The manual labor on this trip truly was labor of love. Our team worked so hard, but it was easy to work hard when you knew how the product of your labor would affect the children. Our main project for the trip was to mix and pour the cement for the pillars of the second story of the new school building. This school is going to serve as a trade school so that students can study to be a dentist or learn about technology so that they can better serve their communities in the future. Most people in Caraballo work in the agriculture industry and barely make enough money to get by. The building that we got to work on will help these children launch their futures in different, more educationally demanding industries (such as dentistry).
The other main project that we worked on was cutting the grass. Let me tell you, this was a big task! The school rented a lawnmower for us to use, but unfortunately it didn’t have a bag to collect the cut grass. Keep in mind that the grass was almost up to our knees before we started. This meant that we had to rake up all of the grass clippings and cart them to either the burn pile or the front gate so that women in the community could use the grass to feed their cows. It took two days, but we were able to make the playground look sharp! The best part was watching the kids run freely and play tag, soccer and baseball all over the freshly-cut field. Best. Feeling. Ever.
Even though the work was difficult and tiring, we knew it served a specific purpose. One morning as we were hauling bucket after bucket of cement, we heard a chorus of children praising the Lord at the top of their lungs. It was such a sweet reminder that we were building a school for those children so that they could learn the skills and knowledge they need to be successful, all while praising Jesus along the way. Oh how we loved those sweet voices!
I truly believe that one of the hardest things to do is serve with a grateful heart. I’m so thankful that my team served so willingly and consistently had positive and encouraging spirits. That kind of attitude is most definitely contagious! Today, I’d love to encourage you to serve with an open and willing heart. Doing something for someone else without expecting anything in return has more impact than you could possibly imagine.