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Light in the darkness

February 29, 2016

After a long Sunday, we eased into the work at the Barnhouse property Monday morning. The big item on the agenda is completing work on the mission/guest house that is well underway. The team went to work on that while I was tasked on driving into the bush to pick up some Eucalyptus logs. More on that later.

The seven men moved scaffolding into place and began the work of framing in the gable end of the mission/guest house. The job was challenging as they first had to build the wood framework which would be used to mount sheet metal. Lee Shaw and Doug Pennington worked on the ground cutting wood to specification and preparing it to be lifted into place. Meanwhile, the rest of the group worked anywhere from 14 or 15 feet off the ground to as high as 30 feet in the air first putting the wood in place and then mounting the sheet metal. That definitely put a few of the team out of their comfort zone. Kyle Morrow did a great job documenting the events of the day, and you can see some of that on the NBC Facebook page.

Tomorrow the scaffolding will be moved to the other side of the building and the same work will be completed, as well as some other items on the agenda.

Later in the evening, Lee and Scott Shepherd worked on a small project at the Barnhouse home, fixing the issues with cold water in the kitchen sink. Small upgrades like that will go a long way, and Maggie was greatly appreciative.

Unfortunately my updates on the team for Monday are not extensive due to my activities. Dave Barnhouse asked me in the morning to pick up some logs he had purchased. He sent Patrick, a local that works for him, with me as guide to the lumber. With the roads as tough as they are, it took a while to get there, load up the first log, and return home. The Eucalyptus log was 15 feet in length and it took the work of eight men to get it on the trailer. Patrick and I made our way back and arrived before 3 p.m.

After unloading the first log, I returned to the bush to fetch a second. When I set out the second time I knew we would be hard pressed to get back much before dark. We arrived at the location, but this time finding a crew of locals to help was more difficult. After a few attempts, we had a group to load the second log. It went on, but the weight was not as balanced as the first load. I carefully set out on the trip back with a watchful eye on the log.

Needless to say, the imbalance of the giant Eucalyptus log caught up to us about 15 minutes from the Barnhouse home and just as dusk turned to dark. As we were closing in on reaching the main road, the trailer came off the hitch, and despite our efforts, we could not get it back on properly. Earlier in the day, as I headed out the first time, I asked Donovan Zachary if I could borrow his phone while traveling through the bush. Now stranded, I used that phone to call Pastor Hack, and then to illuminate the area as I waited. I'm so thankful that Donovan was gracious in giving up his phone for most of the day.

Barnhouse and Pastor Hack arrived a little after 7:20 p.m., and despite their best efforts to fix the situation, a plan was hatched to return to the house and pick up some extra resources. Barnhouse stayed with me as Pastor Hack and Patrick left. We had a great time of fellowship in the dark night while we waited. When Hack and Patrick returned, they had Scott and Josh Hanji in tow. In the darkness the team was able to get the situation fixed and we were on our way. I cannot tell you how welcoming those headlights were each time they rounded the corner and approached. For the second consecutive night I found myself in the bush after dark. I'm hopeful that Tuesday night I'll be sitting at the Barnhouse family table when the night descends.

If you can be praying for Doug it would be much appreciated. He has had some issues with his knee the last couple of days. Pray that his discomfort doesn't get any worse, and that his knee will improve. Both he and Lee will be here another four weeks after the six of us depart, so good health for both men is critical. Also, pray that we can be examples to those we encounter during our stay. We've had some great opportunities to get to know some of the locals, and I would just pray that we leave a positive impression, both as Christians and Americans, in our days here in Zambia.

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