With each day that passes, we find ourselves dragging into the breakfast room a little more slowly and a little more banged up. I can think of nothing more tempting than a breakfast of Advil and coffee.
Busy schedule today! We planned another short concrete pour to get a couple more beams completed. We also had several projects underway that needed to be wrapped up, including the grates for the windows on the girls’ dorm, and the trenches for the new irrigation system for the soccer field.
Another project we’ve been working on is reinforcing the drawers in each of the kids’ bathrooms. About 16 months ago, sturdy, floor-to-ceiling wall units were constructed in each bathroom. The units provide each of the six children in that suite with three large drawer and three cubbies–to hold everything they own.
One cubbie is at the bottom and holds shoes and such, the three drawers hold clothes and other personal items. The first cubbie over the drawers are really where the kids show their personalities. Much like an American kid decorates her room, these are filled with pinups of Justin Bieber (really…just can’t get away from that kid!!) or fancy cars. The problem, though, is that the bottom of this cubbie is about 4.5 feet off the floor and they are at least 30 inches deep.
Now any of you who have children know that they do not start out very tall. And while it seems that they grow very quickly based on the number of trips to buy longer pants, they do not grow quickly enough to reach this cubbie without assistance. Being the resourceful little kids that they are, they quickly discovered that drawers make convenient steps! But they also discovered that drawers that weren’t built to double as steps quickly break when they are only held together with staples.
So we spent a couple days this week rebuilding the broken drawers and reinforcing all the rest of them, pulling each drawer out, removing the front, screwing and gluing support blocks in the corners, and then reinstalling the front, and putting them back. Oh, and removing the kid’s stuff and the managing to put it back exactly how we found it. And today, we finished.
During our stay here, we’ve also gotten to know Marcella, the director of Dulce Refugio. Marcy has devoted her life to providing a home and showing Christ’s love to the forgotten children of Aguascalientes. Marcy gets up every morning at 3 AM, chases kids all day long and collapses into bed when the last child is asleep…Marcy has a hard job and she loves it! She also is devoted to taking great care of the teams that come down to serve, proving amazing home-cooked meals for us all week.
To provide her a refuge inside the refuge she has built, the construction project team has designed a one-bedroom apartment for her in one of the central buildings (between the dorm and the cafeteria). Everyone here has grown to love and appreciate all Marcy has done, and in Extreme Home Makeover style (except a lot smaller and a lot slower, so, well, maybe not so much like EHM outside of providing a beautiful home for a well-deserving soul), Marcy’s apartment is coming together.
This week, a couple of our guys have stepped up to the challenge of constructing closet organizers for her. Now this is not a “run to Lowe’s and get a closet-tamer system and throw it together in an afternoon.” Oh, no, my friends, this is 4×8 sheets of melamine and 1×10 pine boards, ripped, planes, and joined by hand into trim. But the men are gifted with creative use of power tools, and it’s coming along.
This afternoon, the youth visited a house church in a poor neighborhood, where they set up a couple of tarps over the sidewalk for shade and invited the neighborhood kids and families…about 30 kids and 15 adults showed up! The youth shared their stories, performed a skit about the Good Samaritan, and then played with the kids and handed out coloring books and crayons. It was great to see so many people in the community, and for the youth to get to
experience firsthand what “need” really looks like.
We thank the Lord that we finished our scheduled work-week with no major injuries and with no outstanding illness! With temperatures nearing 100 each day and being about a mile closer to the sun than most people (well, at least a mile closer than we are used to), the thinner air and hotter sun often takes its toll on visiting teams. We are blessed that all twenty-one of us are whole and well!!!
Tomorrow…..off to the waterpark with all the kids!