Giving Back

18 11 2009

I recently had the honor of giving back, through my church (Willamette Christian Church). 

Our Mission Trip began with a request for volunteers with construction skills.  From there our team blossomed into a mixed group of skilled and non-skilled-but-able souls all desiring to give back in some way.  Initially, we all focused on the work involved, the tools required, and the physical hurdles ahead.  Little did we know that we were in for a much deeper experience.

We worked hard, at high altitude (7500 ft Mexico City), and out of our comfort zone.  We learned right away that our American emphasis on materials, fasteners, and techniques, would not serve us well in Mexico.  Our Mexican brothers freely taught us their method of laying brick, tying rebar, forming columns, beams, and floors, moving materials, mixing and pouring concrete, and all with simple tools, and very few fasteners.  Their methods were simple yet very effective, with the emphasis on labor.

We were housed and fed very well by our hosts Steve and Kay Carpenter.  We ate a lot of tacos with exceptionally flavored meats and lots of delicious toppings (I gained seven pounds, ouch).

Immediately we bonded as a team, working together like a well-oiled machine.  This seemed to happen effortlessly.  We were spiritually challenged every morning, and there was deep spiritual healing for some.  This group of Christian men opened-up to each other, became vulnerable, and formed deep and lasting bonds.  We will no doubt be venturing out again with a common goal to spread Gods’ love.  I feel I have gained family members, and am deeply grateful for everyone involved.  I thank our Team: Dale Anderson, Mike Black, John Kildahl, Mike Maxwell, Wes Miller, Gary Parkin, Brad Poyser, Pamela Ryan, Chris Yarco, & Gary Yarco.

I am also grateful to the Mexico City Team: Steve & Kay Carpenter, Hector & Rosie, Joy, Daisy, Casey, Tacho, Juanito, Benito, Horhe,  Jose-Louis, & Memo.

It was an honor to serve with all of you.  I was deeply humbled by our experience.

P.S. – Can anyone help me with the name of our other lunch cook (the lady in blue in the front row)?

John Weber  www.riorenovation.com

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