At Maria’s soon-to-be house, Shannon and Kelsey dig trenches for the foundation
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me'” (Matthew 25:34-36).
After waking today a bit more sore than usual, the two teams swapped some people and spent the day back at David’s and Maria’s house. The team at Maria’s filled the holes they painstakingly dug yesterday with tons of hand-mixed concrete for the support beams for the house and laid bricks for the foundation. They did not have a cement mixer because it had been moved to David’s site to mix cement for the floor.
For lunch today, the team at Maria’s house fed the area children and mothers, around 100 of them, hamburgers and fruit. For some of them it is the only nutritious meal they get for the day. This area of town has extreme poverty but it is amazing to see what one church’s long-term investment can do to change that.
The team at David’s house finished up chiseling out some channels for water pipes, sewage drains and electricity. They moved a huge dirt pile into the 3-room house to bring the floor up to a certain level so it can be filled with concrete. That involved a large tool to stomp the loose dirt into submission. The team received the concrete mixer around lunchtime but discovered they didn’t need it until tomorrow. Yes, that means the other team hand-mixed concrete when they didn’t have to. There was more than one joke about that at dinner!
David told us his story at lunch and how he became the youth pastor of the Spanish-speaking church we worshiped at Sunday. He was a part of a rich drug-dealing family that included his uncle and father. One day his father received a vision that could come true days later. David’s father wagered with God and when it came true, he became a Christian and immediately stopped selling drugs. David and his uncle cleaned up their acts and through a series of life changes David married, had a daughter and now works as a youth pastor! God works in creative ways through ordinary people.
I couldn’t be more proud of the students. They have worked harder than any of our Mexican partners expected. More than once I have heard them explain to strangers on the street why they are here: not to get drunk everyday like many assume but to help the poor in Mexico, to live out the passage above. They motivate me each day as we share the work and laughs together.
A view down David’s street shows Seth, Abby and Amanda moving yet another load of dirt into the house