Monday, March 9, 2009
As I crawled out of the tent this morning, tears filled my eyes due to being surrounded by such beauty. The greenery, the majestic trees, the slight breeze, the brilliant blue sky dotted with wispy, white clouds, the numerous colored flowers, the sounds of many birds, the distant sound of the river rapids and the laughter of those who have chosen to come here to worship and serve the Lord, placed a smile in my heart at the very start of the day.
Lord, thank you for the beauties of your creation and for the kinship found through You despite different backgrounds and homelands. Thank you for the nourishing meal provided by Mrs. Barbara, Judith and Nel. We enjoyed scrambled eggs with fresh tomatoes, buttered toast and corn meal porridge (YUM!) along with lemon grass tea (not sure if I care for that particular taste…). Thank you for these loving hearts and willing hands that have so graciously provided such a meal. Father, thank You for the accommodating sleeping arrangements and the rest that we were blessed to receive. Please watch over all of us today with Your merciful and protective love. Please enable each of us to work with an open heart and willing hands. Please remove any murmurings or complaints and replace them with gratefulness, patience, kindness, and love. I pray, especially, for those who will be working on and in the tree house. Please guide them and protect them from injury. Father, thank You again, for the privilege of being here. I pray that my every word, every action, and every thought be a reflection and true representation of You.
Today was a great day despite my slipping a bit on the wet grass and “jarring” my recovering shoulder. I went back to the tent and took some of the prescribed pain medicine and ended up falling asleep until close to noon…so much for a productive morning but, thankfully, I did wake up pretty much pain-free. For lunch today, we had lasagna noodles with a ham and cream sauce along with a side salad and yummy spice bread. After lunch, Caren & I began painting shutters and bathroom shelves. It was an easy task but took most of the afternoon. Jim and Mario had to help with the high spots because neither Caren or I were too fond of climbing up the ladder (!!).
We all made some new friends today. Teffarri actually works at Cranbrook Estates but helps out at the camp when able. He is probably in his late 20’s/early 30’s. He was deaf but patiently visited with us despite the obvious difficulty with communication. Cheryl knew several sign language symbols. I could only finger-spell and then he’d show me the correct sign until I had it down. (Did I mention he was VERY patient?!) He was fun to be around and promised to come back throughout the week.Another man, “Lemon” (nickname) came out to assist and lead us. He brought along his 2 little girls (pictured above) and they were precious! I ended up playing with them for about 45 minutes and they all stayed for dinner. Dinner consisted of white rice with an unfamiliar tender meat (I didn’t dare ask what type of meat!!) with sliced cucumbers. The early evening was spent cleaning up paint spills on ourselves and in the environment. Nothing like basically bathing in paint thinner---professional painter I am NOT!
Later in the evening, Jim led the group in a devotional and then those who chose to do so went on a “steep hike” to see the city lights. Took a lot of energy to get there and unfortunately, I didn’t find the view so spectacular but I did enjoy walking back with my Jamaican friend, Stefan. I am falling in love with the Jamaican people even though I am not doing too well on picking up on the English words spoken by those with thick accents. I am finding that to be a bit frustrating but they have responded graciously.
After the hike, I took my 1st COLD shower. We were strongly encouraged to limit our showers to 3 minutes. Initially, we all balked at that idea but believe me…3 minutes was NOT a problem. At first, it wasn’t so bad but the rinsing was almost painful. “Suffering for Jesus, I suppose” (hahahehe) New plan is to shower while the sun is out with the hopes of the natural water being a bit warmer.
The “highlights” of my day were meeting Teffari, Lemon and his 2 girls and having deeper conversations with both Caren and Donna. They are both amazing women and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to get to know them better. I feel SO BLESSED to be here, and thank God, repeatedly, for allowing me to share in this experience. I pray that the next 5 days go by slowly.