It has been a while again since my last post. Since this is generally cathartic, as well as hopefully informative to you, dear reader, I wish I could have posted sooner, but I am being reminded how important each member of our team is to keep things going smoothly.
Working Valerie’s job, as well as Oscar’s is proving to drive me crazy. At some point I will get to the stuff I am supposed to be doing as well...it continues to pile up on my desk, in my mind, and around the house.
As I remember when I asked my mother in the car...“Where are we going?” she would answer “Crazy, want to come?”
Come along with me in my multitasker’s dream, the octopus’ workout, the challenge of being a one-armed paper hanger.
The wall construction for the clinic property is going gang busters. Our goal, thanks to the great support by a few people in the US, is to get the fence totally done by February. Oscar organized most of the workers before he left and bought the materials to get the serpentine wire around the walls as well as sand, gravel and cement to pour the footer walls on which will rest the containers. However, I still had to help figure out levels, get the backhoe situation figured out, and when we ran into rocks that were in fact icebergs, get other backhoes with hammer attachments to carve our way down to where we needed. Coordinating all this, especially with so many things in my line of sight that it all seemed a bit off, wrong or cockeyed, really tried my patience and ability to understand. Kind of like a 3-D Tetris game where you can not exactly see where everything is supposed to fit.
We eventually had to move the containers to keep working, which helps to make more sense of what we are doing. (how they were...the first picture on the right.....in progress of being moved in the second picture on the left)
What are we doing? A retaining wall built like the Church built the one we are already using would be very expensive...not to mention time consuming. We had the idea a while back to buy more containers and make our own retaining wall and fence all at once with them. That is still the idea, but without buying any new containers...at least for now. Three containers all in a row should bridge the gap from the clinic to the concrete pad near the man cave just about perfectly. We will cut the back and doors out of the containers that we need to and have one 120’ long container to use for storage. To get them all at the same height, this will also mean a good retaining wall, and at the end near the man cave, a wall almost 15’ high.
Confused? Tell me about it. These pictures above should help a little, but it will probably not all make sense until you see it finished.
The FAME container was unloaded on Wednesday. Normally this is something Oscar and I do together, and it is still a little crazy, trying to get things where they need to be stored, where they will be picked up, or immediately used. Add to that the need to tow the semi up the remainder of the hill he could not traverse...it was a long day....but also one definitely strengthened and encouraged by God, because I could not believe I was going to try to tow up the container (totally full) by myself...and it was easy. I could not believe I was going to have to try to direct the 11 guys helping us unload...and it was not easy, but it all worked to plan. Having Amanda and Dora there to help watch over everything helped a ton as well. Of course, Dora had to stay to help even though it was her daughter Valeria’s birthday.
Side note...I had some items saved for Dora when she got electricity...things that came on FAME’s last container. They were back burner items for quite some time. I picked that morning to take them to her house...that 60 year old washing machine, a huge former demo sort of ceramic serving plate, and a rather humongous microwave oven. She was extremely happy to have them...and before I remembered it was Valeria’s birthday Dora remarked that it all made for some great birthday presents.
I have been handling the clothing ministry as well, which continues to improve and go fairly well. The stores in San Juancito and Talanga are back up and running, but not on a weekly basis. We offered a weekly store amount to the Church in Tegucigalpa for the bus ministry (the Church now has the two buses we procured for them! Another load off our shoulders!) and they are sometimes buying for the youth group ministry as well.
Unfortunately...I continue to see donations that come back to us from our stores that are just poor donations....super huge clothing, winter clothing, and not just winter clothing but ski suits, more skates, etc. as well as more shoes almost my size, items that are ripped, stained, torn, etc. I am glad Amanda arrived on the 13th, we are looking forward to her helping us make use of this otherwise junk. Due to being out of space...I had to throw away three truckloads these otherwise unusable clothes again just this past week.
I had to turn down an invitation to perform two weddings yesterday in Sampedrana. It was still very cool to hear about them of course. And the coffee harvest is in full swing...and I have heard that commodity prices have jumped a ton this year, making pricing interesting for Hill Climber coffee this year, but certainly a bigger blessing to the Church body there regardless.
There is more to tell of the Churches, but that is a tale for another post.
And it continues to amaze me that God brings people to me for eye exams that sometimes just plain defy logic. I have had odd allergies, infections, advanced pink eye...all unusual but not that big of a deal...and then the one patient who had been hit by a car two weeks ago, was dead for 20 minutes, and then was seeing me for some very pesky eye issues, and the man shown here, who had been shot in the head two weeks before, had the inflammation, swelling, and nerve damage issues. (He could not move his eye much at all, nor lift his lid by himself. It is likely he will never regain vision in this eye) Sometimes you feel like you are not much help at all in those cases, I had to refer him to an ophthalmologist we know.
I have not been much help to Valerie either. She is getting better by God’s grace and her own efforts. It is is still hard for her, but she is doing remarkably well all considering, by God’s providence. The surgery went very well, even though the herniation was rather large, so the doctor said. She can walk, she can move around...but driving and such will come with a little more time. Work...not until January 10th at the earliest, and then she will have to see how it goes. The kids are now done with school for a couple weeks, I have seen and talked to them a little...being the one that is supposed to get them to and pick them up from school helps there.
It is frustrating...it is a lot of work...it is wearing me out, or actually wore me out a while ago already...but in my lack of joy I can still rejoice because I know it is for God’s glory, and because I know the only way at all that I can continue to get up and keep going is because of Him, and in a big way because of all the people here and abroad praying for me, and the rest of us as well.