Day 121 – Drama with Thugs

The team spent the morning painting the outside of the first house and assembling the walls of the second house!  I can’t believe that this team has built two houses in five days!  We’re actually scheduled to finish one day ahead of schedule!

That’s what I call a God-sized project with God-sized blessings…  One of the coolest parts:  The lady receiving the second house (Haley) works all day, every day, thus she hasn’t seen us working.  Today, when she left for work all that had been completed on her site build was a couple of cement pillars in the foundation and a number of holes had been dug.  When we left the job site this afternoon, the entire house had been assembled.  When she gets home from work this evening, she is going to find a brand new home!  I think this is the coolest part because it’s kind of like we were Santa’s (Jesus’) Elves working in complete secret :)  I can only imagine her surprise when she gets home…  All glory to God!

Now, for the drama with thugs.  This morning, a few of the team members (a 48 year-old lady and two teenage boys) went back to the church to pick up some paint supplies.  On their way back to the site build, a couple of hoodlums came up on them (one on a bike and another on foot) and attempted to mug the woman!  As they tried to pull her camera out of her pocket, her “fight or flight” instinct seemed to kick in as she began kicking at the young thieves as the pushed her to the ground.  At that point, the two teenage boys stepped up and pushed the thieves away…  As these thieves weren’t looking for a confrontation but just a quick pick pocket, this resistance was enough to scare them off.

Then, at around 1:30pm when the team was getting ready to leave the build site, the pastor’s daughter sent word that there was a group of thugs waiting for us to exit the neighborhood so that the could assault us…  As this is a barrio where the local church has built over 40 homes for the poor, the community quickly came to our aide.  Additionally, we have a number of local Tico’s working with us and a bunch of gringo men as well.  Thus, we threat wasn’t terrifying, but three incidents in a week is incredibly dis-heartening.  Thus, we called the police and the thugs scattered once they arrived, leaving us safe passage out of the barrio.  No gunshots needed :)  God’s people and His protection prevails once again.

For those of you who might be worrying about our safety, these thugs aren’t interested in violence, but more so just a bunch of “opportunists”.  If they see easy prey, they will exploit it.  Thus, we’ve decided that it is time to hire armed-guards to travel with us when go into the sketchier barrios.  Normally, when we finish a house we host what we call the 3 P’s (Praise, Prayer, & Pizza).  In light of today’s events, we’re going to be doing the 4 P’s at tomorrows house dedication (Praise, Prayer, Pizza, & Police) as we have arranged for a police escort to and from the shanti-town.

This evening, I gave my personal testimony to the team of high school kids.  Pouring your guts out in front of a bunch of people you don’t know all that well is always therapeutic.