Posted by Brad
I am like so many other people in America…I find it hard to wait when there is something I need. We gather our list of “really need” items to God, and wait impatiently to receive them. The truth is, some things take time to happen. There are many prayers that may take years, if not decades to be answered. Today, we built and finished the home for Etelvina. We knew this was an answer to a prayer that she had been lifting to God for a very long time. I must admit they were extremely patient, as the house and bathroom took much longer today than expected. Just for the record, Chris Mooney thought we would be done by 12:00-1:00. Hah! I think we finished around 4:30.
We got to the work site and everything got going very quickly. We had our first walls build in no time. Everyone worked so hard today. Gale, Dan and Rick really did a fantastic job. Everyone floated around and helped where needed. Sometimes putting screws in the metal, sometimes cutting metal for the walls; other times running to get tools for other people. We all worked well as a team!
We were also finishing the bathroom at the same time. As I wrote yesterday, this bathroom is a huge blessing. They can now have privacy when going to the bathroom or taking a shower. The toilet is not a flushable toilet. There is no running water. You use a bucket and pour water in it to “flush”. The shower is an area where they will be able to pour buckets of water over their head and the water will go down the drain in the floor. Privacy is so rare! Also, we painted the house this year. I say “we”. That was actually Chris and Saul. I told Chris that he resembled Papa Smurf afterwards.
We had Pollo Campero for lunch. Juan’s family brought it to us. We made sure to have them buy enough that everyone would have the chance to eat. There were some happy kids there. They were all so polite and well behaved. It was a great first lunch in their house.
The best part is always the dedication to the family. It is a time where we get to hear more of their personal story. Rick was in charge of decorating the home this year. He did a great job. It looked so festive. He had balloons, streamers, soccer balls and other great items. We put the sheets and blankets on the beds. Some of our friends in Louisville donated backpacks and a purse. Also, we purchased a dresser for them to put their clothes in. Wow, was that a hit. Not only do they have a very nice place to store clothes, the mirror front adds so much light to the room. They were shown how to use the ONIL stove.
This dedication took a wonderful turn that was much different than many past years. Etelvina was literally speechless at first. She was crying so much. One of her sisters was there with her. She explained how Etelvina never gave up hope. She always told her children to dream (way to go Etelvina!) While her children had gone without good shelter for so long, she knew that she had to keep praying. Etelvina finally gathered herself enough to talk. She said how thankful she was for her sister. That she never gave up on her, even when the times were tough. Then she did the coolest thing. She sings a hymn to her children at night. She opened her book and her entire family began to sing for us. That was so awesome. They sang, “Jesus is my Pilot” in Spanish. Her nephew stood up and read Psalm 23. Then, they presented us with gifts. The sister gave each of us a cool bag that goes over the shoulder. They are NOT purses…they are MAN BAGS. This was a huge financial sacrifice. They do not make much money.
She thanked everyone in the States for their prayers. She asked that you continue to pray for them. She knows her family is in desperate need of God’s mercy every day. Actually, so are we!
We took a million pictures and gathered our tools to leave. Etelvina and her daughter gave us amazing hugs. They kept crying, hugging and thanking us. God is the Giver of all good gifts. We just got to deliver them!
We ended the night by going to church at Pastor Juan’s church. It was the prayer night, so a little singing…and a lot of prayer. Man, do they know how to pray!!! It is an encouraging, yet humbling experience. I envy how purely that pray and worship. I always look forward to this night.
I took many things away from today. One was that we must be patient and faithful in our prayer life. God does work all things together for our good. Sometimes that may be the way we were hoping, often times, it is completely different. In all cases, it is in His timing, which is the very best timing possible.
Well, tomorrow is a busy day as well. We will install three stoves and visit many families to talk and pray with. We will then have the men’s Bible study at the church. Pastor Juan invited 20 men to attend. Rick is leading it. It ought to be really good.
Thank you for all of your prayers and emails. We miss you all very much.
Dios te Bendiga,