So it has now been two weeks here in the bahamas, and, according to my calendar, I'll be home in exactly 6 weeks. It is amazing how time varies. I feel like I have been here forever, but I also feel like everything has flown by.
Anyways, here is what is up.
Work: I have done a lot of hard labor. With the team from Roswell Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia we mixed concrete and poured cores for two days. Basically, this meant that I spent 4-5 hours each day manning the concrete mixer, shoveling 5-gallon buckets of rock, sand, concrete mix, and filling up buckets of water. Then I had to pick them up and pour them in. Do you know exactly how much a five-gallon bucket of sand weighs? Me neither, but they are heavy. And those 94 pound bags of concrete get real heavy real fast.
We also spent one afternoon at the "special school" on the island which is basically the school for special needs children. Here they have about 12-15 special needs children with needs varying from ADHD to Autism to Down Syndrome in a one room school house taught by one man. These kids come from all over the 110 mile long island. We spent our time cleaning up the small lot around the building, just trying to make it somewhat clean as it was covered in trash, fallen leaves, and rock. What was real shocking was to watch how the Special Needs children responded to us. They came out in their full school uniforms and began to help us rake, shovel, weed, and clean. They worked so hard, and it was really funny to watch two of them take a wheel barrow to be dumped, one would walk in the front and steady it, while one would push in the back.
The man who runs the school said he had never seen them work this hard. He was legitimately shocked to see these kids rally to work. I think it is interesting how easy it is to make these kids feel loved. We just showed up, I never even spoke to one (special needs is not something i am good at) and they were so happy. After that day Mike thinks we are going to make it somewhat of a long term process.
Teams: So far we have had one team come down. They were an all guy team from ATL, and they were awesome. I thought it was so cool just to be able to meet people so easy, as they were literally just flown into my life. I really enjoyed them, and enjoyed working hard with them. And I taught everyone how to play Aces Up Solitaire, and that easily became the game of the week.
Personal: Life here isn't comfortable. Its really apparent how blessed I am in the states. I really miss air conditioning. Its amazing how hot I am all the time, living in 95 degree heat at a minimum allllllllll the time. I feel so weak when I really think about how blessed I am and how hard it is to live without a fridge that dispenses ice and water, a tv, air conditioning, and snack food.
Also it is real hard to be focused on Jesus here. I came here wanting to serve because I feel like this is something that Jesus would have done. The whole giving of yourself thing. But instead of glorifying him in my thoughts and praying through all the hard work, I find myself longing for the next water break, my cold shower, and shade. It sure is hard to have a pure heart even though everything I am doing this summer is a result of how I wanted to serve him. Its also hard to have quiet time and even community is a struggle. I haven't really figured out if I am supposed to or even allowed to jump in on the teams group time.
Yet everything here is so pretty. The beached, the caves, the ocean, the sea, the rock, the trees, and even the bugs are brilliantly crafted. Brilliantly.
It looks like this week we will be framing a roof over a water cistern for the center. Cool.
Another one of my jobs is making a movie for each team that comes through. Apparently Ill be doing this forever even though I swore I'd never make another movie again after senior year.
I appreciate all of yall back home.
As a serious question, I've been puzzling through the concept of beauty. Cool process, I encourage you to think through it.
Sarah Johnson is the other intern. She's pretty cool. haha.
If any of you get the chance read Following Jesus: Through the Eye of the Needle by Kent Annan. Good book. Especially his short story in the middle.
Special School Kid Working Hard.
In The Cave With Roswell