And the Lord said…” Put me to doing, put me to suffering”. Today we got our hands dirty and we loved it! We were fortified with a hearty breakfast of eggs and fruit in preparation for a day of messy work. Traffic was unexpectedly heavy and delayed our arrival to the church, but Tino expertly maneuvered the church van (albeit a bit precariously) through the narrow potholed streets of Hatillo. Nevertheless, and with lots of joking and laughter, we finally arrived at the church and headed to the sanctuary for our morning send off. One of the young members of the Samuel Culpeper Church, Edgar, who is gong to boot camp for the National Guard next month, was truly moved (as we all were) by Pastor Steve’s morning devotion as he so eloquently tied it into Pastor Eric’s sermon from yesterday. We all felt blessed and energized for our tasks ahead.

We were divided into two groups and headed to our respective homes. 3 headed to Sonia’s house to primarily install windows and the other 5 were off to Jeannette’s house where a couple of projects awaited them. Ida was this group’s new special friend. She served as interpreter and mentor to, (especially) the women, who were new to many of the tasks ahead. At Jeannette’s house, the group was “laid aside” as Jesus said and the day did not begin as planned. Tino & Tony had to leave to get additional supplies, leaving the other four feeling a bit stressed about what to do. Soon, those left behind rose to the occasion and let go of their preconceived expectations and made new plans. Christina noticed a lawn mower and within minutes new work plans were initiated and they were off mowing and weeding.

We were introduced to a delicious local snack, much like a corn dog with cheese, called a sorullito. At lunch time, we were reunited as a group at the church. Once again, the food with its local flavor did not disappoint. Sonia’s group successfully installed the windows and doors with final finishes likely concluding tomorrow. Jeannette’s group used the afternoon time to put metal flashing on the roof covering many areas that were allowing water to enter the house during rains. Inside, the bathroom was worked on to prepare the shower for new tiles and some prep work was done to initiate the future installation of the house’s ceiling.

After our dinner (fabulous once again – is it obvious this writer is a food lover?) at the suggestion of James, we shared our life stories. The vulnerability an honesty exhibited proved something really magical is happening here in Puerto Rico. Paster Steve led our nightly devotions and a lively discussion followed.