It was great seeing so many people write and say they were praying for me and wishing me well during the few days that I fell ill. Praise God I am back to being a full picture of health again, and that the sickness did not last any longer than it did. I am grateful for all of those prayers! It often seems, however, that we trade one burden for another, and that was certainly the case these last two days. I rejoined the construction team on Thursday and put in a full day’s worth of back-breaking work yesterday and today. With the heat index rising above 100 degrees with the near 90 to 100% humidity, I must have ended up losing a couple of 2 liters’ worth of sweat… at least, that’s almost how much water I drank to replenish myself.
My duties have involved such things as helping to carry big steel beams, steel girders, load these same beams onto a tractor-pulled wagon, unload them at the work site, move them into place for the crane, and various other tasks that people asked me to help out with.
There is also a team of workers from Mali who have been paired up with us to do a lot of the heavy lifting. It’s been fun trying to understand and communicate with one another, mostly in “Franglish.” 😉 I have been proud of how much I have been able to speak in French, and for them to actually understand most or all of what I’m saying. One of the guys, Abraham (pronounced more like Eeb-ruh-hem) has especially been eager to teach new French words, while enjoying the chance to improve and practice his English. He has taken a liking to a lot of the guys on the team, including me. Today he said I was his “bon ami” (good friend) and that he wanted to take me and put me in his pocket to keep after I go back to America. I gave him a strange look for that one. Abraham, and all the Mali workers with him are practicing Muslims, so it’s been both amazing to see a group of Christians and Muslims working shoulder-to-shoulder for the same cause, but also challenging to know their eternal state, yet feel helpless in witnessing because of the language and cultural barriers. Please pray for Abraham and his friends, that God would use this experience to plant a seed of hope and truth through Christ in their lives.
So after today, my construction days come to an end. Meghan and I are planning to rest up and enjoy the weekend, then next week I plan on starting to do some graphic design work for the hospital, as well as beginning to work part-time for my church. Pray that I can use my gifts through my design work to be of great service to the hospital in the coming weeks.