What a fantastic night of rest. I was looking forward to going back to the painting site for some ministry and finishing the work. Instead, I received a curveball. I was to accompany the team to the building site. I must say, this I was not prepared for, I was fairly weak and not looking forward to a day of hard labour.
This is where faith will be tested! Game on. Today’s task was to start building the walls of the soup kitchen on the foundation that had already been laid. This was not in the original planning. We were only meant to finish the previous work of the fencing. Needless to say, we dug in as a team with all we had.
Now remember, this is Africa. So there was carrying of cement bags, mixing of cement, water and sand in the correct portions with shovels and then only laying of the brick. A cycle that repeated itself a good 5 times that day.
The locals expected us to complete the first layer of bricks on the foundation. A task that requires quite some finesse and a significant amount of measuring and building on plum lines. Luckily we did so under the guidance of a local builder, and a flooring maestro we had on the outreach team.
We were only about 6 people building that day as the rest of the team had gone to the painting site to finish and minister. Our site had no ministry that day, only hard, hard, hard work.
I remember a specific incident where I was resting as someone else took my place and the locals mocked me for being the weakling. They were not wrong. I was also reminded that before my self-righteousness told me ‘but I had been fasting’ that these locals probably eat about the same amounts every day, always being hungry and tired. So in all fairness, I really was a wussy. 🙂
Just as we completed the 3rd row of bricks on the foundation (that’s right, two more than anybody expected), the bus arrived. As they stopped it started to rain. To me, this was such a symbolic gesture. Almost as if God was showering down His blessing on the work that had been done and symbolising that we were finished. As it turns out, we were. The paint site was finished and the build site progressed further than they ever expected. The roof team at the church had also finished all their repairs. All the work we had come for was indeed finished. And this with a day to spare!
Blessed to be a blessing. Strength truly rises as we wait upon the Lord.