Wow. We've been in the villages for more than a week now, and so much has happened. Thank you for your prayers for safety and health - most of our team is feeling better and so far we have had no more serious injuries than a sprained ankle and blisters. The team from the Well Church in Fresno also arrived safely last Sunday night, and it has been blessing to have even more people to work with. We've been working on four main projects: the water tank for Dae Bur Sae Lo Co, the fifth grade classroom for the school, VBS and some agricultural projects.
The water tank is just about finished. The trenching and pipe burying is all but done, all the layers of the concrete tank have been poured, the filter is mostly completed. The Well Church will finish the work on Monday after we leave for Chiang Mai. Charlie, Sean, Hannah and I (Katie) have been the primary ones on this project, and have really enjoyed the time spent with the villagers and Amutep, the ITDP staff who has been directing the project. To see bare dirt turn into a concrete water tower has been really neat. It's surprisingly hard to leave without seeing the completed tank, but praise God that there is another team here to finish the work!
The work that is being done to construct the fifth grade classroom is slow-going, tedious work, bending and tying rebar, digging holes for columns, pouring cement, but the project is way ahead of schedule. Even though we will not see the completion of this project (or even close to it) there has been a lot of progress made in a week. Kaitlin, Steve, Laura, Brian, Chris, and Destiny have worked closely with this project.
VBS has also been going well. We've been partnering with some ladies from the Well, and looking at some of the Old Testament stories and how God's faithfulness in all circumstances is so very clear. Christine and Heather (from the Well) have been in charge, and all of us girls have rotated in and helped at different times.
The final project is the agricultural work, which Nikki and Christine have worked. They've built a pigpen, prepared fertilizer for the coffee plants, prepared the ground for a garden and done a myriad of other tasks that have needed to be done.
So much else has happened, between church in Mah Ho Jo, an outreach, Children's Day (a Thai holiday)...the list goes on. There is simply not time to share everything. As we prepare to leave in a day and a half, everyone on the team is really struggling. The villagers and the kids have become like family and friends. The Karen are beautiful. In a lot of ways, time slows down here and it feels as if you've always been here. Many of us are more likely to say, "Dtahblu" than we are "Thank you." The Lord has used our time here to grow and strengthen us greatly. He is good, and that has been so evident. Pray that He uses our work to advance His name and His kingdom.
For the team,