Day 5, our second full day in Berlin and on the work site, began with another outstanding traditional Salvadoran breakfast – scrambled eggs, refried beans (think fresh), caramelized plantains, bread, cheese and local coffee. Today we were able to work it out to use a more direct route to get to the work site, which involves most of us piling into the back of a 4x4 pickup and ten minutes of steep hills, tight turns and bumps with the occasional low-hanging branch to the face if you don’t stay alert. Best work commute I’ve had in a while. Ha!
This trip has been fantastic so far on so many levels. There are so many things to be thankful for and I want to stay in the spirit of this Thanksgiving week. I’m sure you’ve read of many of those in previous posts, so I will give you a small sample of a LONG list:
So, yesterday we were able to (eventually) come up with a system for laying blocks (to build the walls) that allowed most of us to be involved, and seemed to maximize our efficiency. Additionally, it allowed us to honor the detail-oriented nature of Nelson, the local contractor directing the work, to preserve the integrity of his work. Today, although a little more physically demanding due to less cloud cover (= HOT), was another very successful day. We were able to stick with the system we developed and continue to make very good progress towards completing the walls of Kevin’s new home. On a personal note, I call any day that you unintentionally wear flip flops (don’t ask) to a construction site and return home with both feet intact and undamaged a success…
It is easy to come in and want to accomplish many things (with great intentions, of course). It can also be easy to sacrifice quality for quantity. However, we are called to do our best work at all times, as we represent Christ in all we do. The beauty in the work solution we found on our first day of construction lies in 1) finding a way to be efficient AND produce quality work, 2) trusting that our best work is sufficient for Him, regardless of how we judge the measure of its quantity and 3) the peace we receive in knowing that He is glorified in our best efforts and His plans will be accomplished. That we are allowed (even invited) to be a part of His plans is such an astounding and humbling concept. This speaks to me on a personal level as I often try to balance my own detail-oriented nature with the normal demands for productivity that are placed on us by society (and in particular, work). I hope we can all realize and remember that He is always at work in and around us, and that He wants us to join Him in all that we do – to the best of our ability – in full confidence that He will use it to bring Himself glory, our ultimate purpose.
Blessed, thankful and eager for the next page…
El Salvador - Nov 2016