Tropical Storm Henry is finally passed us now. It rained for almost 60 hours straight! We were actually beginning to think it might never end! It started on Friday evening, rained off and on Saturday morning, then we had steady rain Saturday afternoon through Monday morning. We got more rain in this storm than when Typhoon Glenda came through. We never did see any flooding or wind damage. Finding a pair of clean dry clothes is hard to find. The laundry lines have been full of wet clothes all weekend!
Friday we finished up painting the new classroom building inside and out. It is a bright green color with brown trim. It reminds us of mint chocolate chip ice cream! The building we were working on was all finished and the school was going to open for the first time in April, until the tsunami hit and tore up the roof. The entire building was under 9 feet of water for almost 3 hours before the water subsided. They are hoping to open the primary school for k though 2nd grade with about 60 students and 2 teachers when the new school year begins in April.
Today, Monday, we started a new project. We drove about 30 minutes away to a village needing a church. When we arrived, we hauled our things up a big hill, winding around a through narrow walkways squeezing past narrow houses built only a few feet apart. At the top of the hill we came upon a small structure, maybe 20 feet long by 15 feet wide. A block wall 4 blocks high had been built around the outside. We began clearing out the debris, building a frame for the walls, leveling out the dirt and making over 100 trips up the hill carrying cement, wood, dirt and tools! Everyone worked very hard today! We are hoping to pour the floor and put on a roof in the next couple of days, then put another roof on the pastor’s house next door.
Since we travel so far to get there, we pack a lunch and stay all day in the village. Today we were trying to have a Bible Study just after lunch and the only place we found to sit that was not full of mud was on the road, but it only took the children a few minutes to find us and soon we were surrounded by curious onlookers. That was our chance, so we did an impromptu presentation in front of almost 100 children! They all came out to say goodbye at the end of the day when we were loading up the truck and are excited for us to return tomorrow.
The team is doing great! Everyone is healthy, working well together and are such a blessing! Tomorrow we will celebrate Will’s 17th birthday. We told him we could start celebrating at noon, because then it will be the 22nd in the States:) He is choosing instead to celebrate for 36 hours, from the start of our day to the end of yours! So we are going to have some fun celebrating a birthday tomorrow.
From the Team:
Hello everyone back in Augusta! Tacloban has been such an amazing experience! Everyone waves at us when we drive by and the kids are great to talk to. Every Saturday, after a long week of construction, kids come to the church we live live at for games. It’s an awesome time that I look forward to every weekend! God has truly blessed me on this trip so far!
– Will Nabholz
TMI is really cool! I have had a lot of fun building roofs and buildings. It really is a huge blessing to serve everyone here, whether it is teaching them about The Lord or building for others!
– John Daniel Baggott
Life is pretty easy here, it’s a lot like back home, it’s just hotter and with squatty potties. We’ve been building a church in the village, he people are really fun to talk to and really the only bad part is carrying the bags of sand up to the worksite.