around downtown Guasave and sharing meals together and laughing together and singing and seeing the steadfastness of God throughout it all, I could never write down everything that happened that week. It is enough to say that God did a work, and I don't think that anyone who went through it with us came out unchanged!
I am going to end this post with a verse that God seems to have given us as a promise during these past few months. It just serves as a reminder of how great God is and how worthy He is of EVERYTHING! May God richly bless and strengthen you in your faith for His name's sake!
Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.