Tuesday, October 13, 2009


As followers of Jesus we're supposed to trust him. And I do. I do. Today, I realized my trust came with a qualifier. I will trust as long as I think it is safe and reasonable to do so. My insight, painful as was, reminded me I'm not done growing. There is so much more the Lord needs to do in me.
Each morning we pile into the back of a truck and drive up a winding hill to our village. Each day we pile back in and careen back down the same winding hill. It is exhillerating and different and for me, somewhat terrifying. This truck is not like ones back home. There are issues. When we were finished building today everyone piled in with the equipment. Not just the fourteen of us but several, several, several villagers. At least five children perched on the top rail. Its difficult to explain, but fear and trepidation pumped through me.
Driving home I expected the Lord to comfort me. He had other plans. Do I trust him? Do I trust him even on the back of a truck with welding issues? Do I trust him to care for me and protect me? It took a few minutes of pouting, but I came to the decision that I want to trust him in EVERYTHING. Even on the back of our truck.
I did imagine angels holding the rails together, but a little imagination goes a long way.


We've done it! Two houses are standing. The most lovely elderly man ~ we thought he was a young 88 years old, actually turned out to be 99. This wrinkled old fellow greeted us with much enthusiasm as we started carting in our gear down a long rocky path to his "house". I must admit, I was taken aback by the scene of crumbling walls and dirty floors. This man has lived there forever it looks like and we are there to give him the gift of a new home. Right next to his current place, we began the task of building house #2. And boy, did we build. I can't believe we've learnt so much in only one day. This house went up quite quickly with many of the local guys pitching in once again. They seem to relish the opportunity to help and lend a hand whenever they can. Joe (bless his heart) tried to include me in some door hanging, but I proved to really only be good for handing him things. Oh well, even the little things are important, right?? Thanks for your continued prayer for our team. We covet those words said on our behalf...


As we close our first work day in El Salvador, all I can say is that God is showing Himself incredibly present in this place. It is a privilege to be here with thirteen others and to recognize the uniqueness (can be interpreted as quirky or strange) each one is and yet God is using us to bring life, joy and hope to this small mountainside community.
For those of you who know and pray for my wife, Amanda, you should know this. She spent the whole day working out in the sun, and she felt fine. She is sleeping well and enjoying this experience in a greater way than I could have imagined (me of little faith)...she is inspiring me.
Personally, I continue to look at the faces of the people we are surrounded by. Their excitement to welcome us and their willingness to set aside whatever they are doing to help us provide very profound "love your neighbour as yourself" moments to us. You could feel the excitement in the community build as we neared completion of the first house.
Yes, the weather is hot to work in...but I love it. The food, much of it has been a new experience (including rice, beans, fried banana and cheese for breakfast)...but I find most of it really yummy, besides which the jalapeno peppers here are really spicy hot and they serve them for every meal. The travel to and from our worksite is frankly, a little crazy (standing in the back of a pickup barreling around corners where the shoulders give way to a seemingly perilous drop down the side of the mountain) but fun all the same. Transporting tools and materials to the build site seemed very unorganized from our, North American, perspective. But I think that's because we are always so time conscious, trying to accomplish so much at one time...likely too much.
Our truck got a flat tire so we had to make several trips, from where our supplies our stored, to the job site. There's a steep paved hill which stops at a stream. Crossing the stream meant walking across the rocks in the middle while children bathed on one side and women washed clothes on the other. Carrying the siding and other materials back and forth, up and down in the heat of the sun was certainly a challenge but we did it. Percy (age 66) and I made one trip together. He is amazing, consistently working, always smiling and eager to help do whatever needs to be done.

Well, that's it for me tonight, time for sleep...5:40am comes early no matter where you are in the world!