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.
Today, we traveled to a different build site and by a different mode of transportation. We once again started off by van, then boarded a small wooden boat and traveled down a much narrower channel of the Mekong River. After docking, we walked just a few blocks to our second homesite.
The family whose home we were building today had no safe home to live in. Their home had collapsed. They were living among the fallen beams and branches. The smiles on their faces upon our arrival were priceless.
This time, no instruction was needed. We immediately got to work and felt like “pros”. This was truly “East meets West” as part of the building process required many of us to be on one side of the wall pushing reeds through the siding (made of sheets of water coconut leaves) through to the other side of the wall where the local workers grabbed the reeds and wrapped them around the beams that held the leaves in place. Due to the language differences, hand signals and sticks waving through the walls indicated where reeds needed to be placed causing us to look like a comical act at times, but the groups on both sides of the walls laughed hysterically at the process. Amazingly, the job got done, surprisingly quickly, and the walls really looked great at the end of the day when we departed.
We are tired, a little heat exhausted, but bonded together like glue – both to our team mates and our new Vietnamese friends. Truc’s helpfulness, and great sense of humor has made our acclimation to Vietnam easy. We already know it will be hard to leave. . . .
You are all in our prayers!
To see more photos from the trip please visit http://gallery.me.com/shusar/