After six straight days of pounding nails and hanging ceiling joists, the team took a day off last Sunday. We attended our local C&MA church down the way where we again saw many of our Chilean friends who have been volunteering on the worksite. El Jeffe Bill Imes spoke to the congregation in Spanish about the construction of the education building and invited everyone out to see the building and/or help in any way. Dave Wazniak and John Bowser gave their testimonies to the congregation and Lauren Trickett and Brad Lindsay performed a special song at the request of the pastor.
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Afterwards, we jumped in the bus for an afternoon of sight-seeing and shopping in the pottery village of Pomaire. Pomaire is nestled in the hills an hour and a half outside of Santiago. Lots of pottery and woven baskets line the main street and everyone from professional gigs to mom and pops sell their wares. Bartering was the name of the game and if you were lucky enough to grab one of the many translators (missionary kids, volunteers, friends who spoke both languages) then you were probably going to get a better deal.
Later that night, we all convened at a local open air restaurant for a family style meal of fresh vegetables, bread, and a wide variety of meat to our hearts content. We also celebrated another birthday of one of our team members, Dave Wazniak. Note: when celebrating your birthday in Chile, don’t raise your hand in church when they ask because you have to pay your age! Small pesos and it’s for a good cause, huh Dave?!
Construction Update—on our last day (today, Wed.) we reflect on all we’ve done. While we have had set backs in areas, the first team still worked through them, worked hard, and worked together. Tom Loudenslager and MarK Kromeke didn’t hesitate to start right away on soldering the steel supports making it possible for the wall team to begin erecting the building. Our own John Bowser with the help of Brad Lindsay quickly began the dangerous task of laying the ceiling joists and building the bridges. Not too many people wanted that job, but we even saw Verl Luse venturing out on those beams.
This is a time to stop and praise the team for their hard work. Cora Sepulveda for her tireless and faithfull translations in meeting after meeting and between ourselves and the girls, Bill Imes for keeping the building straight, his team for making that possible (Bill Comes, Keith Stone, Lee Owen, Rick Ross, Renee Dallas, Verl Luse, Brad Lindsay, John Bowser, Bob and DJ Howen, MarKI Kromeke, Tom Loudenslager, Steve Kertesz, Michelle McCauley, Dan Hiers, Dave Wazniak and Jennifer Imes—on the chop saw, Holly Gutek, Lauren Trickett, Sandy Pilliod and Patty), the cooks for keeping us fed and healthy and preparing the much needed coffee towards the end of the trip (Jane Imes and Sherry Kertesz), our cameramen for capturing the moments we couldn’t possible get in our own abilities (Josh MacLeod and Seth Riedel), and finally for Tom Orme for keeping everything together.
Everyone has worked hard to accomplish the task we have come to do. We’ve worked long days and hot days and we feel proud of what we have done for the Lord and are ready for Team 2 to take our place next Sunday.
A Goodbye—tonight we say goodbye to part of our team staying behind and to the girls. We have developed tight bonds with our new friends, working alongside them, playing and praying and fellowshipping with them. The team may be going separate ways, but we’ll always remember this experience and what God has done in our lives and in the lives of the girls.
For many of us, we have developed friendships with the girls. We’ve developed a deep compassion for them, so pray for our Fiesta/goodbye tonight, it will be hard. The girls have touched out lives, possibly more than we have theirs.
Please keep praying for these girls and for our safe return. This is our last email, tomorrow we leave for much needed R&R and then return to the states Saturday night. Please pray for Team 2 and the crew staying the full 30 days.
Vision for Chile