Today started with us waking up earlier than normal, and having a quick breakfast of cereal and tears, then we left to go back to Auldayr. When we arrived we jumped out of the van/truck and began to haul marl back to the foundation. Cole was basically a camel and a mule mixed together, because he worked so much and seemed to not need water. Many blisters and sweat covered shirts later, we finished most of the foundation. Then we came back to the house for lunch, then we proceeded to go to Petersville to carry water to some of the homes in the town (there is one pump at the base of the mountain that has to be pumped and carried in a container to each individual home). When we arrived, we filled a few water jugs before it began to downpour. I was having a catch with some boys I met when it began to pour, but we did not stop throwing the ball as the water was pouring down on us. At one point I asked Brianna if we could take our shirts off, and after she gave us her blessing all the guys had all of their shirts off and were jumping in puddles and playing with the kids. The ride home in the bed of the truck was just as awesome, the rain was pelting us as we laughed and waved to men, women and children we passed on the ride. When we arrived home we received news that Cynthia's house was going to be able to be built! This was probably my favorite day so far and I am looking forward to the rest of the time we will be in Jamaica.
So, what had happened was that the school that had raised money for Cynthia's house and committed to it will be here next week. But the charity organization that is responsible for approving the build (and funding the rest of it) screwed up paperwork and hadn't used the last 6 months to look into it. After many phone calls and deliberation, Jim got them to agree to get it together and approve the build on his terms. It was perfect timing, and we really got to see the intricacies of how The Lord has worked in the town, the missionaries, and us. While we could have seen why it would have been appropriate for help to pull out of this town (the people almost don't want help at times), we serve a God who loves them and will continue to bless them; we are called to serve and love them as well.
You'll notice in the pictures that more of the people in the town were helping today. Even little children were bringing their own "buckets" to help us move marl from the top of the mountain down the cliff side to Cynthia's property. In the previous four days, we have been alone in our endeavors - while there are many able bodied men in town, they mostly hang out drinking, smoking pot, and playing dominoes. The women tend to do most of the work. This is a major cultural difference, and not something the group was used to. I'm not looking to point out their major issues as a spectacle to be pitied, but ask that you pray for this issue. After being in town and present for the days we were, it was amazing to see fruits of the relationships we were able to build as the town started to make an effort to assist Cynthia. The children especially were so wonderful in helping. One little boy could only carry one rock at a time, but to him, he was truly exerting himself; he worked as hard as we did if you look at it to scale.
Tomorrow we will be visiting Gully Bank, a town that we went to last time that he come a long way according to Jim and Penie. We will be hosting games and ministering to the kids of the town. After, we will visit the hospital and infirmary (like a nursing home) before heading back.
Thank you all again for all of your prayers and support! We love you all.