In an attempts to change the work hours for the students in the afternoons, Brian and his team came up with the idea of a community service project. They did it this Wednesday afternoon and it was a huge success.
We live out in the country and the road that leads to our campus is pretty much perpetually in rough shape. There are over-grown bushes and trees, garbage, and ruts all over the place. The maintenance team thought it would be a good way to show the community that we contribute to our area, too, by cleaning up the main road down to our campus.
So, Wednesday afternoon, all the students (minus the ones that work in the homes, in the office, or in my school) headed out with Brian and his maintenance team. They started where our road reaches our pueblito:
They continued on down the road:
As they made their way down the road, they cut down trees and picked up garbage:
They even worked on leveling out areas of the road:
Then, in true Peruvian fashion, they loaded everything up on tarps and dragged it all to areas alongside the road to be burned:
The end result looks spectacular!
Having a clean road is really great. But, this was definitely not the big reward to all this work. Brian hung out towards the back of the group and during the afternoon, he talked with each of our neighbors plus at least seven people he’d never met before. One of our neighbors, hearing all the people outside, set off his alarm thinking something dangerous was going on out there! They came out and saw all the students and found Brian to ask him what was going on. Brian was able to tell everyone that they were out there to help out the community, nothing else. We live here, too; we should take ownership in the area. Everyone was so impressed. Brian even got to talk with one man who has never before even greeted Brian, though they see each other on a regular basis. One of our other neighbors came up to Brian and said, “You’ve inspired me to go ask all the neighbors for a donation to help pay for someone to come and till the road!” That would be amazing (our road is in rough shape)!
I think that honestly sometimes we get so caught up in evangelizing outside of our little area that we forget that our neighbors need to hear about Christ, too. If we can’t impact the very area we live in, then what’s the point? It’s the same anywhere; not just on the mission field. We need to remember that it’s not just the Indian across the ocean dying without a Savior; it’s our neighbor playing with their kids in the park that needs to hear, too.
Brian is also hoping to show the students that “missions” is not limited to clown suits and street preaching. It’s serving others. Jesus Himself washed dirty, stinky feet the night before He died. We need to serve others – take time to do something that will bring us nothing in return just because we desire to see others come to know our great God.
Can you tell I’m proud of my husband and his team for coming up with this? Now, just pray that it will become something they can do at least once a month and that it will truly impact our community in a positive way.