day 3 of our trip was our second full work day, and we continued working at Anthony's home in atlantic city. we once again divided into groups and tackled different projects, including framing out some soffit, scraping paint, caulking and painting around a door, insulating, continuing to frame out and put up walls in a mudroom, and more!
for a group of eight people who have very little experience in building and construction, we have accomplished a good deal more than i expected already! the good folks here at "a future with hope," the organization that is coordinating this overall effort, shared with us their three goals for us: 1. to get some work done; 2. to grow closer to one another, and 3. to grow closer to God. i think we have certainly been accomplishing all three of those goals.
there's no doubt that we have been growing closer together as a team, getting to one another better and sharing in tremendous fun and laughter, not to mention working in close quarters and sharing in an overall "aroma" by the end of the workday! you really can't help but get closer to people as you work side by side with them, learning new skills, telling old stories, and laughing fully each step of the way.
but we've also been growing closer to God along the way, too. each of us is sharing in a common devotion throughout the week, and part of yesterday's devotion was a reminder that this trip isn't about how many nails we pound in, or how much insulation we hang; it isn't about how much work we get done at all, because, to paraphrase paul from 1 corinthians 13, "if we have the greatest construction skills the world has ever seen, and build the most amazing house, but don't have love, we are just clanging hammers and noisy air compressors." in other words, its all about love. our main gift to Anthony, his wife Shirley (whom we got to meet yesterday), the rest of their family, the professional electricians working in the house, and the neighbors we encounter along the way, is not construction skill or perfectly level soffit, but love. patient love. kind love. unfailing love. love in action. love in service. and as we do that - as we serve in a way that is far beyond our comfort zone for most of us - we find ourselves being connected to Christ, since this is how he showed us to love.
we ended up the day yesterday with a satisfying dinner, a walk, and then some game time. we also amused ourselves with imagining what it would be like not to have opposable thumbs, and pretended that we were dinosaurs with short arms and no thumbs, as you can see in the picture below. this has led to several outbursts of uncontrollable laughter. i guess this means we are tired!
finally, i must say that it is cool to be working with an organization called "a future with hope," since our church sees itself as a people being called and shaped by God to be a community of hope. our mission is to discover hope for ourselves, and share it with our community and the world around us. we are doing everything we can to do that this week, in atlantic city, new jesrsey.