Our team has settled at the BMW site and has begun construction on the building. Team Members have been chiseling away areas of the floor and digging deep pits to begin construction of rebar and cement pillars. They have also been learning to lay bricks. It is a continual job to fetch water from the river with buckets and climbing back up to the base so they can mix wet cement. They continue to be steadfast in their work with high spirits!
The weather has been cool and at times hot, but it remains comfortable and dry. The mountain peaks out every evening from the clouds, letting us know it is still there. At night the stars come out and are always a spectacular site!
Every evening we build a fire and one team member shares their testimony about how Jesus found them, how they surrendered to Him and how He has called them. It has been blessing every evening to hear about each others’ struggles and how Jesus has won victory over our trials. We get to pray for one another and bless each other.
We are beginning to hunt and gather. The area surrounding the BMW base is all corn fields and sunflower fields. We got permission to pick corn last night so Arianne and Maddie went out to pick corn and we boiled it for corn on the cob for a side dish last night for dinner. So while they were out gathering, James (a Tanzanian BMW we’ve become friends with) and Jevon took Ryan and Jacob to go hunt for a bargain for a goat. Many of the families in this far spread neighborhood raise goats. They walked up the street looking for a deal on a goat and final returned late in the evening with a goat. This morning they killed it (humanely) and are currently gutting it and skinning it. Looks like I’m cooking goat for dinner and making jerky for our backpacking time.
On Sunday we went to a Lutheran Church Service! It was very exciting listening to the service in Kswahili and watching their dance team during worship. Their choir was amazing, their pastor was passionate and during the service our team was invited up to sing. The team sang a worship song in Kswahili that they learned at Boot Camp. Once the students began singing, the congregation roared with excitement and joined in and accompanied our team with drums!
We had our first go at bathing and laundry down at the river on Friday. The water is pretty cold but refreshing. The team is very good at hand washing their clothes.
Ryan, Caleb, Jakob and Joey finished building a kitchen. We had no surfaces to prepare food on or keep our dishes clean and keep our food off the floors and so the guys measured twice and cut once and built a wonderful kitchen with three counter tops and lower shelves! I feel so blessed! May, Kitty and Maddie made two tables for us!. One for our dish and hand washing station and one table for our water filtering and igloo system. It is such a blessing to have a sanitation and water drinking station! They are growing very buff hand sawing everything!
Our plans are to continue with construction through July 9th. On the 10th we will be packing up camp, load up the truck and travel to the mountain to set up a base camp. We will be camping near a glacier stream. We will still need to filter our water but the water should be of even better quality than the stream. We have been getting our drinking water from a glacier stream brought in by our friend Pastor Frank. Starting on July 11th through the end of our stay, we will be backpacking into villages for evangelism opportunities during the day and coming back to our base camp in the evenings. The team is excited! So far our favorite times have been getting to interact with the people here in Africa. Team members always make an opportunity to wave and greet the people walking along the street by our camp and interacting.