And The Blessings Continue…

Suriname Team Project SiteOn Friday, the team worked very hard. Jesse and Dan finished two double door frames and three single door frames. The back door and the side door frames are already standing in place. The rest of the team traded off breaking blocks, laying blocks and mixing mortar. They have begun laying blocks on three sides of the building and are working to build the walls up around the existing building. Saturday the team worked half a day and were able to lay block up to the fourth level. When they reach the fifth level they will begin measuring the spacing for the windows. After lunch on Saturday, we had an hour of quiet time and many enjoyed a nap before the team walked into “town”. They walked about fifteen minutes to the nearest known supermarket and after spending some time buying sodas and snacks, they were ready to explore the rest of the town, but found that there was no more. Most everyone living around us here on this side of the bridge across the Suriname River from Paramaribo have cars and do all their shopping there. But the team was able to see a few things around where we live. First of all, almost every house has a tiny songbird in a cage attached to a pole near the road in front of their home. We were told that it is quite common to buy wild birds that were caught in the jungle and tame them, then play cassettes to it and train it to sing. There are a few large competitions each year where the bird who can sing the most in fifteen minutes wins quite a bit of money. The next thing you notice while walking down the road is a number of flags all grouped together attached to long poles. This is a strong reminder of the presence of those practicing traditional Hindu rituals. Harry, the caretaker at Camp Zion, has introduced the team to sugar cane as well as the technique of using a machete to cut the entire stalk into pieces in just seconds. Now the boys on the team are eager to practice their skills with the machete and the sugar cane. Sunday morning, Steve and Harry split us into groups and we piled into their cars and were off to church. We traveled over the Suriname River into Paramaribo to a Guyanese church that is located 2 km from the Atlantic Ocean. We worshipped with about 30 others singing songs in English, Dutch, Spanish and one of the many local languages. We sang many familiar praise and worship songs and then the team was able to share three songs and Holden shared an encouraging story. After the service, we met a missionary couple who have been in Suriname for 26 years. Twenty years ago, a Teen Missions team came to Suriname to build an airstrip. They shared the story with us of a little boy who came to watch the team work day after day and seeing how hard they worked clearing the land, the boy accepted Christ as a result of seeing their hard work. Soon after as he told the story to others, many other lives were impacted and the whole community was changed. The missionary couple were so encouraged to see another Teen Missions team come back to Suriname after all these years and they took the whole team out for lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Monday the pastor from the church came out to Camp Zion to help with all the welding that needs to be done. Andy also had a quiz out. Other work that is being done is building the window frames and, of course, there will always be blocklaying and mortar mixing. The weather is pretty much like Boot Camp. Warm mornings, hot and humid by lunch, heavy rains most afternoons, mosquitoes come out like crazy by 7:30pm each night.

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