May 11 – Body of Christ by Genevieve Baughman

The theme for today seems to be the body of Christ. Nearly everyone mentioned something to this extent during our evening devotion. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s look at the start of the day, and then we’ll work on up to the closing meeting.

We’re getting used to getting up around 6 am. Those who weren’t up this morning by then were woken with the phone call and the buzz saw outside the hotel. We gathered for our morning devotion given by Ashley, and then continued on to breakfast. Then it’s on to the bus to head to our work site. It seems a normal site to see the mountains every morning when we wake up and ride the bus to and from our destinations. It’s hard to imagine that we’re halfway through the week. We’ve become used to seeing the same smiling faces full of joy, full of God’s love and grace every day.

The construction team continued on the infrastructure of what will be concrete pillars. Richard and Genevieve got to try their hand at cutting and bending rebar. One of the construction workers, Daniel, chuckled as Richard attempted to bend his first bar and Genevieve instructed him in the “proper” process of doing so. The entire construction team continued the work we began yesterday, and we are able to see the progress. The goal was to finish one row before it was time to quit for the day, and we did – although we ran out of some of the s-shaped rebar. The day seemed to pass a bit quicker today than yesterday.
VBS went well again today. This was the last day for the two groups that have come Monday and Tuesday. Tomorrow and Thursday there will be two new groups for our teams to get to know and love.
On Monday afternoon after work, Nanny took us to the market. Today, she took us to the grocery store, SuperMaxi.  After dinner, we went to a coffee shop to relax and spend some time together as a team. The café was within walking distance, and the evening breeze was enjoyable. The group bonded further in fellowship.
Now we’ll get back to the intro topic of the evening devotion. Many people reflected upon the two questions this evening’s, “How did you experience God’s love and grace today?” and “How did you reach out to God today?”  Richard mentioned bending rebar and Daniel laughing when he did it wrong. Ketia touched on the importance of being flexible in VBS today. There were two different age groups that had to be split up. She is grateful for everyone being flexible and working together to get things done. Ketia was grateful for the body of Christ she worked with today in that they didn’t express discontentment with her “organizational skills”. Scott touched on the Scripture passage Genevieve shared this evening:  “We are practicing Christian community here in addition to serving with the church community.”  Scott experienced God’s love and grace by Melvin’s grace and forgiveness. He expressed the importance of practicing forgiveness towards one another. Dan also touched on the passage (John 13: 34-35) by stating that, “People don’t know that we are disciples by the laws that we keep but by the way that we love one another.”  Since the October interest meeting, he has been praying daily for the team to gel together. He expressed the frustration that comes with team members missing meetings, but how it now feels ridiculous to have worried about it. “God put us twelve together to experience this. Ultimately it was God who brought us together. God sent Nanny to be with us. Lots of times we don’t think of it in those terms – we don’t think that we’re here because God wants us to be here.”  Scott then reflected upon Anita’s introduction to the group when she stated that we as a group were an answer to her prayer. Dan continued, stating that he’d also been praying that we’d raise the money, gel as a team, and then we come here to find out that people have been praying for us to come here. He is reminded of how big God’s love and grace is; it surpasses our minds and petty thoughts. Ketia then spoke about the body of Christ. She mentioned that we are all different parts of the body, but Nanny and Wilson are the mouthpieces, our translators. This is also another display of the body.  MaeLee experienced God in witnessing the VBS work with the children and watching Melvin interact with the children, also. One child, Maria, asked MaeLee about her walk with Christ. Maria says that she is half-Christian/half-Catholic:  her parents are Catholic, but she feels she is Christian since she comes to VBS at the church. Today, Melvin was thankful for the team looking out for and taking care of him during his sickness today. Wilson witnessed God’s grace in his ability to be on this trip. For the past fourteen years, he’d been coming to Central or South America. However, it has been over two years since he’s been involved with mission teams. He mentioned that the opportunity never came to just up and do it. He is thankful for this opportunity.

Click here for some of today’s photos.