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Day 5


After working yesterday afternoon, we set out to get water for the community. In our little upstairs living area, the water was running low. It was stored in two large fifty-gallon barrel drums. We relied on that source for bathing and flushing the toilet, which requires much skill in order to perfect! (I will say that I’m a pretty darn good toilet flusher. Thank you very much.) The water was also filtered for drinking using a system they had set up on the campus.

This is the assembly line we make to carry smaller buckets up to the big barrels.

We loaded the truck up with several of the barrels and drove around the city of Montrouis. We stopped at a spicket that was off the side of the road, one of the boys hopped out, turned it on, and nothing happened. It was dry. So, we moved on to another one. After trying again, we found that it, too, had no water. After trying a third location and finding the same problem, our driver told us, “Well, no water tonight. We will try tomorrow.”

What? I can’t have water? No one has ever told me that before. I know people all over the world face this exact situation on a daily basis, but not me. I was suddenly feeling more dehydrated than I had the entire trip. A minor panic attack ensued.

Thankfully, we stopped at another orphage in town and after some questioning and relaying messages to higher authorities at the home, we were permitted to use their well and fill up a few of our barrels. Crisis averted. Praise God!

I can’t tell you what this experience has done to me…

{Today I spent the morning working in the school and then I helped the team pour a sidewalk. I didn’t write about this in my journal, but here are some pictures…}

Day 6


Today was not easy. It started off great while I was testing students in the school, but once I joined up with the rest of my group things became tough. Pastor Joel (the man from Canaan directing our group) asked us to complete a few tasks around the orphanage, but failed to give us the necessary equipment to finish the jobs. We started sanding and then painting the interior of a house, but didn’t have enough paint, there were no drop cloths, and the rooms were difficult to get into because there was nowhere to move the furniture.

After we did as much painting as we could, he analyzed our work and didn’t seem very pleased…What else could we do though? I feel there may have been some underlying issues with his lack of approval, but it’s obviously not something we could control. It still affected us though, and that’s what was frustrating.

I’m proud of our group though. They are such hard workers, and did their very best to complete the job with what we were given. I can say that they were so positive about the situation and did not complain. (No poison bombs, Justin!) It was impressive. However, I cannot say the same for me. In my frustration, there were definitely a number of complaints that were voiced. Sorry team…

I shared during the devotional time tonight from Philippians 3. Before reading the passage I asked the group to pay attention to the ways in which Paul changed, but also the one thing that remained the same about him. He went from persecuting the church to serving the Lord, but he did both things with great passion. Before I shared, I spent a lot of time praying about my attitude that day. I knew my heart wasn’t right. I should press on toward the goal regardless of what someone else thinks of me. It’s easier said than done. Hopefully tomorrow will be more productive. I should not have slacked on my work ethic because of my attitude. I pray for a change of heart. Tomorrow is a new day.