Hello all you long lost friends!
It is so amazing that we are already safely back home! Our time in beautiful Lietuva (Lithuania) was just wonderful! We are sure to bore you with endless details in days to come. It seems that finding a happy medium on what to tell and when is our dilemma. Which is the reasoning behind our downtime most of this week, since settling back in has been easier than you would imagine after such a journey! I suppose "home sweet home" is more than the thought of a pleasant embroidery piece to hang on a wall, it is coming back to what you expect to be waiting for you once you return and embracing the people you hold dear who stayed behind. And that is just what it is, sweet to be home.
Since there is so much to share and many photos (nothing like sorting out 2,700 photos!) to entice you with, we decided to stick with the basics and then see what you all would like to know more about later on. So today we will be sharing views of the camp we went to work at as well as what our projects actually were while we were there.
Driving up to the campsite was like when people say "they had been waiting for this moment and it was finally here". I'm not quite sure how to describe it, it was almost as if we had stepped into a picture or something. All of the knowledge that we had been told about the camp and the photos we had been shown, seemed to be recalled to mind and bring the statement to mind that "this is it, we are finally here".
The Tent of Meeting (the Chapel)
The next few photos show what the camp has used for the last many years for their church or chapel. This ordinary circus tent has served them well over the years we were told. But that has not kept them from their vision to see a real building be put up for services within the next few years. The idea that is often spoken, "it is not the building that makes a church", definitely shines through on this holy land. As some of our team witnessed the very morning we left: an amazing overflow of the Holy Spirit during a short service that had a mind of it's own.
Anywho- they use this tent, weather permitting, as much as possible. Which is quite often since they have mild weather with lots of rain 90% of the year. Worship services, sermons and testimonial time are the tents main attractions in audience. Learning to fit as many as 300 people into one of the camp's main meeting places has shown the leaders of the camp to aim high in their quest to shine the gospel to the many around. They are now planning the future church building to hold up to 500.
Camp's Layout and Surroundings
The very first thing you see while driving down the dirt two-track to the camp is the church tent on your right, then once you pass it, the whole area opens up. Instead of having woods to your left and right, there is a large space that the expanding group of cabins are filling up nicely! The lake is to the right of the driveway, more on that later!
What a project! We did zero work on the cafeteria while we were there, but as you can tell even from these few photos this was a great accomplishment! That is compared to cooking over an open fire and sleeping in tents which is exactly how the camp was conducted before the vision of this haven was dreamed of. "The people here, especially the kids, love roughing it", our host missionary told us, "but we really wanted something better for them- something that would last for the years to come"
A couple photos down you will see a blurred picture (sorry) of a table, this is where we took each of our meals the days we worked at the camp.
Once we were settled into our rooms/apartments, boy were we ready to work! We didn't end up doing a huge variety of different things, but kept our nose to the grindstone as we chiseled away at the tasks that were set before us! Since the cabins are all upright and standing already, that leaves a lot of cosmetic interior and exterior work to be completed. Staining, walls, plumbing, flooring, insulating, electricity. Want to see what we did?
Though each cabin is made to the same blueprint, the work is done by regular volunteers (a few paid) and teams that come as a mission team. Since the camp is run in a very tidy order, there are a lot of different stages that the cabins are left at after each team has completed a task. That is the best possible way to leave the unfinished project for the next herd to come in and take over wherever they left off. So for us the next thing to do was take up the temporary flooring and prepare the walkway for the permanent floorboards. It kinda went: take up the plywood, cut it to fit in between the beams, screw down, roll insulation, cover with thick black plastic, and lay floor boards!
Our Pastor and his son hanging a door.
|While half of our team worked on floors most of the week. the other half worked on the interior of an upstairs and then moved downstairs later on.|
More floors being prepared and one finished and ready for plastic!
|Bekah layed this insulation alone, a stuffy and itchy job!|
We spent lots of time together, us four ladies, hauling wood for the guys, taking long walks, just plain talking, but mostly we stained together. Ha ha! That's right we stained just about everything in sight- at least that is what it seemed like to our small [but devoted!] ladies team.
Each cabin has to be completely slathered with an oil combination before actual staining can be applied. After the oil is put on 2-3 coats of stain follow. We oil coated 3 and put on first coats to two of them before our time came to leave. Great prep-work for the teams to come yet this summer!
We thought we'd throw in a few more photos of the cabin structure itself before we sign off. Oh, and the second photo better shows how and where the second story's floor will be laid once this cabin has another team come and work on the interior. And like we said, each cabin is built around the same blueprints so this will give you a better idea of what the team that was working in the upstairs had accomplished.
Phew! Thanks for sticking with us! Hopefully you were intrigued by what you saw, and feel a small part of what we accomplished these last two weeks! Or at least enjoyed a peek into it!
But- was it enough? Is there anything that y'all would like to see/know more about? Such as our traveling, where we stayed, touring, the area, what we did besides our manual work?
We will (I'm sure) talk about our experiences, but would you like a post dedicated to any one thing?
Many thanks to you ladies and your families for keeping our family in your prayers! We daily call ourselves blessed to be part of your lives and your walk with our LORD. We feel abundantly blessed each time we hop on the web and see one of your encouraging and fun comments, a new follower, or one of your posts on our dashboard. We are blessed because we know you!
How have you been?
Is there something more you would like to have us blog about concerning our trip?
Do you have any questions?
Let us know in the comments!
Cassie and Rebekah