Pastor Mark as Prophet
Right now, as you read this, I am in a little village outside of Tijuana, Mexico. On Monday, we hand-mixed and poured a concrete slab 11 feet by 22 feet by 4 inches deep… that’s a lot of hand-mixed concrete!
Tuesday, we framed up walls and roof sections and nailed them together, being careful not to scar up the green concrete which is still pretty soft.
Wednesday, we rolled on a composite roof over tar paper and sealed it with messy, messy pitch that, if you get it on you, is a devil to get off! We also wrapped the house in wire (tight!), wrapped that in tar paper and wrapped that in chicken wire. We hung a door and installed two windows. And then we covered all of that in one coat of stucco… the same hand-mixed concrete without rocks in it!.
Today, we are putting on a second coat of stucco and finishing it smooth. If we have extra concrete, we will pour a little porch for them and maybe have the children of the family stick their hands in the wet concrete as a memorial of that day. And at the end of the day, we will stand in a circle and present a family with the keys to their new house. Some will cry and everyone will remember this moment forever.
By now, we are sore, dirty and tired, but we also have a sense of great accomplishment … and we are ready to come home. But when we do, we will never look at our beautiful big homes and our running toilets and our drinkable tap water the same way again.
Of course, I am prophesying right now because I can’t send email from our camp in Tijuana so I am writing this last week! But based on the ten-plus trips I’ve been on, I am confident in what I’m “predicting”… and equally confident that our 117 young people and adults will be changed forever by what we have done these last few days. I love this week. I love being with the kids and their parents, swinging a hammer, creating something where there was nothing, turning off my cell phone for a week… and watching how God transforms the lives of so many people when they turn their attention to someone else for the sake of Jesus.
If you’ve read to this point, will you pause right now and pray that, not only will we have made seven houses together, but we will also have made 117 stronger disciples who care more deeply for the world that Jesus gave his life to save? And I, and we, will see you all on Sunday! Suntanned, sore… and maybe covered with some black pitch.