One of the nights, Randy said to a few of us; something like this, “One of the things that is lacking with your generation is hard work. If my generation can teach yours anything, it’s that. Hard work will teach you a lot of life lessons and get you far, especially when it’s for God’s Kingdom.”
Man has he taught me well.
My parents back home too.
I have cleaned and organized a few rooms (which Donna told me she was very thankful and amazed to see how well I did, “and you weren’t even in there long!”) built walls, learned some techniques of construction, learned how to use this super spiffy kind of nail gun (I forgot it’s real name) and so much more.
My parents have placed me in certain situations that have helped warm me up to this (unintentionally). I have cleaned and helped build our church, back home. Sometimes my OCD has helped here too; organizing those rooms and sweeping up the new sanctuary floor. Just simple life lessons that I never realized would help me in the long run, really did.
Cooking and washing dishes are helpful here (which I have not had a turn at yet).
Not that I can spell it, but I worked at memorizing and understanding John 14:6 yesterday!! 🙂 I think I’ve got it down, now I just have to say it like an auctioneer. hahaha! They speak so fast here, that’s why I find it hard to understand. I suppose that’s why I know the phrase “Habla mas despacio, por favor, no entiendo” (please speak more slowly, I don’t understand)
Yesterday I had to BUY work clothes (because I’m a goof nugget and didn’t bring tennis shoes or grubby clothes-but I didn’t think I would be working at the church)
Shopping was quite the experience, Donna let me try to communicate with some of the helpers and sometime intervened. I get so frustrated with myself when I’m shopping for me even back home…and let alone in a Spanish-speaking country–gah! Yesterday my blood pressure was sky-high.
I even got into an “argument” with a security guard yesterday.
So, there are windows that are in the middle of the sanctuary creating a square-ish and on the other side it’s open for one other story down. The parking lot is on that bottom level. There was a car parked below where I was working.
Landon told me to use the super spiffy powerful nail gun and put up tracking by myself while he helped Jordan bring in more sheet rock. SO me, being me, I took the challenge and tried. Well, this nail gun is SO powerful that it sometimes breaks the cement and chips it off, making it fly everywhere. (glad I had some gun lessons back home-that helped me out with safety)
After putting up three tracking pieces, I had one last one to go, to complete the ceiling part. I shot the first nail in and it broke the cement, I loaded it again and shot it in with great strength. WHOOT! ONE DOWN, only one more nail to go. As I failed my first attempt again and blew the cement, the security guard started shouting to me in rapid Spanish (and it’s already rapid enough when it’s casual) “No entiendo” (I don’t understand) I replied. He paused, then continued in slightly slower Spanish. Then I understood with his hand motions that I was spraying the car below me with cement and it might chip it. I was determined to finish the job Landon assigned me; I had started something-I HAD to finish it. SO, I argued, “Un mas” (one more). The security guard gave me a look and said sternly, “UN MAS??” as if testing to see if I was lying. I replied, “Un mas,” and with hand motions continued, “DONE” with a horizontal chop of my hands.
He stood there with his hands on his hips staring at me.
So, I continued with loading the gun and prayed with all my might, “GOD LET THIS ONE GO IN WONDERFULLY, PLEASE DON’T LET THE CEMENT FLY!! HELP ME!!!!”
I opened my eyes and looked up at the nail that shot perfectly into the tracking. My shoulders relaxed in relief. “Thank You, God”
I looked down at the security guard and shouted down with a thumbs up, “DONE!” and set the gun down as he walked away.
Ah man, yesterday was a real test at my communications. It’s funny, because the times where I was alone (whether in the store with Donna on the other end of it or Landon and Jordan out of eye sight) I always had some Panamanian rapidly communicating to me in Spanish. God is helping me learn better, I suppose.
All these are results of the little things that I learned back home, from the “un poquito Espanol” that my mom had taught me very young, to the gun shooting with my cousins at my grandparents farm. SO much I can look back on and think “God had this already worked out, didn’t He?” but then that gets into theological discussion, hahaha.
Thanks so much, mamá y papá, for teaching me so much that has truly shined down here. I may never be able to show or tell you fully how much I truly am thankful for you.
I love you all and appreciate you keeping up with me and praying for me. I’ve already seen God working in my life; the humidity hasn’t hit me as hard as I thought it would-I believe that God is putting it on me gradually; just one of those little things I am thankful for.