|Day One of Construction|
The weight of the Rubbermaid tote that held our power tools was pressing down on my shoulder. My boots dug deep into the moist dirt road as I stepped over eroded ruts from the daily rains. Memories of the families and the homes that I had built over past weeks flooded through my mind. Our team stepped over stones and through a scrap and branch gate and had our first look at a concrete slab.
My uncle Stephen, aunt Michele, and cousin Cameron had organized a group of 30+ people from The Breiel Church in Middletown, Ohio. My son Caleb and I joined their excursion. The church had committed to doing a first with Catalyst… build 4 homes in a week. The day arrived, I was joking with Edgar and asked him, “so, who is leading the fourth team?” I knew that Edgar, Ramiro, and Diego would each lead a team, but I did not know who they had selected to build the fourth. I figured it must be Manuel who provides transportation and mechanical support, or possibly a new addition to the team. I was taken by surprise when Edgar replied, “you are Chad… HAH-HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And so, there I was with a team behind me, ready for their first Guatemalan Missions experience… and I knew good and well that I was not prepared to manage the building of a home. Edgar had informed me that since I had built the homes in the past, surely I was able to remember how it was done. Oh my. He handed me a stapled packet of photocopied drawings and told me to get started.
I can tell you that the first day of my fourth building week in Guatemala did not go as smoothly as the prior three. We had more than a few hiccups, and confusing moments! As the day drew to a close, we realized that an entire wall had been constructed incorrectly and would need to be redone.
My first opportunity as a construction leader for Catalyst Resources International was not starting out remarkably well! I took a moment to run up the hill and evaluate Team 3’s progress… we were at least a half a day behind them.
Here is the remarkable part… our team was no grumbling or complaining. This was an incredible group of people that I was able to work alongside. While we all recognized our situation, we were also celebrating our accomplishments. As the day had progressed, we had all learned from our experiences. We had taken our mistakes, and followed through with the corrections. We knew we had a plan, and we understood now how to make it work.
As the day closed, we had a discussion and it was apparent that we were eager to begin again the following day. There was still a whole lot of house to be built, and plenty of time to do it. We were confident that our home would be complete. The night’s discussion was a perfectly timed reminder of why we are here. It is about the people, the relationships, and above all our belief.
We are here to celebrate the love of God. We are here to reach out and take the hand of a child, to look into the eyes of a mother. We are here because the love that God gives to us compels us to love others. It will never be about how skilled we are, or even how great of leaders we may become. It is simply a matter of our willingness to allow our belief to shape our behaviors, attitudes, and actions.
Thank you Breiel Mission Team for reminding me of this again today.