Up and Down

The Kingston Ministry Centre renovation, like any project of its magnitude, has been riddled with ups and downs. That rang especially true as last week's short-term team from Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Wichita Falls, TX, plowed through 2 major tasks Tuesday through Saturday: knocking DOWN a wall in the sanctuary to create a single, open worship space; and putting UP a drop ceiling in the living/dining area of the future 2nd pastor's apartment.

Living room ceiling demo set the tone for the week. I thought it might take them a day or so, but it was basically done by our late morning Deaf Can Coffee outing.

And that's even with a few people starting to chip away at the sanctuary wall!

I can't even express to you how many times we swept the floor. Local evangelist Claudious was a huge help!

Enjoying the A/C and Deaf Can's selection of COLD menu items while hearing the inspiring story of the student run enterprise. 

Which method of calculating the amount of drop ceiling materials needed is faster: pen and paper or the online estimator on the manufacturer's website? 

Impromptu conversation with one of the many Jamaican workers that labored alongside us doing specialized tasks. Mr. Mitchell is the architect's son; his nephew Michael was the electrician!

Bible study at Faith Lutheran Church in downtown Kingston on Tuesday night. 

Demo continued outside on Wednesday. 

I was elected to put in the ceremonial first drop ceiling panel. 

The Ites - Pastor Obot, Abas, and their ADORABLE daughter Goodness - joined us for dinner on Wednesday night to celebrate Pastor's birthday! He claims he didn't suspect anything about the cake and ice cream we surprised him with. 

We elected to limit the costlier drop ceiling to the interior spaces, opting for Sheetrock in both outdoor porches. Since ceilings are a beast, we welcomed the assistance of the same local carpenters who had done the short-term team portion of the building prior to the team's arrival. 

Pastor Ite jumping right in to help with a smile on his face. 

The Ministry Centre looks like a totally different place thanks to the many odd jobs the group tackled when their ears were ringing from jackhammering and their necks hurt from craning to look up at the ceiling. Hopefully screens on the short-term team bunk rooms will help keep mosquitoes out. Fun fact: the collective noun for a group of mosquitoes is a scourge. We would know!

Covering a window the roofers put in to secure the building.

I probably worked the hardest and "glistened" the most on Saturday. Claudious and I filled in a low area with dirt, shoveled the rest onto the trash pile, and then made our way around the entire exterior clearing trash and debris. 

Organizing tools...my jam since the beginnings of my Ysleta days in 2009. Even in the dark!

These ladies kept us fueled with their authentic home cooking all week. They outdid themselves with this jerk set-up!

These Texans cleaned up good for church x 2 on Sunday. 

Pastor Snyder exercising 2 Timothy 4:2 ("...be ready in season and out of season...") by sharing God's Word from the pulpit for the first time outside the US...on < 24 hours' notice. 

Faith Lutheran Church member Jennifer (just right of center, 2nd row from the back, white blouse) told me "You are not a visitor anymore."

 The congregation at St. Andrew, including Shannon (far right), a reading coach from the same Las Vegas congregation as the Warrens, a fellow missionary family, in Kingston on business. I met her in LV last July...of all places to reconnect! 

Sunday afternoon excursion to Port Royal, a once-thriving commercial port and pirate haunt, much of which literally sunk during earthquakes in 1692 and 1907. The view of Fort Charles from atop its guard tower is pretty spectacular.

Beyond the fort is Giddy House, an armory that the 1907 quake tilted 13 degrees.  

Following the guide's directions to firmly plant your feet and, looking straight ahead, lean forward until your heels just barely leave the ground. 

A few other people in Kingston had the same idea as us on the group's last night, but the 4th best ice cream in the world was worth the wait. 

No, I didn't accidentally leave off the "after" pictures. I did my best to take some from the same angles as the pictures I took the first time I saw the building in September 2018 and am planning to collage them together for sharing separately. Stay tuned for the dramatic reveal! Somehow, the list of pending tasks is still as daunting as the soon-to-be-hauled-away trash pile in the parking lot, though, so we entrust the project’s continuation into our gracious Heavenly Father’s hands and lift UP prayers that He would rain DOWN what only He knows that we need in order to bring it to completion in His perfect timing. 

Until next time, blessings!

P.S. Happy Independence Day to the US of A. I'll always be a proud estadounidense, no matter where I live!