In my dad’s favorite and oldest joke he tells me that he loves work – he could watch it for hours. And as I sit here typing this blog, I think I know exactly what he means. This week, the group from Grace Church in Wichita Falls, Texas has been busy completing hard manual labor, and I have had the pleasure of watching them along the way.
I have been able to visit one work site in particular, and the youth there have truly impressed me with their constant hard work despite heat and humidity, blisters and sunburn, and tiredness and aches. In this particular site, we are building a house for a woman name Isidra. Construction on the house began over six years ago but was not finished due to money, lack of labor and a devastating hurricane that passed through the area. Since then, this 97-year-old has been living in borrowed houses, waiting to see her dreams fulfilled and her very own house finished.
With this story in mind, the students from Grace Church arrived at the site the first day and were introduced to the enthusiastic, elderly woman. She was thrilled to have all of the life and vivacity that the youth brought to her home, and she spent the entire day sitting in the doorway of her borrowed house, sending praise and blessing up to God, and watching the students finish the walls that had been started so long ago.
After a few hours of learning and observing, the students set to work with machine-like consistency. Three or four of the young men spent their days mixing cement: they carried heavy buckets of water to mix with bags of cement and calcium and shovels full of gravel and sand. Others learned to lay bricks with Abel, the church pastor and the maestro of the site. They meticulously placed every brick in line with the measurements that Abel had given, being careful to have just enough cement and the right amount of spacing. Throughout the day, the team rotated through a prayer chair, in order to have someone constantly praying over the house, the mission team, and the community.
As the week comes to an end, I am excited to report that the house is coming to a finish. Abel is hoping to begin with the roof today, and the team is eager to see their hard work pay off. In fact, I should actually close this blog and head out; it is about time for me to return to my favorite part of the work: watching it.