Onto the fellas!
Here they are… sweating like CrAzY!
Austin, Hunter, Matt, Jacob, Andrew, Will
SO… the boys’ project was kind of last minute addition to our agenda. You have to understand that raising money for this trip was… hard… and a bit scary! The money wasn’t coming in too quickly. Some of us got a bit nervous that the money would never be raised. Then, Laura (team leader) called and asked Jacob if he thought we would raise enough for the trip PLUS some construction plans. Jacob was doubtful but told her if we were able to raise the money the guys would be happy to do the work. OF COURSE… God showed up and showed off. We not only raised our trip money but more than enough for the construction too! HIP HIP HOORAY! So… the construction planning begin.
The boys THOUGHT they were going to be adding onto the church that was already there. When we arrived in the village we learned that the building pictured here served as the pastor’s house and the church was the outside area. You can see the hill to the right and can imagine the run-off that accumulates in that area when it rains. In the rainy season (basically May-November) the church area would flood so bad they would have to cancel church. So… the men of the village informed the fellas that they would not be building an addition to the current church… but building a brand new one!!!
This picture shows the flat area they were to build the church on. This place was leveled by ONE man, a shovel, and a bucket!!! WHAT?!?!?!?! The fellas had NO idea what kind of men they would be working with at this point. These men were INTENSE and could put Chuck Norris to shame ANYDAY… ANY TIME! But… the fellas noticed a problem… there was no wood. We brought up a chainsaw, nails, hammers, and roofing tin… but no wood. The men of the village already had a plan… the wood would come from the rainforest. DUH!
So… they trekked into the rain forest, cut down 2 MASSIVE trees (that the boys ran from as they fell), “Chainsaw man” cut up the trees, and the boys carried the wood out.
Now… that explanation was really cute and seemingly easy… but that is far from actuality! “Chainsaw Man”, as they called him (his real name was Eric… COOL HUH?) cut wood for countless hours the 3 days they worked on the church! I mean he was cutting rainforest trees with a CHAINSAW… NO OTHER POWER TOOLS!! He was a beast!
The beams that were cut were about 16 feet long and about 300 pounds each! The boys carried each and every post through the rainforest, on a trail that was definitely less traveled on!!! This ‘trail’ was about 3 inches wide and winding INTO THE RAINFOREST!!!!! It was CRAZY!
I think this is how all the boys felt when they saw what they were doing! HAHA!
BUT… they did it… JOYFULLY!
They brought wood down countless times each day… but they smiled after they set down the wood and could breath again. They knew that there was no way they were continuing in their own strength and joy… only Jesus could do that!
Let me take this time to tell you about Tony… the man in the red shirt. I think he ministered and showed more to the boys than the boys can even tell. Tony was about 5’2… and easily the strongest man we had ever met. He was so intelligent. He mapped out the entire church building plan himself and was the leader of the construction. Tony also let the boys stay in his home. The boys took over and hung hammocks in his house (hoping it wouldn’t fall down). The boys were a little uncomfortable in their hammocks… missing the softness of their beds and may have complained a bit. About the time they settled in for the first night’s sleep… Tony and his family (wife and 6 kids) came in with potato sacks and laid down on the floor. Every night… this family slept together on a hard, wooden floor…. humbling.
Another thing the boys were in awe of was Tony’s relationship with the Lord. Tony was the first to wake up each morning, headed outside to sit on His porch, and spent HOURS reading the Bible and journaling! Church was not just something he did or something he built… HE LIVED IT EVERYDAY! Tony… what a man!
And the church started coming together.
I loved coming back after each session with the women or the children and seeing more work done!
Like I said earlier… despite the amazingly hard work they did each day, the fellas always had time to love on the kiddos!
Thursday morning… this is what the church looked like. We were to leave Thursday afternoon… we were a little nervous it wasn’t going to get done! It lacked several beams and an entire roof.
But… of course… when we walked up from our time with the ladies… THE CHURCH WAS COMPLETED!!!
Proud… and tired men.
So… now church will not be canceled on account of rain!
I loved the boys’ perspective – although they weren’t directly preaching or teaching people with their words, they were building a place where TRUTH and God’s love will be preached for years to come. The message will reach 100’s more in Alta Mira because of their work!
Our prayer is that the ENTIRE village, every single person, of Alta Mira would be saved. That they would all come to know the Lord and that the village would be radically changed for the glory of God. A BIG request for an even BIGGER God.
The amazing pulpit built out of rainforest wood! This thing would be some bucks in the states!
And check out the pews in the back! This church went from an area that could seat 15 people to a place that could seat 65!!! Go Jesus go!
All for Jesus… all because of the cross.
It didn’t matter about the language barrier or the culture differences… the cross tied us together! This is hanging in the church now. 🙂
So proud of our boys and AMAZED at all the work they did!