Man, what a day! We need and covet your prayers, please. And let me just warn you that there are some descriptions in here that may make you queasy, so… you’ve been warned. But we do need your prayers.
We all woke up early and headed down to the lobby at 6:15 AM. There we were met by some of the members of the LEC, the underground church that we partner with. Our goal today was to help a house church that was a partner of the LEC, and we would be building a road for the entire neighborhood. This simple act radically transforms a community, making travel, commerce and life much easier.
So we all jumped in a big bus and started the 2-hour journey to the countryside. Now, the fun thing about Vietnam is the traffic. There is a ton of it, and everyone is bobbing and weaving and forcing their way through …. It’s like watching a giant intricate dance that somehow works. Everyone drives scooters, and there are very few rules. It takes a workout and a prayer getting across the road. Below are a few shots while driving through these villages.
There were street vendors selling fruit, veggies, frogs, live fish, meat, live and cooked chicken, pho, dumplings…. everything. This cute little guy was on a scooter that passed us.
We took this big bus 2 1/2 hours out into the country side, and one of the wild things was that the electrical wires were held up on bamboo, but they were not tall enough for our bus to pass under. So Jake here, below, had to use a Swiffer mop to push the electrical wires over the bus so we could pass underneath.
We ran into this dad and cute boy out in the country. I didn’t catch his smile on camera, but he had a huge smile. He waved at us, although they were pretty surprised to see a bunch of Americans out in the middle of nowhere.
Once we got to the small house church, we got to meet the family, including these kiddoes. We originally went out there to help build a road for the small village, but the supplies were not there, so we had a change of plans. The pastor is a woman who wanted to build a road instead of a bathroom because she wanted to use the money to witness and lead others in her village to Jesus. Having a road is a big deal, especially since the roads are made of dirt and are almost impossible to traverse during the rainy season. It’s humbling and amazing to see the love and sacrifice of these people. They long for their villages and country to come to love Jesus. So we moved about 8 tons of concrete from 100 yards down the road, and then used hammers to smash it into gravel for the beginning of the road.
So I’m not going to upload a picture of it, because it was so graphic, but please pray for Kalen (below). He was working on pulling a thatch roof down, and was standing on top of a building with a thin concrete roof. He fell through the roof, and a 7-inch piece of 3/4 inch thick concrete stabbed him in the hip. Thank God, it didn’t stab him in the abdomen, but straight down his hip, parallel to his abdomen. It was honestly the best way this could have gone down. No massive bleeding, the Lord cleared some extremely busy roads and got the taxi to the hospital very quickly, and no internal damage was done and no remnants were left in the wound.
Despite this, he is in some massive pain as you can imagine. Please pray for Kalen. He is doing well, got some stitches, and is on medication. Please pray for relief from pain, no complications, and quick healing.
Also, please pray for me as I got a concussion when Jake (pictured above) fell off the same roof (I know, we told him not to get up there) and kicked me in the head on his way down with his steel-toed boots. Jake was fine, miraculously, but I got a nice shiner.
After a long day of moving concrete, breaking it up into gravel, and tearing a roof down (and a successful surgery), we all sat down at the table together and had a wonderful meal.
We had fried chicken, veggies, beef, salmon, crab, shrimp, rice, noodles, hot sauce, and fruit. It was fantastic food and fellowship.
We traveled back to our hotel, took naps, went out to a pizza shop with Tuan and Ether, pastors of the LEC, and had a wonderful night. All of us crashed pretty well and slept like babies. A hard day’s work in the Vietnamese sun will do that for you.
Thank you all for your prayers!