This week is like a big breath of fresh air for me. Last week was VBS at my church and the week before was Curacao. Both were wonderful but they were also tiring. Finally, things are getting back to normal and it feels great!
However, I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to share with you what the money I collected from selling my art went toward.
Here we all are in Sunday best. We were a group of 12, six of whom are teenagers. When we originally planned the trip, we were looking for men to lay block and build. However, when applications came in, we only had four men apply, not including Jay. We had a chat with our missionary connection, stressed to the teens the hard work that we would be doing, and left it up to God.
Thankfully, God knows best.
We did do a lot of block laying but our most important work was with the teenagers we met in Curacao. Our entire group was bunked on the main campus for the church. The youth leaders lived on campus and teenagers were almost always present. Our teens loved meeting their teens. Thankfully, most people in Curacao speak English (as well as Dutch and Papiamento. Many also spoke Spanish). The American teens we took have all gone through training on how to share their faith with their peers. It is normally used in a school setting (and there are some amazing stories there) but this gave them the opportunity to use it internationally.
As Americans, we like to see our progress. We like to measure and proclaim just how much we’ve accomplished with very definite progression lines. However, that’s not always possible in the Kingdom of God.
God doesn’t ask that we lay 1,000 blocks in His name. We’re not commanded to just do good works for the sake of our salvation. God doesn’t care if we have one million conversions if none of them are genuine.There is sowing, watering, and reaping to be done within the humans we come in contact with. But we may only be a small part of one of those processes.
For a year, the youth leaders have been building relationship with those teens. Pouring into them Truth and Love. We were only small part of the demonstration of what faith in motion looks like. We were a minuscule example of what the larger Body of Christ looks like. We didn’t go for the blocks — although we did do that — we went for the people. Because that’s really who Christ died for anyway.
So, what did our week look like?
We landed and had a few hours before the evening youth service. One of our teens gave a testimony and we enjoyed a time of fellowship and games. This gave us the opportunity to have fun with the teens. We launched several relationships from this night.
Most of the team went to the site of the new Spanish church. They cleaned up the site and prepared for the concrete that was coming at 3pm. Of course, the concrete didn’t come until 5:30. They then proceeded to pour 19 posts.
I stayed at the main church location and painted. Fun fact: I’m pretty decent at trim work and, even more surprising, I actually like it. The building on the main campus is new but not finished so I worked on trimming around the new window.
Church! We got to enjoy worship in the main service and then the youth split off. Our group did a drama and Jay preached. Good times, Good times.
Monday & Tuesday:
This looked a lot like Saturday except there were no more pillars to pour. Lots of block was moved and the bathroom piping was installed. The concrete for the bathroom floors was scheduled to come on Wednesday so Wednesday was our rest day.
I was still painting.
We went to the beach. The beaches were beautiful! We even had the opportunity to cliff jump — which I did from 45 feet above the water. Unfortunately, there is no photo evidence so that makes me a little sad.
Curacao is full of beautiful people and it’s a neat place to visit but I would never want to live there. It’s hot ALL THE TIME! Miserably, unbearably hot for this pasty skinned girl. Also, there’s not much that grows there that doesn’t have a thorn. The beaches even have cactus lining them.
I was able to join at the work site. More block was moved and we finally built the walls for the bathroom. This was a joint effort. Some laid the block while others filled in the gaps.
This was probably my most favorite day. We visit a home that housed three single women who each had three children. They had already been working with someone to teach them better skills but the work ahead of them is still great. The relationship is on-going but the damage from before was still evident. Trash was littered everywhere. The house had no door, windows, running water, or legal electricity.
Although the women had begun making changes there was much to be done. Our team and the local church teens, spent the day picking up trash. There were almost 200 trash bags and another pile just for large trash. Some of our men also built them a door and laid laminate flooring over the concrete floors. The result at the end of the day was amazing.
The work was wonderful and we were privileged to be there as the local church teens did their first outreach ever. It’s not common for teenagers to serve because not much is expected of them. The local youth leaders are working to change that and we were privileged to be there for the launch.
Thanks for letting share. I hope you enjoyed reading about my week in Curacao. Here’s a video to sum it up.