Brandon and Sharon cooked breakfast for the crew before heading out to work for the day on Tuesday. On the menu was bacon, toast with melted canned cheese (think Velveeta, but saltier) and scrambled eggs. Each day, the teams have split up in the morning between Vacation Bible School and the work project. Logistically, it has been difficult to get twelve people going in two directions at one time, and there is always somewhere else to stop along the way, whether the hardware store, grocery store, community center, or a friend’s house to borrow a much needed hacksaw and an extra blade. There are no 24-hour stores, Wal-Mart, fast food or anything borne of convenience in this part of the country. There’s barely anything like that even in the cities we’ve visited.
Compared to North Carolina, it’s kind of like living up in Appalachia, where your neighbors ask you what you need from the store before going on their weekly run down the mountain. Except here it’s always hot, food doesn’t keep and it’s usually purchased from the “lady down the road who has the eggs” or the “man at the bottom of the hill with the goats”. Seriously, it’s pretty stress relieving to get out of the fast pace of “convenience” and catch up with reality, take time to get to know people and take care of others in the community around you.
On another note, the common theme over the past couple days that we have all experienced in one way or another is the story in Scripture of the loaves and fishes. If you don’t know, when Jesus was teaching and preaching around the country, multiple times, there were many people that followed Him around. The disciples would always be worried about how they would feed the masses, and Jesus always said – “hey look, why don’t you trust me? I’ve always made sure everyone was fed before. Don’t you think I’ll come through this time too?” And miraculously, 5 loaves and 3 fishes would multiply to feed 5,000, with leftovers to spare.
This is one of the stories we’ve taught at Vacation Bible School this week. Some of our “loaves and fishes” moments happen there, and some on the worksite. At VBS, we’ve prepared a snack for the children, never knowing how many to expect. Yesterday, we had a Cheerios and raisins mix and handed out every single snack we prepared. Or, so we thought. Today at VBS for snack, we made popcorn mixed with Fruit Loops, Trail Mix and Skittles. One girl asked if we had something else (she couldn’t eat popcorn) and there was ONE bag of snack from the day before that had ended up in our snacks for today. Nobody knows how it happened because we were slap-out of snacks the day before, but we’ll just call it a loaves and fishes moment.
The work project team saw plenty of their own loaves and fishes moments as well. They seemed to run out of 2×4’s about midday and they were a main staple in the construction of this house. Every time someone would say “hey, any 2×4’s left?” they didn’t think there were, and after a quick search they would find one that was the right length and perfect for what they needed. The same thing happened with nails, plywood and tools too. If someone was looking for a square or saw, someone would “randomly” drive up to let us borrow it. While there are more detailed stories to tell, we’ll finish off this post with some before and after pictures of our first work project – Sandra’s house.