We continued to make progress on the construction site with the help of many people from the community. What has amazed many of the returning team members is the fact that even some of the children have jumped right in to help us. As we moved dirt along the bucket line to create a solid foundation, children took their turns hauling dirt and moving empty buckets back to the front of the line. We all enjoyed working together to make progress. During breaks we continued to talk and laugh with the people who gathered to visit with us. Kendall brought out the juggling balls and pins and delighted the children with his antics. We cut the work day short by about a half hour, so we could make it back to town for the dedication of the new church building.
On the way to the church, our two vehicles stopped to pick up many people along the way who were headed to the celebration. Just when we thought we couldn’t fit one more person in the pickup, we jostled a leg here and an arm there and squeezed in one more. At the church we were once again invited to seats of honor at the front. Some of us commented that this felt uncomfortable as we didn’t want to take away seats from people in the community, but Rudy assured us that this act of respect demonstrated their deep gratitude.
As the service proceeded with music and speakers, the wind picked up and the sky darkened and for a few brief moments the sky opened with rain. Cam captured this beautiful photo of the rainbow that emerged above the church, which for many of us represented the beauty and hope reflected by this community. Both Rudy and Lorrie were asked to speak, and their thoughtful contributions added to the joy of the event. The service ended with communion, and many in our group commented that this united celebration proved to be the highlight of the day.