April 7, 2013

DAY #7 - Alfarero Work Site

Gateway 2013 HANDS Team:

Today was a day to work at Alfarero Christian School again.  We were up and ready to go … eager to work hard and see how much we could accomplish.

The people at the school were so very gracious and welcoming while we worked there.  Their smiles and their kindness were infectious!

Today’s work consisted of repainting all of the walls, the men putting up the new tin roof above us, and of our group working to finish as much of the project as we could.  The team worked tirelessly … singing while we worked and being energized by one another.  The morning went by quickly and the transformation of the place was remarkable! 

We were stopped during the morning for a presentation from the younger classes from the school that included dancing, singing, and group photos!  What a blessing that they had prepared presentations solely for our group!

After lunch we continued to work, painting until there was no paint left and every wall possible in the project had been painted!  What a great feeling to see the transformation!  At the end of the afternoon we were again treated to presentations by the older grades that included dancing, a skit and singing.  We sang a song for them as well and we joined together for a group photo.  The pastor shared words of gratitude and thanks for our time and efforts working at their school; we were so humbled!  Then they brought us a beautiful cake to enjoy as a treat before we left.  Hugs were shared, photos were taken, and we were off towards home for the evening.  It was an honour to have worked at this school and to have gotten to know these people, even just a little bit. 

The bus ride back to the Nehemiah Center was one full of energy, singing a variety of songs together, laughter, and team unity.  It was a tremendous amount of fun for everyone!

In the evening we had our devotional time together.  We shared a special time of encouraging each other individually in a “speed dating” format … what a great idea!  J  There were a LOT of hugs, lots of tears (you know … the good kind of tears) and LOTS of laughter.  We were struck by what a wonderful class and team this is, and we praise God for the unity we are feeling among the team.  The letters and notes from our Prayer Partners were timely and meaningful, and we are so thankful for them!  We went to bed feeling satisfied, blessed, and loved.  God is very good!



Day seven is done already. I’m not sure if I should be homesick or excited for the rest of the trip. So I’ll be both. Today was so great but exhausting. While finishing painting at our work project, Mrs Lehman and Mrs Carmichael left to get some market items. We worked so hard all morning, barely stopping for water, only because we were having so much fun working together to create beauty in a broken place.  Our progress was amazing but it really didn’t hit me until Lehman and Carmichael came back, shocked, by all the work that we got done in such a short period of time.  Our group is so dedicated and beautiful and I am so happy that I have been a part of this mission.  God has truly blessed all of our work and I pray that he continues to do so.  

-Melissa Wierenga 

Today was so amazing (just like every other day)! We finished our job at the worksite and it was awesome to see the transformation- the new roof and paint job really gave the place a new vibrant look! It was super fun working together and to see something physically being accomplished before our eyes! It was also very humbling to see the people from the school show their appreciation… they made two presentations for our team which included dances, songs and words of thankfulness. They thanked us for our ‘sacrifice’ in helping them…This trip has definitely not been a sacrifice, but instead an overwhelming blessing for us! Our team is really uniting and I love it! One of the things we love to do is sing…we sing all the time-while we work, on the bus & just when we’re hanging out, it just brings such joy to whatever we are doing and I find it really brings us together! Another thing that really impacted me was our devotions, we did ‘speed dating’ where we went to every team member and told them our opinions of them, spreading love and encouragement and validating one another. Sometimes we don’t say how we really feel so I found this exercise very valuable! I’m loving every second of this trip and I’m so excited for what Gods doing, thank you all for your support! - Brooklynn Capton


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