On Wednesday, we once again split into three teams. Teams one and two went to build houses in Los Pinos, team three journeyed to the Children's hospital, did a Gatorade run, and packed bags of food for distribution on Thursday. Ok, so that is the basics. For what really took place, read on.
I am not normally a very competitive person. I never played organized sports, and my coordination is not that good, so I generally cheer from the sidelines. Occasionally, when I am with a group that feels the need to compete on something, then it gets fun. Housebuilding as a competitive activity, however, is something that I think I could get into. It is filled with excitement, teasing, a little frustration, an occasional "selective borrowing" of the other team's equipment, lots of encouragement, and a whole lot of fun.
Yesterday, team one (the Holton House) and team two (the Harris house) ended up on build sites right next to each other. Very quickly the younger ones on the teams were suggesting that the other team would "eat their dust." So, for the next 6 hours we went at it: moving rocks, measuring and re-measuring of posts, sawing, hammering, and of course the trash talking. "Your wall is too short!" "You are wimps when it comes to laying a roof!" In the end, though I hate to admit it, team two got finished before team one. Shucks.
Meanwhile, while we were egging each other on, team three had an entirely different experience. The Children's Hospital is a tough environment. Many there suffer from kidney or liver failure, various cancers, and many other diseases. Conditions are not pleasant either. It is certainly not a typical hospital in the United States. To make things more difficult for the patients, often their parents must take them to the hospital, but because they can't afford to stay, they have to leave them for the duration of the treatment. How tough it must be to be alone. Those team members who went, however, learned so much about caring for others. What a privilege it is to ease pain, to ease loneliness, and to offer dignity to these children, some of whom will not live to see another year. Sharing some time, reading some books, playing a game or two, and blowing bubbles seem, on the surface, to be doing so little, but the smiles and the tears of departure say differently.
Making a difference, by acting like Jesus, is what it is all about!
God is good! All the time!----Timothy E.