The new team woke up on Monday morning and took their first drive out to the construction site. We pulled up to a finished foundation with large wooden poles that will support the walls. In the past two days, we have been able to complete the walls for the church. Now when we pull up, we see a building that will glorify God! How exciting is that! Learning how kanisso (large reeds similar to bamboo) is cut and assembled into walls was a very educational experience for us all, especially for Mr. Ryle. He filmed and photographed and made mental notes every step of the process.
Brent and Jacob, being our only guy-power this week, worked alongside him in the sun tirelessly. Again, without the help of Mozambicans who volunteered their time, we could never have done this. The girls worked alongside the guys, hauling the bundles of kanisso to the site, cutting them to the needed length, and handing them to the guys as they put them up. The girls also enjoyed fellowshipping and playing with the children who gather in greater and greater numbers at our site each day.
Emily had the children laughing, dancing, singing, and snoring (yes, you read that right…snoring) with the greatest of exuberance.
Sarah, Natasha, Tara, and Linda oversaw and managed creating bracelets of colorful string for them.This was no easy task.Once the first child received his bracelet, they all crowded around and , being typical children, wanted theirs too.
Sue Weidemann was impressive as she showed off her soccer skills with the boys. Even the hot sun did not diminish her efforts. And Mrs. Castelli continued to be the Mrs. Castelli we all know and love as she skittered about making sure that everyone was drinking and hydrated and using their sunscreen.
Yesterday we left the guys at the worksite to go to the Iris Matola-Rio children’s center. After a tour of the center, the girls got back to making bracelets for the children and playing with them. Emily took her hair out of her braid and the older girls got busy putting in small braids all over her head! All of the educators and staff who work at the center arrived for a special training meeting on health and hygiene with Mrs. Castelli and another team consisting of a doctor and nurses who have come from Holland to serve. The meeting began with a Spirit-led time of praise, worship, and prayer led by Mama Helena, the Mozambican pastor of the church there. Mrs. Castelli then stayed for a long, long meeting held in a hot, hot cement church building for the afternoon. She was a real trooper in sticking it out also because the meeting was held in Portuguese.
The girls and I returned to the work site to have lunch with our guys. When we got there, the guys had already eaten and were resting on the grass mats that were laid out for them. A clue as to how tired they were from the morning’s labor was seen in the fact that Brent was using a cement block as a pillow! The Mozambicans treated us girls to a very special lunch. They served our lunch on a small table draped with a capulana table cloth. They brought out our lunch in their best dishes and served us. They made an amazing brown rice, cabbage salad and fried fish. I was impressed by the students’ willingness to try these foods. They were very apprehensive at first, but those who stuck out their necks and gave it a try were surprised by how very delicious it was. In fact, they came back for seconds! Mr. Ryle provided after-lunch entertainment by having arm wrestling contests with the Mozambican men. We all cheered him on as he held his own, yet in the end, a strong young man had the final victory. Mr. Ryle hung on to the very end!
We were hoping to fully complete the roof yesterday as well, yet the time it took to get the wood and other materials to do this took up the rest of our day. Tomorrow the guys will complete the roof while the girls assist with a medical outreach clinic that will be held on the property to bless the community of people who live here.