Today was a great day!
As we left our hotel this morning it was raining. Not just a drizzle, a lot of rain. So much rain that when I looked out our window, I saw a car stuck in an overflowing stream. Needless to say, this was not an ideal start to a day when needed to weld, paint, dig holes, and pour concrete. Before we arrived at the school the rain stopped and never returned.
When we arrived at the school today, our driver honked the van horn as we approached the school and the van was surrounded with 20+ children waiting to hug us as soon as we opened the door. There have been few times in my life I have felt love like this. New friends, unconditional love – what a preview of what I believe heaven will be like. It breaks our heart that we had to turn away eight ladies this afternoon as we simply ran out of water filters. The need for the water filters here is so great. One man asked us to install a group filtration system in an orphanage he works with. Another advised he has 25 neighbors who could use the filters as they are drinking water out of tubs in their home. Another asked us to come back and distribute filters in his hometown about an hour outside of town.
Thanks to a massive group effort, we were able to complete all of our projects. We literally worked until dark today. Realizing we had a lot to do and little time left, one our military guards literally grabbed a shovel and started digging some of the last anchor holes for the last play set. Every shovel has been in some one’s hand, paint brushes were painting play sets as they were being welded, moved, and leveled. Others hands were mixing concrete, loading tools, cleaning up. Everything that needed to be done happened – one big team working together.
As soon as Doug, Bill, and Nicholas put the finishing touches on the water purification system for the school – students were coming in asking for aqua. They would drink a cupful and ask for more.
I said goodbye to Pastor Alan today (he is the pastor of the church that sponsored our trip). I have meet few men as transparent and loving. He told me if you come back my home is your home. He also hugged me and quietly told me he loved me. I’ve had very few grow men tell me they love me. This is not something I will soon forget. This is someone I met five days ago, and I now consider him a lifelong friend.
Our group has shed many tears today as we have had to start saying goodbye to those who’s paths we will not pass again before we leave tomorrow. It’s amazing the friendships you can make in five days.
As we prepare to go home tomorrow – the only way I will be able to sleep tonight is to hope that God will allow me to come back and work again along side all of the friends I have made this week!