A short-term mission team from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mt. Prospect, IL is sending us updates from the field. They are helping to build houses for impoverished Vietnamese families, while experiencing Lutheran Hour Ministries outreach first-hand. Please pray for the volunteer team and for our staff.
What a day! It took us over 2 hours to get to the build site, but that in itself was an adventure. We first took a van to the river, transferred to a ferry, then hopped back in the van and wound our way in a more rural area. Once we arrived in the district we are building in, we met the government officials that approved our visit. Truc explained to them that we were all Christians and came from a Christian church in Chicago. They were so welcoming and excited for us to be there.
Then, since it was too far to walk, each of us were given a ride on a motor scooter driven by one of the government officials. We traveled on a small paved path past homes, crops and tropical plants and trees, just like the locals do. It was a highlight for most of us.
Finally we crossed a bridge made of two uneven logs and walked down a small trail to finally arrive at the build site.
We were introduced to the family who was receiving the home. Such gracious people of such modest means. They lived in a home that was ready to collapse and they never dreamed they would have another home that would be able to protect them from the rains. We could see the gratitude in their eyes immediately. No common language was needed.
In front of their home, stood the frame of their new home which was built in preparation of our coming. A local construction worker and community helpers explained to us through hand signs and non-verbal language what we were to do, and before long, each of us were cutting reed ties, chopping bamboo, pounding nails, and hanging thatch panel walls. We moved in rhythm to our hosts.
Jodie, our team “child whisperer” entertained the children so that they would not be hurt while we carried the construction material around the build site. She taught them how to count in English, played games with them and endlessly shared her love and hugs. Jodie’s smiles were bigger than all the kids smiles put together.
We finished three walls when we had to leave, but know that the home will be finished by the locals soon. Tomorrow we will head to another site to start another home.
We are all healthy, over jet lag, and in awe of God’s hand in all of our activities.
We miss you all and pray for all of you daily.
Serving Him with you!