Monday, April 11, 2011

Project Mexico Update

Dear Readers, When we arrived six days ago, I thought I would make a little report each day to let you know how things are going. I didn't. We started Wednesday morning looking at a huge slab, 50' X 200' with threaded studs placed at stategic places around the perimeter and in two rows 15' apart up the center. There was a pile of 2" X 4", 2" X 6", 4" X 4", 4" X 6", 4" X 12" and 6" X 6"--all 12' to 24' long (and a huge stack of 1\2" plywood). In our sweaty little hands were blueprints that had already been adjusted several times. Our job has been to get this building ready for a steel roof that the next group will put on. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we began the day with matins at 7:30, ate at 8:00 and started work. We took a half hour for lunch at around 1:00 and worked to 6:00, prayed the appropriate service for the day, and ate dinner at 7:30. Does anyone know how much a 15' 4" X 12" weighs after it has spent the night in the rain? A lot. That's as accurate as I can tell you. Speaking of rain... It's not been bad. Just enough to keep it chilly--you'd think Canadians could handle a little Mexican cold, but the hoodie and vest seem pretty thin when the wind is blowing right off the stormy ocean. The real rain showed up Friday night. There is no dirt in this part of Mexico, only clay--sticky clay. So much clay stuck to our boots that we stopped trying to knock it off. Speaking of things that showed up on Friday, most of us got a flu bug. Only a couple of us have it bad enough to stay in bed during the day, but all of us have taken our turn praying before the porcelin throne. Now it might seem like I am complaining. I'm not. I'm explaining. I wouldn't be anywhere else. What transformation would my heart experience if doing good were easy? We have had some the the deepest and most edifying talks among ourselves that I have ever had with any group of lay people. A little bit of suffering is a gift to the soul. This morning in matins one of the verses talks about God mercifully breaking the hard shell that I have formed around my heart. May God grant that my little offering in Mexico will soften a little bit my heart. The real gift, of course, are the boys who let us serve them so that we can be healed. God did not put the poor beggar Lazarus outside the rich man's gate in order to save Lazarus. He did it to save the rich man--to save both really. But the rich man refused to love and be loved. I know in the grand scheme of things, there are probably more economically efficient ways to help orphan boys in Mexico than flying a bunch of Canadians down to do construction work. But God has given us these boys to love, and to be loved by so that we both can be saved. May God grant it.


Daniel Peterson said...

Sounds like a great blessing Father. I would love to do something similar one day. Also know that you are missed even during your short absence.

Fr. Michael said...

Thank you Daniel