Wednesday was a bittersweet day as the team wrapped up the work at the Barnhouse residence. There was the sense of urgency, knowing that this was the last chance to put in a full day's work and check as many items off the list as possible. At the same time, we were toiling next to locals for the final time before we departed. In some ways it would be nice to spend another week here, but we are all looking forward to getting home to our families.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, Doug Pennington has been struggling with leg issues. Those issues caught up to him today, and he had to sit on the sidelines. While I'm sure he missed being a part of the flurry of activity, his body needed the rest. Please pray that his leg improves. If it doesn't get better, I'm sure that Dave Barnhouse can keep him working on some other smaller projects that will keep him off his feet.
The morning started with the team again turning focus to the mission house. Like Doug, Donovan Zachary was sidelined for a bit as he didn't feel the best. He was back in action later in the morning and was critical to the team meeting our goals by day's end. While Scott Shepard, Pastor Hack, Lee Shaw, Kyle Morrow and Josh Hanji pressed on with completing the outside sheet metal and inside work on the mission house, I was back on the road.
Patrick, my guide during the trip into the bush, once again helped me as we drove into town, filled the Jeep with fuel and proceeded to go and purchase cement blocks for a project. We purchased 200 blocks, but due to the weight, we decided to split the load and make two trips. This mzungu (Bemba word for "person with white skin") wasn't going to take any chances.
After safely picking up and delivering both loads, I rejoined the team as they worked against the clock and the sun to finish the interior paneling. Scott, Josh and Pastor Hack worked on one set of scaffolding while Kyle and Donovan worked on another. I assisted Lee in measuring and cutting the pieces needed to be lifted and hung in place. The task was finished a little after 7 p.m., with the last cuts and screws driven in as the darkness took over.
We were in for a treat for dinner as Dave smoked and grilled chicken that was outstanding. We have all appreciated the meals offered during our stay. Dave and Maggie have gone out of their way to provide some great meals that make us feel less like we're in a third-world country and more like we are at home. And the meals are only topped by the time of fellowship we have had each evening.
Tomorrow we will pack early, finish a few things and head to the market. From there, the team will head to Ndola to begin our journey home. We will make stops in Johannesburg, Senegal and Washington, D.C. before arriving Friday morning in Indianapolis.
Please pray that we will get a good night's rest and that our return travel will go smoothly. Also, pray that once we arrive back in Indiana that we can recover quickly from the jet lag. It will be great to reunite with everyone on Sunday and talk about our experiences.