This last month has been a different focus for us.
We were blessed to have two men from two of our sending churches come out for three weeks and help fix up our house! As the house has been standing for 15 years in a tropical climate, it was happy to receive some TLC.
Some of the projects they completed include:
- replacing some moldy and rotted wood in the bathroom and putting down fresh plywood, fresh shower surround and toilet tank (I thought they just came in yellow...boy was I wrong!), and a countertop.
- expanding a small exterior office on the side of the house into a useable space for language learning, and for housing our homeschool teacher.
- screening in the porch, both for a little privacy and for usability for language sessions while homeschooling is happening in the house
- fixing the solar electrical system. what a job!
- moving a wall to make our bedroom smaller, creating a larger space for the homeschool area
- turning the girls' bunk bed into two loft beds so we can better utilize the space in the room
The guys accomplished so much while they were here, and it was a blessing and joy to host them! THANK YOU to them, and to their sweet families for sacrificing so much time, energy, and resources to invest in us and ultimately in the Tigak people.
These kinds of outward transformations can seem so silly in the midst of ministry. But at the end of the day, we aim to make decisions that will lend us efficiency and wisdom in our time, energy, and resources. We don't strive for a posh, comfortable home. We strive for a home that is practical enough that we can essentially 'forget' about it as we go about ministry- the ministry to each other, to our children, and to the Tigak people. If we are too stingy and neglectful in this manner, we will end up spending more time fixing things later, when we could instead be spending that time ministering to the people here.
With this in mind, we have worked hard this month, pouring some time, energy, and resources into these precious walls and roof that the Lord has seen fit to bless us with. As the month comes to a close and our two wonderful servants head back to the States, we will now have more freedom to 'forget' the house, knowing it is in good condition, and focus full-time on learning the Tigak language and culture. We want to learn it as quickly as possible, but also as well as we can. No shortcuts. Shortcuts only lead to setbacks, after all. The guys encountered a few setbacks as they worked this month, due to shortcuts from before. Shortcuts taken, even when well-meant, can offer tremendous headaches later on. We ought not take shortcuts in housebuilding, in language and culture learning, in relationships, in church planting, in translation, in discipleship, in all things. Amen?