Dear Friends and Families,
We had a great first day of our mission trip! In the morning, we had Mass right away to start our day off well. Unfortunately, we still had to wait a bit for all the building materials, so we took advantage to hike up one of the nearby hills with one of locals, who gave us a great explanation of the whole area. In this town, they are known for baking bread, for cultivating flowers in big, long greenhouses, and cultivating “avocados from México”! We are definitely going to enjoy some for lunch!
After our hike, we were able to go to both sites where we will build the houses. The materials arrived, and we started work right away. One site we named the “Calvary house,” since it is on a hill overlooking the town, and it is close by the church dedicated to Our Lord’s passion on Calvary. The other site we named “the farm house,” since it is right next to a field where the family we are building for has their little farm.
After a late lunch, we went back to work to make sure we were able to do as much as possible before the sun set for the day. Around 7:00, we went back for dinner. To finish the day, we split up into groups of seniors and juniors, and each one was able to share his highs and lows, and some of the expectations and goals he had for this mission trip. By 9:30, we were all ready for bed, tired out after a long day of work. When was the last time a bunch of teenage guys was ready for bed by 9:30?
Jokes aside, I have been very impressed with how hard everyone has been willing to work. It is very edifying to see everyone pitch in wherever they are asked, whether it be to help prepare dinner or wash plates, or to carry 50 lb. bags of cement from the trucks to the work site. Keep us in your prayers, there’s lots of more work to be done! God bless you all!
In Christ, Fr. Andrew Kolenda, LC
Attached: the Church that was damaged by the earthquake, with one of the towers and the roof missing; loading up materials for the houses; men hard at work at the Calvary house and the farm house