That title could serve as a summary of my life. Or…it could refer to a group of four intrepid “upstaters” who spent two weeks in August helping us build our camp kitchen.

Yeah, we’ll go with the second option.

Meet Christian, Allie, Jon and Christine. These two couples from one of our supporting churches got excited about our camp kitchen project. So excited, in fact, that they dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to coming down and taking an active role in its construction.

Christian, Allie, Jon, Christine…and Nathanael

When they arrived, this is what they saw:

God worked in some pretty incredible ways during those first couple days. The bricklayer we had contracted to help us out was a no-show. Bad, right? Well…actually…the replacement we got turned out to be much better, at a more reasonable price.

Meanwhile, there was work to be done.

Mapping out a plan of action.

Like…digging out and removing a ginormous stump which was smack-dab in the middle of where a wall was supposed to go.

Stump: 0, Workers: 1

I should mention here that working along side of us were two of our Brazilian friends, Franciélio and Pastor Francivaldo. Without their help, we would not have been able to get nearly as far as we did.

Franciélio and Pastor Francivaldo

Once the obstacles were cleared out, it was time to dig the foundation.

On one corner of the site we had to dig down through several feet of sand to find solid ground on which to build a support column.

The missionaries take their turn at digging.

Then it was time to lay the foundation.

For this to happen, stones had to be carried from other parts of the camp.

As the wall went up, the team became adept at various aspects of Brazilian construction, such as hand-mixing cement.

Besides the kitchen, there were other projects to work on. We spent some time cleaning out the swimming hole.

Tiiiiiiiiimbeeeeeer!

Meanwhile, the kitchen walls continued to go up.

Towards the end of the week, Itacyara and the ladies on the team decided the bathroom walls needed to be painted.

Before…

…and after.

Inside as well as out.

Not all was work. There was plenty of time for fun and fellowship.

There was also a trip to the nearby dunes…but that deserves its own post.

After over a week of hard labor, we were very pleased to see the progress.

The team (minus Christian, who was feeling the effects of the tropical climate and/or exotic foods that morning), our bricklayer and his helper, Pastor Francivaldo, and Franciélio, who was about to be stoned for “dabbing”…an entirely appropriate response.

After the team left our bricklayers spent another two days at the site, and this is how it looks now:

Our eternal thanks to this wonderful team who believed so much in this project that they made this tremendous investment to make it happen.

We have most of the materials and funds in hand to be able to finish this project by the end of the year. Our local believers are getting excited at the prospect of having a functioning camp…something that is coming closer to being a reality every day.

Stay tuned!

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