Building houses, building friendships and THE building

Putting the palm roof on the house was no small job. And getting to the palms was no easy task. The roads were narrow, rutted, long (10 miles round trip), with sharp corners and lots of thorns. At 7 am, the guys started walking to the palms and once they arrived, they had to scale the trees and use a machete to cut the fronds. A trailer went to go haul the fronds, but it blew two tires on the thorns so they didn’t get back until 9 pm. And that was just the first day of gathering. It took 520 palm fronds, 17 men on the roof, about 10 more people on the ground, and two days of roofing. On Friday evening, Mama Toto and Papa Tonio happily slept under their new roof, al fresco.

While the truck was being used to help transport people and tools, Kate and Tammey hopped on bicycles to do Bible studies in Laurel (a nearby village). We stopped at Anabel’s house to change, and she introduced us to a few families that were interested in Bible studies. Anabel has become one of our good friends here, she has been great about introducing us to new people since she is very extroverted and friendly. She helped us get a Bible to David, a man who attended the campaign and fallen in love with Jesus. He was a smoker, drinker, foul-mouthed womanizer, but through Bible study, he left all that behind within a very short period of time. That same day we dropped off the Bible at Anabel’s, David had actually made a trip to buy a Bible, to nearest store which is an hour and a half away. Unfortunately, when he arrived the store was closed, and he returned home disappointed. After he got back, Anabel dropped off the Bible and he was very happy. Now he proudly carries his Bible around under his arm. Isn’t it amazing how God cares for everybody?


On Sunday morning, we had our official day of English class. Just a few minutes prior starting, a man and a young boy came to the front of the church and asked Tammey, “Do you remember me?” She paused, thinking where she might have meant, and then exclaimed, “Raymundo!” in June of 2011, during one of our mission trips, Raymundo offered us the use of his building for the Health and Education Center (to hear the rest of the story, please watch the video under the “How we got started” page of the blog). He gave us a tour of the building and all of the plants on the grounds. He is really into the garden and has planted all types of vegetation we will be able to use to teach people how to live healthier lives. A short list of the plants would include herbs, mangos, coconuts, bananas, watermelon, papayas, and even trees with medicinal use that help lower blood sugar. Seeing Raymundo again was a blessing from God, and encouraged us to know that Raymundo still wants to be faithful to his offer.