Honduras July 2015 Team 4, Day 5

Today’s tasks required hard, manual labor. The high school expansion project centered on pouring the concrete floor. One of our skilled partners at the Honduras church taught us how they mix cement. Pile up sand, gravel, and concrete into a mound. Next you mix with the ingredients with several shovels. Then spread the center of the mound into a bowl and add water. Then mix until you have the right consistency. See the pictures below to understand the process.

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The hard work was progress, but results were heartbreakingly small. The group had worked all morning and by lunchtime had a strip of concrete two feet wide by 20 feet long. The idea came up that we could see what a cement mixer would cost to rent. After calling around, we found a rental for $25 a day; we took the plunge and part of our team left to pick up the new equipment.

The rest of us stayed behind to eat a modest lunch and discuss what we could do during the 2 hour wait time. From our lunch room, we could hear loud music. Opening the door to witness a group of youth practicing dance in the grand hallway. We were thrilled to join in on this impromptu celebration.

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During workdays, opportunities to interact with the local community is a treasure. The people give us purpose and strength to continue our important mission.

Quicker than expected, the team returned with the cement mixer.

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After poking random switches and valves to start the engine, running a couple test batches, we had a process down that sped up the project tremendously. A couple people to collect water, a couple people to fill a 5 gallon bucket with sand, a couple people to hoist rocks, and the occasional task of bringing 100lbs of cement up the hill. The entire team found a groove and we were able to complete a whole section by the end of the day.

Tomorrow will be more work with the school construction; if we have a rental, we use it! We now have a 100ft hose that will make moving water easier than transportation by 5 gallon bucket. I close tonight with some soreness of the arms, a few scrapes, but a heart filled with joy and peace. I pray that you too will find peace.

Together in service,  Joel
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Team Member Spotlight

Neal is a member from our Rez West location and is serving this week with his wife.  In his reflection about today, Neal shared that it is a blessing to work with the Honduran Church’s construction workers. Each worker had ties to the church as ushers, group leaders, and worshippers. Because they are active in the church, they are motivated by the project’s success.

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