POWER Journal Week 3 Day 6
This is my last blog of week 3. I have enjoyed journaling this trip. Thank you to the POWER leadership for assigning this task. It has been a pleasure!
Up for breakfast at 6:30. Guys are looking a bit less tired but still moving slowly.
Worship: Powerful Worship, Pastor Mario Perez led us in a great Spanish worship song. All around great time singing praise and devotion to our Lord. We are not moving so slowly any more.
Tim James with his final the devotion and teaching. He spoke: We are all houses built in sand, we must work to dig through the sand and find the rock. Dig until we find the hard ground. Do not just pretty up the surface, do the real work of digging to the rock. Ephesians: 2:8 salvation is held out freely. It is the rock we can reach out and grab. Tim shared his own personal struggles, making himself vulnerable, inspiring use to not give up. Prayer, Jesus, thank you. Please help us persevere not for us, but for you. Amen. Great talks Tim, we so appreciate you and your ministry to us. Perfect perseverance!
Doug Wible asked for prayers on the day
Pastor Jorge: for our journey home.
Another prayer: for our Families as they prepare for us to come home
Pastor Walt: Mexico job safety our work and our protection
John Wright: prayer of Thanksgiving
For myself I am hungry. Hungry to be home, hungry for more of Jesus. Hungry to continue on this journey of faith.
Larry: final instructions
I am assigned to Pastor Lorenzo Ramirez new church again this morning Parabala de Vida, my last work assignment here in Mexico. Or should I say my last this year since I will certainly be here next year. If God wills. Oh, and don’t expect any emotional true confessions like I gave in my last journal entry. We all had close to normal sleep time last night, although I did stay up later than most working with the media team. An hour extra sleep really helps.
A short aside here about our media team. Dave Coryell leads the team. My first year here I noticed Dave was always still up when we went to bed, and always at his laptop when I woke in the morning.
The same applies to the entire leadership team, always awake, always thinking two or three steps ahead, always doing something. It takes intense planning, coordination and execution to pull off all of these projects like building an entire church in three waves of not so great construction workers, plus feed, shelter and transport over 80 men across two countries times 3. And deliver building materials to sites in Mexico. A monumental task, not unlike a military action in terms of logistics. But as the ministry has grown I think the leadership has grown in accordance with each once’s gifts. And, of course, everything is covered in prayer and Holy Spirit led.
So last night as I was sitting there with the Media team well after the bunk room door had closed I had the thought, “How did I come to be sitting there?” Next to Dave Coryell Yikes! What do I know.? Other than a love of photography. And now these blogs. Then I realize that just like the leadership team, I am growing according to the gifts given me. As are men I personally know. Like Tim James, Mark Middlestead, Marvin Farr, Tom Amon, Rod Salazar. Those are guys from my church I know so personally see the changes. And so many other, repeat POWER men from churches across the country. Too many to name, just look ate the rosters and realize that each man there has been touched and stretched be the Holy Spirit. Growing in confidence, comradeship and leadership year by year. And the first year guys, like EJ, Nicholas, Noah, Luke, Eric, all of the Perez’s, all first timers, a quarter of the roster, too many to name here. Foundations laid for a life of service. So POWER changes lives, on BOTH sides of the border.
Back to our day…
Once again POWER is scattering out across the city, a kind of moving billboard for POWER Ministry. In case you don’t know already, we travel in large white passenger vans with big white POWER logo signs on both sides and the rear. We make an impact, especially while traveling in our full caravan. Really fun and cool😎
So after a lot of turns zig zagging through the city we arrived at the church site. And the gate was…locked!!! Now we only have three hours to finish out the church in time for it’s grand opening in just five days, and every minute counts. After about five anxious minutes, Pastor Lorenzo arrived and open the gates for us. See, we were there at 9:00 sharp American minutes. But in Mexico time turns into Mexican minutes, which is a bit more leisurely, and relaxed than our nine o’clock sharp American minutes. I sort of prefer a Mexican time myself, less stress!
Then, in we went, quickly unloaded tools and material and attacked the project like a well oiled machine, working without a break! That is until until Pastor Lorenzo came back and hour and a half latter carrying ice cold pure cane sugar bottles of Coke. The genuine item! Dave Barnes immediately called a two minute break for a pause that refreshes👍 Then back to work, with a pure sugar rush of energy to the nearly finished job with an hour left in our schedule. And yes, I worked myself, no nails to bend but a lot of drywall nails to pound!
Right now I am taking my own break to catch up on this Journal. I’d like to give a sense of time and place here right now. Sitting here in the front seat of the van, door open and warming myself in the sun with a small breeze. A beautiful day, green trees surrounding what will be the courtyard of the church, listening to birds chirping and calling, mariachi music playing somewhere out in the neighborhood. And the constant sound of hammers pounding out the work behind me marking the time as the minutes pass by. Pastor Lorenzo’s father just walked by and gave me a happy “hola” and a handshake, (we met yesterday) before going in going in to check things out. Who says the mission field is rough!
I’d like to give a shout out to all the guys this morning, an amazing amount of work has been accomplished. John Andrusiak, EJ Butler, Thom Lyon, Pete Morton, Tim Small, Vince Guerrero, Derek Martin, Clark Edmond, Jason Holmes, Christian Byrd, Terry Hicks, Dave Barnes, Mark Middlestead, Juan Sandoval. And myself, Doug Bailey. That is just today’s crew. Three complete and different crews have worked one this Church, as well as the crews from weeks 1 and 2. Virtually every member of the POWER family for 2019 has been to this spot. A nice thought.
Finished! The church is totally dry walled in on time to be opened this Sunday. Pastor Lorenzo is completely delighted👍 I made a friend of Lorenzo yesterday, and was happy to be there today to see him get his church. After a celebratory photo and high fives all around we loaded up to leave for the border, right on time.
And miracle of miracles, a less than 20 minute border wait. Arrived back to Faith Mission 25 minutes later to a great cold cuts sandwich and chicken Cesar salad. Then a quick, last minute bag pack for our drive to San Antonio later today. But first a few items are on the agenda…
The founder of Faith Mission Allen Elers and the new director his son Tim who said;“The heart of God is to win the lost. God’s kingdom is being won here “Street by street house by house..starting with the men. A new generation of men is being raised up in Mexico that is self sustaining. And the witness of groups of men like POWER coming to preach, help and build is the reason.”Amen and God Bless all the people we have touched this year, protect them and nurture seeds planted. Offering taken for Faith Mission. Bags to vans and debriefing….We ask Travel Blessings home, Gloria Dios, Glory to God! Amen and Amen…
Next stop dinner at Luby’s BBQ then 3 1/2 hour drive to San Antonio for a midnight arrival and then home tomorrow. Some guys need to leave for the airport as early as 3:45am to catch their flights, and of course Marty’s famous late, late night pancake breakfast for first timers especially but open to all. So, Good night and God Bless all. Thank you for your constant prayers and support.
My our Lord richly bless you.