Goals are Made to be Broken

June 16, 2011

We did it. With the plan of building nine homes in five days of construction, we managed to meet our goal. Well, not really. Sort of, but not really. When you bring a mixed bag of accountant, consultants, financial gurus, IT guys, lawyers, developers, real estate and medical technology guys, along with a retired Navy officer and a preacher, what do you expect? Through a miscommunication (face it, only one of the 13 of us speaks Spanish, and of all the folks we have been around this week, only one {maybe two} are fluent in English), our intended schedule was misinterpreted, and we were not able to fulfill our plan on Saturday, the first day we were here in Guayaquil. Our intent had been to use the gas powered auger we brought down with us (which Delta has YET to locate for us), and with everyone together, we would build one home, letting the new guys see how it is done. But we ended up building two homes on Saturday, and flexible saints that we are, we dug our heels in and determined to build two homes each day. So we did it. We built two more homes today, our last build day, and along the way sought to honor God with our service and our labors, and serve people by providing them with two homes. Team Ivan had a terrifically difficult build site, having to work in a location where the water table was very high, and rock made putting the posts in the ground very hard. They ultimately resorted to locating some concrete, and set the posts in that, then braced the posts with scavenged wood. Once that work was done, they moved forward, building a home for a four-generation family; Maria Virginia and her husband (who mercifully works as a plumber, earning $60 a week), their four children, one of whom has a child of her own, and Maria’s father Rene. In a tight lot, where their previous home had one stood, theis home was constructed, and this family enjoys one of the pleasures that many others do not; they have accessible and connected electricity, although how they will get a refrigerator up a ladder into the home, since they did not have lumber for a set of steps is questionable (the floor is about 8-9 feet off the ground.) Team Gato hit their stride today, building a home for Freddy and his wife Narena and their two children in about three hours. Having Freddy home for the day to help, as well as their friend Oscar, multiplied the manpower so that this family was blessed. To each home we have built, we have presented a gift from Peachtree Presbyterian Church; from the small pewter crosses that were given on Easter Sunday to each worshipper, we brought some down to give to each homeowner. We like to think that each of these crosses has heard the news of the resurrection, is a tangible symbol and testimony to the love of God, and our prayer is that each family is able to take a step closer to Christ because of our work, but especially these crosses. Today was yet another reminder of how blessed we are. The families who have homes built are expected to provide a meal for the maestro, the master carpenter, who works on their home. Yet again today, neither Gato nor Ivan were fed by the homeowner. While these two men are well provided for (we shower them with our tools as we leave, and we know they will sell them; plus, they are well compensated by us for their work), the fact that the two families were not able to feed them is a statement in itself. We who enjoy the comforts of a developed country need to count ourselves quite fortunate. And we should also recall the words of Christ, “from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” (LK 12.48) Knowing we have served as well as we could, we now shift into tourist mode. We have decided to make a trip to the Steak House tonight, and we’ll see how it compares to Padre Vega’s cuisine last night. Tomorrow, after a late(r) breakfast, we’ll visit a museum, a beautiful cathedral downtown, the Iguana Park, a local market, before having a late lunch at the Guayaquil Tennis Club, a pleasure that has become an end-of-trip pleasure. A trip to the grocery store for coffee to bring homes, then a light dinner at Schoenstaat, before going to the airport to fly home. Sunday is Father’s Day; treat these men like the royalty they are, for this week they have earned stars in their crowns!

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