Thursday, June 27
We were up early, refreshed, excited for the day: finish the house and then the Dedication! Aunt Laura and Uncle Jeff collected ALL their little presents to share with friends and my mom remembered grandma’s curtains with the dowels. We passed the gift Bible around to be signed by each one of us. Breakfast was porridge with cinnamon-sugar toast and fabulous fruit again! We did okay with only the men’s facilities to use: I am sure the 40+ high school girls were more careful AND that each one stopped thinking: It’s just me and it’s just this once.
Uncle Jonathan had so much fun throwing more Beanie Babies out the bus window. It took us a long time to walk down to the house because I was giving things away with Uncle Jeff and my mom was taking pictures. Circle-up and prayer time was inside the house with the roof on! It was so different from Monday when we were outside standing on the hard clay. Brandon said 1 hour and 15 minutes before the 10:00 Dedication: inside walls had to go up, finish the roof and siding of the roof, finish electric, and clean up. We worked hard and fast but we still made time for fun even while people were gathering for the Dedication and waiting for us to finish. I was sanding the dowel with my new friends so that we could hang grandma’s curtains.
The Pastor read the Bible in Spanish and talked in Spanish. Of course, I could not understand because my Spanish is not very good. 🙂 but my mom’s friend, Paul, translated. II Chronicles 7:14-15
If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.
This is about the house, the temple, that Solomon built. We had just finished building Wilma’s house and the pastor wanted to say that the Lord had chosen and sanctified her house and that His name would be here as well as His eyes and His heart. Because of Christ, my mom said, the Holy Spirit lives with us in our hearts, not just in the temple. And God was attentive to our prayers as we dedicated Wilma’s simple, little house. The pastor thanked the LORD for all His blessings: thank you for this day, the sun, the air, for your sons and daughters who worked hard, building this house.
Leah read Colossians 2:6
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
I liked this verse very much because it reminded me about the foundation and how important it is to stay close to Christ our solid, rock foundation. After the roots and the foundation, comes the building: the electric, the door, the windows, the siding, the roof, all of these things, just like the things in our lives, are built up in Him. We were giving thanks for the house and the whole experience. Of course, my mom liked the part about `abounding in it with thanksgiving.’ She was `giving thanks’ in her silly way big time during the Dedication.
Aunt Laura read some from Philippians
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy . . . For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Christ.
She talked about how her family had come to help Wilma’s family. And although it is very difficult to say `goodbye’ right now: we will see each other again in Christ. We have a very special bond: not in ourselves but in Christ. We came wanting to serve and to bless Wilma but we were blessed which also shows the mystery of Christ and His work in this world.
Of course my mom was thinking about `God answering us with joy in our hearts’ as we were working but she had me read from Lamentations. Funny mom to choose something from such a sad book but I think it was the only book of the Bible that he had brought along:
Who has commanded and it came to pass, unless the Lord has ordained it?
What she wanted to say, and what Paul translated, was that the Lord will get His work done and that no one can get in His way. In spite of her lack of energy, we came AND He gave her the strength she needed. She was `giving thanks’ that He had over-ruled her for Wilma’s sake, for my sake and for her sake, too.
After all the talking, Olivia gave the Bible and Schyler and I gave the keys to Wilma and Bremen put the `Casas por Cristo’ plaque on the house. There was singing, and hugs from Willma for each one, and praying and blessing the house. Of course, there were more pictures, lots of pictures, and more presents and I gave away all the pot holders I had made to friends. It was really fun!
We were cleaning up and putting the tools in Brandon’s truck and getting ready to go, but the family had made another nice lunch for us: chicken and rice and vegetables. It was delicious. We ate, and talked, and gave thanks, AND played! Uncle Jonathan and Olivia made balloons for the kids and everyone was playing and having fun. It was very difficult to say `goodbye’ but we finally had to get into two trucks to get back to the city because the bus had left us.
We unloaded Brandon’s tool kit in the Casas warehouse and then Brandon showed us his house: we looked around, drank water, used the nice bathroom, and relaxed. I got to see Heather and Brandon’s wedding picture. Morielle had heard them tell their story. I only know that they met on a Casas’ build in Mexico: how very romantic!
We walked around town, got some ice-cream. My mom and I went shopping a little with Kay and Ron. I bought a very cool basket to put my stash of wool in; and I bought some pretty fabric to make a skirt. Then we took a Tutut home to the resort. The driver let me sit in the front to take a picture.
When we got back, all the bathrooms were fixed! I don’t know what the resort workers had to do to fix it—my mom does not want to know—but I was thankful that we didn’t have to wait in line anymore. We relaxed; I made pot holders and gave them to my friends, the cooks. Heather brought out the Casas’ t-shirts and things. My mom and I bought t-shirts, nail bags, key necklaces and hats. And then we had a delicious enchilada supper with cake for dessert and , of course, Pastor Jeff’s team had lots of singers to entertain us again during dinner. The next day was Antigua so early to bed!