Monday, June 22, 2015

Just Add Chicken: Carmelita & Jorge get a Hen House.

We were just a bunch of poor college kids. Kellie and I would hang out with Jennifer and Brendan on the weekends: watching movies, playing board games, and cooking on a tiny grill. We'd talk about what life would be like when we were older. While we dreamed of many fantastic things, I don't think we ever talked about doing missions together in Central America.

The weeks we've spent together here in Guatemala have topped any and every dream we ever shared together as we sat cramped in those tiny little Anderson, Indiana apartments. The riches we've encountered in the mountains in the land of eternal spring have surpassed all expectations.

This land has a great deal to teach to those who are willing to listen. The richness of a culture, a people, and a great faith that runs like a common thread in us all. This is our story in pictures: A Hen House for Jorge, Carmelita, and their beautiful children.

It's cool here tonight. Rain threatens as it does every day during the rainy season. Jorge and Carmelita are safe in their home, with the sounds of the hens shuffling into their roost for the night. Tomorrow morning will bring a basket full of eggs. Enough to fill their bellies, donate some to others that are hungry, and even some to sell at the market at the base of the mountain. 

They have hope. And their great love and faith has revitalized our own souls, feeding us with a greater understanding of what it means to be brothers and sisters. We're still just a bunch of poor college kids, finding our way home.

4 x 4 posts concreted 18" into the rich soil.
Everyone helps to mix all the concrete and mortar by hand.

The sand must be sifted for a smooth mortar.
Children come to play and to meet us!
Two levels of cinder block rest on a concrete footer
Mortar is carefully filled between the blocks.
While the base wall rises, the roof is raised.
Nearing the end of Day One, great progress.

Concrete is mixed and spread for a 4" thick floor.
The sides are up, chicken wire is installed,
and Ramiro adds the door.

Of course there is always time to play.
Time for Jorge to sit with his boys.
Time for Brendan to make a friend.
Time to work with Carmelita and make her babies eye's healthy again.
And... of course to hand out some goodies!

Zachary adds some finishing touches.
While this little guys steals our heart.
This is why we come.
Just add chicken.
Build a roost.
Build and hang a feed trough.
Edgar tells us, "Happy chickens lay lots of eggs."
Jorge & Carmelita have very happy chickens!

Carmelita is happy as she holds the first egg.

As soon, she holds many more!
The chickens are VERY happy.

Jacob is happy too.
This is the happy face of a hen.

Zachary wants to hold a hen.

Jacob wants to hold a hen.
Caitlyn wants to be near a chicken.

What thoughts are in her mind?
In his mind?
We huddled inside during a storm.
This is more shelter than many families have.
We give thanks for friends.
There is pleasure in the simple things of life.
A prayer of dedication and thanks.
All lives here have been changed.
Brendan and Jorge as we prepare to say, "see you later,"
to new found friends.
Thank God for these few days that have drawn
these three families together.
We load up a few extra chickens... Zachary and Brendan deliver them to another family.
We're just people helping people,
following the footsteps of
the one who saved us.

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