The departure from Westhaven today was bittersweet. We had amazing experiences today. And when we loaded up the bus to drive out of the gates on our way back to the hotel, there was a combination of smiles and tears amidst our team.
We arrived this morning and immediately split up to go after our tasks. Many made their way to the cottages to help get the kids ready, and others went to finish up the painting tasks or to do more work in prepping the new garden space.
But all through the day, our group found reasons to briefly step away from our tasks to spend time with the kids who have worked their way into our hearts this week. There was a lot of laughter, singing, playing games and hanging out together.
Of course, we did get a lot of work done too.
The painters finished up the school room project, including climbing up onto the ceiling of other rooms, laying on their backs, crawling into incredibly tight spaces and painting the high ceiling.
The team that completed the fencing yesterday moved to assisting those working to clear the space for the new garden, including tending a giant bonfire where the dead branches, leaves and brush were piled.
And, lots of other smaller tasks were completed as well.
Tonight after our return to the hotel, we had an hour to clean up before devotions, where we talked about prayer as an aspect of discipleship. Following that, our team had dinner together in one of the hotel’s “restaurants” before coming down and sitting in the lobby for a bit and then heading to bed.
We’re all pretty exhausted. At the beginning of the week, first-timers commonly ask, “Why do we only work 4 days? Couldn’t we also work Thursday or even Friday?” Today, at the end of our 4 days of work, they understand.
Everybody is pretty physically and emotionally spent.
But it’s a good kind of spent. It’s actually a great kind of spent. It’s the kind of spent where we know we’ve put in all we can…and where we have seen the Holy Spirit meet us and carry us to work just a bit harder and go a bit farther than we thought we could. That has been a great learning for us.
So tomorrow, we rest and reflect on our experiences. We’re looking forward to that time.
And we give you thanks for your continued prayers!