Monday was our first full day here in Ensenada and it was indeed a full day!
Our day started off early as sounds of dogs barking, cars honking, Dan snoring, and people playing ping-pong began to wake us up. But on this particular day, the early morning was very much welcome as it allowed many of us to spend some concentrated time in God’s Word. As a team we’ve been reading through, studying, and discussing the book of Philippians. And, in just a few days, our study of this book is bearing fruit.
After morning chapel and breakfast, we loaded up our van and headed out to our job site with our foreman Ricardo, our intern Noah, and our pastor Nicolas. Ricardo is a 15-year vet of Yugo and has probably built around 300 houses working with Yugo. Noah, who is from Clovis, CA, just recently graduated from high school and is in the last two weeks of his three-month internship with the intention of returning back here for a six-month internship.
After a 30 minute van ride out to our job site, we finally arrived and were welcomed by the family (Andres, Rosa, and Andrea), a slab of concrete, and a bunch of building materials. After some team stretching and prayer, we started in on our work. All of us were assigned to different crews: a framing crew, a cutting crew, and a painting crew. And after a bit of initial apprehension about what to do, everything began to move very quickly. Personally, I found it amazing to look up from my work every half-an-hour or so and watch a house literally being built before my very eyes.
Going into our trip we were advised by Yugo that they usually recommend house-building for teams of ten or more. As a team of nine that includes two younger members (12 and 13), there was some hesitancy about whether or not we would be able to finish our project. When I brought this up with the team every single team member answered back: we’re going to finish the house! And that’s been the refrain time and time again.
Well at the end of the day our foreman had us read through the list of tasks that are supposed to be finished on Day 1 and, by God’s grace, we checked off every single task! Then he told us to read through the tasks for Day 2 and, again by God’s grace, we realized that we had checked off more than 1/4 of the tasks for Day 2 as well! We still have a ways to go, but it definitely was a great start to the week!
After a full day of hard work, we made the 30 minute trek back to Yugo and celebrated with fresh fruit smoothies and a trip to the beach. We closed our day with dinner, chapel, and a team debrief.
Reflecting back on today, there are two things that stand out to me. First, the God-given joy of working hard. There is something intrinsically good, fulfilling, and joyous about working hard. This is rooted in God’s creation of a perfect world where Adam and Eve were made to and commanded to work. This good creation mandate still exists for all of God’s image-bearers and we as team had the chance to experience that today.
Second, the beauty of working together. Today all of us had to play different roles at different times. Some jobs were bigger, some jobs were smaller, some jobs involved climbing on ladders and hammering, some jobs involved measuring and cutting, some jobs involved painting, and some jobs involved moving wood–lots and lots of wood. But each and every one of those jobs was crucial for getting us to where we arrived at the end of the day. How similar is that to the Body of Christ? All of us have gifts and roles to play and spheres of influence. They differ…significantly! But when a local church is filled with people doing different jobs, using their different gifts, playing different roles, and doing so without complaining or grumbling or jealousy or envy, it is absolutely glorious! And we got to experience that in a real, tangible, and very concrete way today.