With the framing completed, the house really began to take shape. It was so exciting to see the skeleton of the house after only about 4 hours of work or so.
Finally the stacks and stacks of boards that I was responsible for cutting were being called for! Here was the test…were they straight, were they accurate, were they going to stand up the the scrutiny of the men? They were so funny. The first boards were “ordered up” to be nailed to the frame. My heart was pounding…no not out of the excitement but the physical exhaustion of cutting 130 boards (remember two cuts per board to even off the ends) !
There was one man there who I had not quite “won over.” Go figure! (see picture below – he is on my left). He took the first board and turned it over and over. Checked down each side to check and see if I used a warped board, measured it and stood it up against the house to “check the fit.” I watched along with the other team members – wondering what he was going to say….. A thumbs up! And the cheering erupted – collective sigh of relief and in that moment I became one of the construction team! Score one for the girl on the team! Then I asked to help nail. Oops – had to pass the test again. Seriously they didn’t think I could use a hammer…
Yes … that is the same man in the picture above checking my work once again. Priceless – he turned and smiled and cheers erupted as I got another thumbs up. Once the boards started going up, the walls were hammered into place rapidly. Well as quickly as you can hammer all those boards with one hammer! No really – they had just ONE hammer. The tools that we built this home with – well – a carpenter would be amazed. One rusty hand saw, teeth bent and in desperate need of sharpening, one hammer, a box or two of nails, a rubber hose and water used as a level, a t-square and pencil to mark the boards with a straight edge, a post hole digger that had to be rigged up to finish out the job, and a saw horse made out of a makeshift table which then doubled as our breakfast and lunch table! But it worked. It absolutely worked.
We prayed over the house at different times – I love that. They are so faithful to keep God in the center of their work and lives. The house still needed something to “stay” with it in addition to the prayers so I wrote on a few boards, “Dios te bendiga,” God bless you, and “Dulces Suenos,” Sweet Dreams. Once the walls were complete we looked for those boards. They ended up being nailed upside down. It didn’t matter though because they happened to be right by the place MariLuz was going to put her bed! And if you laid down on the bed and “read” the boards – they were right side up. Love how God worked that out so she would see it each night!!
And while we were eating and talking and enjoying a job well done – I stopped and took a moment to look at the home being built. Tears of joy filled my eyes and rolled down my cheeks as I looked around at this team of volunteers and what had been accomplished in just a few short hours. Tomorrow – the finished product……
In His Mighty Mighty Grip –