Monday, January 29
Unlike the rest of our peers, who have had the blessing of waking up at 7:30am, we have had the opportunity to endure the call of our morning rooster friend, who loves to give us our wake-up call at 5:00am. This morning however, he woke us up just in time for our 6:00am wake up call, since we had to travel to the Province of Havana by bus. After our rushed breakfast, 17 groggy and stuffy nosed teenagers climbed onto the bus for a four-hour journey to our first destination, which we like to call, The Church in the Forest.
When we arrived, they greeted us with open arms and metal shovels. We got workin’ right away. Our mission was to dig two 3 ft. holes (which was measured by the height of Zoe) and shallow trenches for their expansion project. The current location of worship was the backyard, so the expansion was to dig for a foundation so that the kitchen could be moved to the front and they could double the size of their worship location inside. The guys (& Sara) took on the task to remove a mango tree trunk with a dull axe from the middle of their driveway. After an hour of woodchips flying, dirt and some nasty blisters, the mango trunk fell with a cry of victory and some tears. We celebrated with a homemade Cuban meal which consisted of pork, juicy pineapple, rice, watermelon, salad and bean soup.
The Pastor’s wife, who opened her house and prepared lunch for us, told our group that our work was much needed today. She explained to us that her father-in-law had passed away yesterday morning and so she asked us to excuse her husband’s absence. We realized in that moment why God needed us in Havana today. Our work, (even though it was just a small amount) helped the church and her family. Today we learned about trusting in God’s plans, even if they may seem tedious and the journey may seem long.
Today we also struggled with not being around our friends from the past week. We thought about them frequently throughout the day and kept their memories alive through storytelling and our inside jokes. We miss them a lot but we are very happy that they have had an impact on our lives and we will never let their stories die.
Chao! Ally W & Zoe Z