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Saturday, January 22nd

Week one is in the books.  The first team from FUMC in Rocky Mount always comes from a Thursday to a Saturday every year and it was a big help having a few extra days to getting a jump start on this new project.  We are building a second floor on the parsonage at the Methodist church in Ciudad Cortes.  It's a town that floods often and the pastoral family and the church needed somewhere to shelter themselves and their stuff when the rains come.  The team got all of the steel that will be used to hold the new structure up painted with rust proof paint, The columns and floor trusses have been welded together and placed on the concrete pads that we poured on the first and second day the team was there.  The old roof has been taken down, the old tin (which was a bit rusty but by no means at the end of its lifespan) was sanded and painted.  It was a VERY productive first week involving lots of heavy lifting, lots of heat and lots of laughter!

The team was from my home church in North Carolina, so it was nice to have "family" here.  FUMC Rocky Mount has been sending mission team to Costa Rica for at least 25 years and I'm proud of the fact that Costa Rica Mission Projects has grown out of our church's commitment to the Methodist Church in Costa Rica.  I can assure you that when the adults at my church dodged a hyper-active ten year old bouncing down the hallways of our church, none of them envisioned this in my future!  I am reminded by them every year when they come down to work with us that they are pleasantly surprised that I "turned out alright"!  I guess God's grace really does know no bounds...

We never know when we start a new project in a community where we've never worked before, what kind of a "work environment" we'll be stepping into.  The folks at the church in Cortes have been very helpful and involved in this project since day one.  They dug the HUGE holes we needed to pour the concrete bases to hold up the columns for the second floor, they fixed up the church bathrooms for our teams to use, they've been coming by the work site during the week to lend a hand and volunteering in the kitchen with Yolanda and Fanny.  Not to mention including us in wonderful, spirit filled worship (those of you who have been down here know exactly what I'm talking about!).  It's awesome to be swept into the current of the Body of Christ being the Body Christ like it should be.

There've been some changes in the Costa Rica Mission Projects crew this year and things are going as smoothly as one could hope.  Pedro, who worked with us from time to time last year has had no problem moving into full-time mode.  Yolanda's brother Harold has never been around so much English or so many gringos in his life! After being shell shocked for the first couple of days he has loosened up and is doing great.  Our friend Allen "War Eagle" Nunnally from Birmingham is fitting in great with our team and it's been really fun to see all of this through his eyes (it's his first time in Costa Rica).  I'm so glad he has taught Pedro and Harold to say "Wassup Dude?".... Check out Allen's blog at foundationonrock.blogspot.com.  It's better than mine.

The team from Christ Church in Ft. Lauderdale get in this afternoon and we're looking forward to another great week with them.  Please continue to pray for Yolanda and I, for our CRMP team and for the Cortes project.


Peace on Earth

Wil Bailey



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