Week of 2/23

This past week I worked with Genaro and a group of 11 people from WI, building a house right across the street from one of Pastor Hernandez's missions called San Francisco. There was also a group here from Hanover College, including one of the volunteers from last summer, Jason Taber. They also built a house that they finished in 3 1/2 days--we took until Friday--but ours includes indoor plumbing (an existing bathroom that took up part of the pad and we had to build around it) and we painted the inside (wait until you see what color...). Oh and it was like 80ish all week too...new record high on Wednesday and it was actually warmer on Tuesday but the record was higher. I think I'll let the pictures do the talking...

Church at Santisima on Sunday...they were treated to the kids singing after the service, but they had to sing too...

OK time to get to work...I like the combo in this shot I took as we were unloading stuff at the site Monday morning--a chicken and a circular saw!

Taking some measurements of the pad...notice the indoor plumbing that we had to build around.

The family had a pet turtle named Tortuguito (literally "little turtle"). I thought it was pretty funny but apparently Gary thought otherwise... ;)

Bible verses on the studs.

These guys were really eager for me to take a picture with them.

I had to squeeze back here a.) to finish nailing on the siding; and b.) to retreive a piece of board that someone dropped while trying to fill the gaps between the back wall and the ceiling. Good thing both were before lunch!

"My son needs to meet a girl like you. How many 22 year-old girls do you know that know how to drywall?" --Dave

We painted the walls pink...ewwww...in one room and purple in the other. The purple was a soothing shade of lilac; the pink was a little much...but hey, it's what the owner told me when I asked her.

So we had a little extra paint...not my idea, I promise!

The proud homeowner, Hilaria. She is going to live here with her 15 year-old granddaughter, Carla.

We built them a bathroom cabinet with some scrap wood...

...and got them a cross too!

Yay for Thrivent!

Hilaria wanted us all to write our names on a scrap piece of siding so she could hang it somewhere to remember us by.

My other exciting news is that I FIXED THE CASH FLOW SPREADSHEET!!! This is where I have to track all of the monies that groups have paid, what they still owe, and what needs to be paid out for food, Rita's salary, construction materials, etc. I have handled money many times before so I don't know why, but the old one frustrated me to no end. Finally on Thursday I just sat down and did it and it's all color coded and straightforward now and it makes me happy every time I open it instead of making me want to strangle it!

Thursday turned out to be a great day to do that because I visited another mission based in Juarez, Siguiendo los Pasos de Jesus (Following in the Footsteps of Jesus) in the morning and had the afternoon free instead of going with the rest of the group to the construction site (I did miss Pastor Hernandez's blessing service though, which was apparently very moving. Hopefully I will get to see one next week since there is a group this week building in the same area). Anyways, I went because a couple of the WI people had a connection there and so wanted to meet the director and tour some of their mission sites. I would describe the experience as thought-provoking and inspiring. It is pretty much a one-woman show (she is INCREDIBLE--has been through cancer twice and had 2 heart attacks, has 6 kids, works 30 hours/week at her church, and runs SPJ out of her home on the side) that just became a non-profit in 2006 and they are able to fund some pretty large-scale efforts solely via fundraising. The thought that kept running through my head was, "Why can't we do this?" The only conclusions I came to were their location on the wealthier side of El Paso and this woman's community connections that it would be difficult for Chris or I to establish. I keep thinking about it though, and I rambled to Chris about it for like 45 minutes last night. We have been around for 27 years and have a mailing list of over 5000 people, we just need to find the right way to tap into those resources and I am way gung-ho about getting on it now. I also realized that I am more grateful than ever for YLM and couldn't imagine working anyplace else because I am completely in love with what we do, and there were a couple of things I observed, like the lack of a focus on witnessing and the fact that they employ 6 full-time construction workers instead of hosting servant event teams, that rubbed me the wrong way about their approach.

One last thing, I have an Enrique update that isn't something you just put on here, so if you would like the latest, shoot me an e-mail or give me a call and I'd be happy to share. Either way, please continue to keep him in your prayers.

Until next time, blessings!


chill said…
Finally, no crazy pictures of me. Thank you. I am still going to get you back for the other ones though. :)