Five C's sum up today:
Cubo. It’s our fourth day on the work site. Thanks to heavy equipment (a first for one of our projects), massive amounts of earth were moved the other day. What a bulldozer and a digger accomplished in a day would have taken years of mission trips. As a result, the site was prepared for the present church building AND future expansion.
Twelve ginormous holes have been dug for the columns; hence mountains of dirt litter the site. With the heavy equipment gone we’re stuck moving dirt the good old-fashioned way--a bucket line. We fill buckets (cubos) and pass them down a human line, one to another, until we reach the dumping site. We’ve literally filled, passed and dumped thousands of cubos. (And we haven’t even moved the mountains of sand or stones yet!)
Concreto. The moment finally arrived. After days of chopping down trees; hauling away branches, debris and rocks; and digging holes, we got to start mixing concrete, then cutting and bending re-bar for the columns. Even if it’s still so basic, it’s incredibly satisfying to see actual construction starting.
Creativity. Supplies are in short supply here. I’m continually amazed at the Dominicans' resourcefulness, and because of their example, how resourceful we've become. Nails are removed from old pieces of wood, straightened and reused. Then, the wood is reused. Old concrete blocks are reused. Basically most of what you and I consider trash finds life elsewhere.
Here’s a fun example of this creativity. Right now we’re sitting on the rooftop waiting to start our large group devotions. To pass the time, the kids are playing “baseball” on the corner of the roof. Their bat? A stick. Their ball? A lime from a nearby tree. Their laughter confirms they're having a great time, despite their meager equipment.
Community. We are one family here. Like the ebb and flow of the tide: we travel together, we eat meals together, and we work, worship, pray, laugh and play together. Americans and Dominicans. New friends in Haina and old ones from San Miguel. Children and adults. Men and women. Boys and girls. It’s a fluid, cohesive mix unlike any I’ve ever experienced.
All God’s people. One Spirit. One Church. One Christ. I wonder if heaven will be like this?
Contentment. The Dominicans' joy is infectious. Never have I seen such bright smiles. And it's rubbing off. I have such a sense of inner peace. My wants here are minimal and my needs are being met. None of the worries, anxieties and conflicts that fill my thoughts at home have found their way to the DR. My uncluttered spirit is open to receive. (I think most of the others in our group would concur with these sentiments.)
I want to stay on this mountaintop. In this place. With these people.
Lord, how can I take this experience home with me?
”In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:21-22)
P.S. I wrote this two days ago, but am posting it tonight. It’s hard to believe, but tomorrow is our last full day. Sigh.