Fall 2011 Trip Recap
Finally Home Again

Our fall 2011 trip recap begins with a welcome to you, and our best wishes. We pray you are well, and are receiving rich blessings and good health from the Lord.

Sherilyn and I are finally home again. It has been about seven weeks since I could say that. We really are blessed, and have been blessed during the last several weeks. But, I'll discuss that more a little later.

Health wise, we are as well as the Lord allows us to be. The main situation we face is just being worn out.

The trips we make, although enjoyable, are not sight seeing trips. Mostly they entail a lot of hard and hot work. Sore joints and muscles are always to be expected, as well.

Pain is no stranger to missionary construction work. There were many nights during the trip that I slept with a heating pad, and had to move it three or four times to help the joints and muscles work the next morning.

These difficulties are partly due to the fact that you seldom have all the tools you need to complete your work. So many times this means you have to do things in a much more difficult way than you normally would.

You tell yourself this makes things more challenging, which is true...but the end result is usually pain, stiffness, aching joints, and being thoroughly bone tired, and worn out.

Fall 2011 Trip Recap
Looking Back

I was asked a few days before leaving Puerto Rico, "How long have you been working here, on the church in Mayaguez?"

I said, "Six years"...

And I received a blank stare before being asked, "Are you really that slow?"

That made me pause to reflect before explaining that we had only been here ten times in six years, and most of those times were for about four weeks at a time. That explanation too, was met with a blank stare.

I paused and thought deeply, before explaining this whole project's history. (As long and involved as it is, I will not try to explain it here, but if you've read the pages on this site, you already know a good deal.)

I was thinking I had finally explained the situation adequately, but he looked at me, and asked if he could ask one more question...

"Why do you do it, isn't it expensive?"

My immediate reply was...

"That's two questions, and to answer the first one...

The Lord laid it on my heart to do it, and He has not seemed to burden anyone else to take on the responsibility. This is not to say that there aren't others who could do the work, and probably better than I have...

The truth is, this project wasn't as well thought out as it could have been. And because it was such a large building, mostly done by volunteer help, (usually men and women who came for only a short period of time, such as a weeks vacation, to help with what they could) the continuity hasn't always worked out as well as it could have.

Another major factor is that this was a "pay as you go" project. the church here has no debt on this building. They could not afford to be paying large interest rates on borrowed money.

The people of this church are very patient, and have been very long suffering. This project was first conceived in 1996. I believe the work started in 1998. I know of very few congregations that would have waited that long to complete their building.

The people here are very dedicated, and truly love the Lord, but many are older and not physically able to work the way they did fifteen years ago. But their hope has not dimmed, and they are eagerly looking forward to its completion.

Additionally, most people don't have the time it has taken to do what needed to be done here. My being retired allows me that flexibility, and over the years, these people , and even this building have become very precious to me.

We have bonded in the love of the Lord, and His work. So, I am here, and we are finally almost done. Hopefully, in February, they will have their just reward, as they dedicate this building."

Fall 2011 Trip Recap
Brief Answer to 2nd Question

The answer to the second question in detail would make this page far too long, but I will say this...

The Lord has blessed us with some very special people who have helped us with our expenses. We are eternally grateful for each of them.

We always incur expenses out of our own pocket also, but we try to plan ahead and save for them. The blessings and friendships we have received from the people we work with, and those we serve, as well as the Lord we love, make all monetary expenses seem very minor.

Fall 2011 Trip Recap
Mission Accomplished

To conclude this fall 2011 trip recap, we are grateful that God has allowed us to reach this stage of completion. We pray: