Sunday, July 27, 2014

DR Trip 2014: Day Three

Day Three began this morning. The problem is this morning feels like ages ago. So let’s give this post a whirl and see what happens. 

We woke up at an earlier time today and managed to have breakfast at 9am. Group Two’s morning carried itself much like yesterday morning. I am not sure how Group One’s morning began, but they showed up at our apartment look bright and fresh and well fed, so all indications indicate good things happening. 

Today we worked on the building of IBNP, the same church who ministers in the village we visited yesterday. We were unsure of what our specific tasks would end up being, but we did know the church is adding some space to the front of the building and we were supposed to help prepare for the construction. So, we arrived in ditchable clothes and with lots of water, curious as to what the day would hold. 

It held paint. Lots of paint and not enough paint. Upstairs in the church there is an open concrete area for fellowship, and it all needed a fresh coat of paint. Also, the office space beside the fellowship area needed to be unwired and unceilinged. You know those styrofoam-like tiles at the top of everyone’s basement? The ones you always wanted to poke with a stick as a kid and see what was in between one floor and the next? Yeah. Those. We got to poke them up and out and to the ground to our heart’s content. ’Twas fun. 

And painting. Who doesn’t enjoy painting? Roll up and roll down and sideways and tape everything and be careful not to smudge the door frames or window sills. Peach on yellow was not a bad colour combination, either, and with the sun beating down everyone felt fun and thirsty. 

Everyone except Emily Leich, Daddy, and myself. We had to go to the American Airlines office in Santo Domingo because (I forgot to explain this before), Emily Leich has identity issues! Yes. As we were boarding the flight from Miami to the Dominican Republic, Emily was stopped by the boarders and told that she could not be here because an Emily Leich had flown to the DR on the previous flight. Well now. Emily Leich was indeed right here with us, not on some afternoon flight to Santo Domingo. It was a bit of a tense moment, but eventually Dad and the person in charge worked something out to let Emily fly with us with a coupon. Praise God! But to sort out what happened, we needed to visit AA’s Dominican headquarters and make sure the same thing would not happen on our return trip. Also, we were just a slight bit curious about who might be posing as Emily Leich, if anyone was. 

Thankfully, everything in the Emily Leich category was sorted, and she is flying home with us and she is a real person with no identity issues. God is taking care of us!

The office visit turned out to be surprisingly short, and after a bout of traffic we returned to the church in time to throw ourselves into painting until lunchtime. We were a little short on paint and brushes and rollers, but everyone took turns between brushing and taping and playing Ninja (it’s an actual game), so everyone kept busy. 

Lunchtime brought us to La Quinta, a little eatery for workers needing a warm meal on a hot day. While playing American pop music from all eras in the background, the restaurant served us a meal of rice and meat and avocados, plus a by now extremely popular chinola (passion fruit) juice. Three types of rice, three types of meats, and bowls of habichuelas (stewed beans) all around! It was a good meal and prepared us for walk back to the church for more painting. 

And that’s we did. More painting ’til the paint ran out. I stayed close to the ground and worked my thighs to paint baseboards while others faced their fears and climbed up ladders to hang over the roof edge to paint high walls (you go, Jessie Bear!). 

And then there was no more paint. So we trekked home to shower and eat a supper of grilled sandwiches filled with DR’s famous pork, beef, cheese, onions, and condiments accompanied by, you guessed it, more chinola juice. Although some free spirits broke the mould and got zapote or mango juice instead. 

After this scrumptious repast, ’twas time for our first study. 

We went over the first two verses of Colossians, remembering God’s great holiness and how He has made us holy. It is amazing to think that God made people like us saints and fellow brothers. It was hard to think of ourselves as holy because Christ is holy, even through our sin. But He lives in us and that is where our holiness comes from, what bears the Fruit of the Spirit, and how we can become more like Christ. We also went over the familial relationship we know have with God and our fellow brothers. That bond of similarities because of God’s indwelling grace holds us together so that we may and should and will live in fellowship with our family in Christ first, before any other earthly relationships. God living in us and loving us allows us to live with and love those whom He loves. 

In short, we kicked off our series of Colossians studies with a glimpse of glory and mercy, and a taste of the fellowship we hope to cultivate over the next two weeks. Our session ended with an hour of singing, heavenly singing and rhythmic, soothing guitar accompanied by the gorgeous other-worldly strains of a violin. 

Of course, sleep was sweet.

(please excuse typos)

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