Day 4 - Friday
Well, I’m good. I had my coffee this morning! My sweet wife went to the hostel kitchen and fixed coffee for me. The breakfast person usually shows up a little before 8:00 to start the pancakes so if you want coffee before then you have to fix it yourself. They have a commercial Bunn coffeemaker so it brews fast.
We got a quick breakfast (same menu everyday 🙂 ) and were picked up by the Schwarz about 8:30. Because of the traffic congestion there are certain days of the week you are not permitted to drive a personal vehicle. It depends on the last digit of your license plate. The Schwarz Toyota is restricted on Friday so they borrowed another van from Missionary Rivero to help with transportation. The blue van we are using is exempted because it is a rented vehicle.
We returned to Los Guido to finish the painting of their church. They had applied the second coat of white primer over the large mural that covered the center half of the platform wall. It was pretty easy to cover with the tan paint now that the primer was dry. There was another area on the back wall up high that had to be scrapped and prepped so that it would hold paint. Kaniel and Josh took care of that thankfully. They had a very tall metal ladder that we used to reach those areas.
While they were doing that some were touching up places around the walls of the auditorium and office, and others started on the kitchen. We pulled the refrigerator and a preparation table out from the wall and began to paint all wall space. We stood on the counter and sink to reach up in the attic area that was exposed to paint the walls there.
Some of the team began on the bathrooms. We have a great group of students and youth. No one sat around and had to be told to work. Everyone pitched in and found something to do. Even Brother Schwarz and I worked on different projects and started scrapping some of the splattered paint off the cement floor in preparation for the clean up!
When the office was trimmed out and touched up, we began moving furniture back in and hanging curtains. Finally, the metal security doors were painted black and it was the finishing touch.
It was amazing to see the transformation that took place in this church in just two days, and to see the pride and appreciation in the eyes of the pastor and members of this assembly. I was told later by the missionary that the pastor had a dream one night that a big man came with a brush and painted the church. He didn’t know what the dream meant but they begin to save some money and planned to paint the church in the future. In just a few days Brother Schwarz called to say a church in the States wanted to come and paint a church and they would pay for everything. He was overwhelmed at the provision of the Lord. We are rejoicing to be an answered prayer and a fulfilled dream.
The local church promised to clean the floor and have everything back in order before the service this evening so we took off around noon. Because everyone was dirty with their painting clothes and profuse sweat, we went back to the hostel this afternoon to clean up before eating. Rather than have Brother Schwarz come back to take us to a restaurant we decided to walk to the mall (maybe a half mile) and eat at the food court there. Some of the team wanted to look around the mall a little as well.
Gayla and I ate at Pollo Asado in the mall. The students got their food at different vendors and ate in the dining area. There were two levels of the food court and about any U.S. fast food was available as well as a number of local type food places.
After eating, Rhette accompanied us back to the hostel. We had barely gotten back when the rain came. It was a tropical rain storm complete with tremendous peals of thunder and cracks of lightning. We were relieved that the team made it back before it began to rain in earnest. However, some unnamed young ladies seemed to enjoy getting wet and screaming and hollering as they played volleyball in the rain!
The traffic was horrible tonight. It must have taken us 20 minutes just to get about a mile and around the traffic circle by the mall. There were other patches of stop and go traffic before we got in the vicinity of Los Guido. We picked up the Riveros at the home of a church family about 2 miles from the church. There is so little area to park close to the church and it is dangerous to leave your vehicles unattended or unprotected. The chicken house man locked up the rental van and kept an eye on the other van used by the Riveros
The area looked a lot different in the dark! It would have really been spooky if we had not seen it in the light previously. We were amazed at how nice everything looked. They had worked so hard getting the paint off the floor, the curtains hung over doorways, and a sing placed over the baptistery quoting Acts 2:38.
Tonight, our team provided all the music and worship for the service. They had a small Casio keyboard and Kaniel played the bass. The PA had its problems but we made it through :).
Tonight’s testimonies were given by Adrian and Shanda, I preached in the service and Missionary Paul Rivero translated for me. I preached that Jesus came to heal the broken hearted. Several came to the altar and joined in prayer this evening. After the service the local church provided some soda pop to drink (Coke or Ginger Ale) and some cake or cookies.
When we got back close to the hostel we stopped at Burger King and the Riveros joined us for dinner!