Thursday, November 3, 2011

when we signed up for this trip to ethiopia, we expected it to be the same as last time. some sort of project at the orphanage, aka me hanging out with my kids because i don't even know how to hammer a nail, let alone build something. we didn't find out until twoish months before hand that "oh by the way, you do know we're building a church in town so don't expect to see the kids very much."


i can't just fly half way around the world and be 15 minutes from these kids and just "not see them very much."

it's not that i didn't believe this person, but i just chose not to. i honestly felt like i would see my kids a bunch and even if it wasn't every day, it would be much more than once.

and that's exactly how it went down. i saw them A BUNCH. partly because i'm spoiled, and partly because i'm a girl and can't do any sort of handiwork to save my life.

so we built a church.

last year our group found the church and the pastor asked for our help. so we came. we had the walls built before we got there so we could focus on the roof and the floor.

obviously i was part of the floor crew. are you surprised? what with my extensive knowledge of roof building and no fear whatsoever of heights? ha.

anyway. we started on the floor immediately. we moved the pews from one side to the other, hauled in rock after rock after rock of this black lava that was sooooooo heavy. we used wheelbarrows that were made of two long sticks by which to carry the dang thing, and then scraps of tin in the center to hold objects. the wheelbarrows themselves were like 30 pounds. and then they'd load you up with a million pounds of rock. basically, my arms are so buff right now.

this guy slung that sledge hammer for like 8 days straight. also, that is rock for dayzzz.

look how tiny those "beams" are! ah! i was not getting up there. ever.

we hauled rock in and hauled dirt out. we moved the pews again. we hauled some more rock. we got rock in our eyes. we got dirt in our eyes. we had dirt in places i didn't think dirt could go.

but we had SOOOO much help from the church members. they hauled rock, moved the pews, smashed stone, scooped dirt and hauled it. they were amazing.

my favorite part was writing blessings over the church via bible verse on the walls. we wrote with chalk before we painted.

"For God commands His angels concerning you,
to protect you in all of your ways. 
They will lift you up in their hands
so you will not strike your foot against a stone."
Psalm 91:11

we had church service and prayed over the kids and the pastor and his wife. it was powerful and holy. even though i only understood the 30 minutes of english.

every day someone would mention how we couldn't believe the church went from having just walls and some tarps for the roof when we got there, to having four walls, a floor, a stage, and a real roof when we left. we had some mighty angels surrounding our work.

borrowed from another team member. finished paint and floor. roof is on, all they need are the ceiling tiles.
it was a lot of hard, manual labor and it was a very good sleeping aide. i don't think i was awake past 9:15 once. and if it got past 8:15 i was in panic mode to get in bed for my 9 hours of sleep. 

i made some new amazing friends, met some adorable babes, and i now have a home church on the other side of the world. win, win, win.

god is good, all the time. all the time, god is good.

6 loves:

  1. Awesome! Love the blessings written on the walls! Glad to have stumbled here!
    God Bless!

  2. Inspiring!


  3. you are amazing! I'm glad you had fun and got to see your kiddos. If we were close to each other, I'd give you a biggggg welcom back hug! I hope to hear more about your trip. You're so blessed to have a church on the other side of the world.
    AND a hug because of your wonderful comment. I feel much better after reading it :). I take comfort in knowing God has the perfect guy for me.

  4. Larissa!! what a neat thing to be part of! The building of a church! Ahh I love reading every word about what you guys did over there..Can't wait until God sends me back!

    I would not have gotten up on that make-shift roof! hahah I would have been on floor duty too! Glad it was an amazing experience and that you got to love on those kiddos!

  5. How AWESOME that you have a church on the other side of the world!! I loved that. <3 I'm really happy that you still were able to see your babies just as much!!! That's like the most important part. But it's really amazing that you guys got a church up for them. You're making an amazing change over there one step at a time.

  6. WOW! I'm blown away by what you guys did! It came out so beautiful and I know they appreciate so much being able to go and be under a shelter to fellowship together. So amazing!