We have been honored to be part of a work the David church began a few weeks ago, and thought I would share a little of this real- love experience. We continue to be blessed, and taught by the good folks in the church there.
When we arrived back in town after being away for a couple of weeks, we noted in the announcements that the 'work for the sister had gone well.' After dismissing we ask to what work they were referring. Turns out that one of the newer members of the church, one I had worked and studied with last Fall, had come on some pretty hard times. Her name is Lydia, she lives in a tiny house (2 rooms) with her elderly mom and two daughters.
When I first met Lydia, she was very interested in a relationship with Christ, but worked every Sunday, and could not attend services, so felt this disqualified her from any opportunity to become a Christ-follower. I assured her that was not the case, and began studying with her on Saturdays. He mother had recently had eye surgery, and was legally blind. Lydia worked 2 jobs, one with a bakery very early every single morning, and the other cleaning a house, with Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings off. Her daughters are 16 and 13, and growing daily, with need of clothing and school supplies and uniforms. She is stretched to the max, financially.
She had been told she must make the sacrifice of quitting her job, being unable to feed her family, and attend Sunday services if she wanted to be a Christian. After suggesting arrangements for her to have a home Bible study weekly, with daily Bible readings, and then studying just what the Bible has to say about qualifications to enter the kingdom, she chose Christ as her Lord, and followed His command to be baptized, joining a wonderful body of believers who support her throughout the week, not just on Sundays!
Two months ago she was able to convince her boss to change her Saturday mornings off to Sunday mornings. She has less time to care for her family physically, but she is faithfully at the Sunday morning gathering of the saints! And she is thrilled and growing stronger spiritually with every passing day.
However, another problem popped up 4 weeks ago. We had heavy rain for about 2 straight weeks, and her house, on a creek bank, flooded. I mentioned that the house was small, it also had dirt floors and some sheet metal walls. The rains washed the dirt away, and pushed off some of the sheet metal. What floor remained was deep mud.
The church began by tearing down one of the rooms, and pouring a cement floor in the other. Since then, using only members of the church, we have put a cement floor down in the entire house, including the little porch area, and are slowly building block walls around the house. Outside she has a thatch-covered kitchen (about 6 foot square) where they use wood to cook, and an outhouse with a piece of PVC sticking up for a shower. She asked for nothing from the church, other than prayers for her mom, who was ill and could not leave the house, or the standing water in it. The church, when visiting, as is there custom, saw her situation and stepped in to help.
We are building an additional room onto the house where the porch has been in the past. When we asked if she would like that to be done she just stood amazed and smiled. As we have worked on the house her mother checks on our progress, smiles and says thank you often. There have been as many as 7 working at one time, and sometimes as few as 3. One day there was even one of the brethren who had been sick all night who came to try to help, but was given money for food and sent home instead.
The work is a good time for fellowship as well as work. Lynn, with his 'eye for a perfect line' has been quite a hit, though he speaks very little Spanish. The men love him and ask his opinion on everything. They call him 'the Architect" though he always says "no, I am an Agrimensor" ( One of the first words he learned when we moved here - surveyor). Because of the extreme heat, we take breaks often, ans share a word or a joke with one another. Relationships are being built, we are all being encouraged by one another. Faith is strengthened. God is glorified. Practice for the kingdom!
The work continues every Saturday, and because of work schedule conflicts, some times during the week as well. It is, in it´s purist form, a work of love. It speaks to the world around us more clearly than words ever could. Jesus is the reason. Because he loved us, because he showed us how to love, we can show that love to each other. Is there more important work? Haven´t seen it or heard of it. Is it difficult to fit into our busy schedules? Absolutely. Have I ever felt so blessed? No way! Am I doing anything really awesome or great? Nope. Just following the example of the King!
Sister Lydia needed a hand - God provided His, through His people. I sure am glad that I am one of them!
I pray you will find a way to be blessed this week!