Friendships—and Glue—Form Bonds. — Monday, March 1, 2010

Our projects are nearly finished and we’re looking forward to putting them in place and meeting some of the people who will use them. We’ve built the easel and brushed on chalkboard paint. It’s ready for a young artist at the CAM school. The glue has dried on the table and benches built for Jose and his other 12 siblings. It’s ready for the family to share a meal together for the first time.

Long hours were spent by Larry, Hoyt and several others to build this table to seat 14. Four coats of primer and marine varnish were needed to protect it from the humid, tropical climate.

The construction and finish work we’ve done has created functional items to improve the daily lives of others. Along the way, they’ve improved our own lives. How? Well, we now know just how much thinner to add to quick-drying paint when working in a breezy area. And after measuring, cutting and measuring again, we’ve learned that our framing square isn’t really square. We’ve enjoyed our happy hours with “just a few snacks.” And we have the satisfaction of knowing our work will make a difference for someone less fortunate.

We learned the danger of using an old, borrowed framing square.

Perhaps the most important changes in our own lives, however, are the bonds formed by growing friendships. Sixteen people from Iowa, Nebraska, Texas and Cozumel have learned to support each other and work together.

Larry talked about friendship in our morning devotional meeting. “Sometimes we spend so much time just socializing—acquiring lots of acquaintances—that we don’t take time to cultivate deep friendships. You don’t need many acquaintances to make it in this world, but you do need a good friend. That’s who will stand with you in a crisis.”

Good point.

And that’s what FOC—Friends of Cozumel—is doing. We’re trying to be the kind of friends who help out when times are tough.

"I don't know a stranger," says LaFonda as she makes a friend at Vida Abundante.

We are so grateful to those who took time to join us on this mission trip, but we also know that we couldn’t have done our work without those who helped previously or from a distance. Maybe you’ve sent used clothing as donations, or a bit of cash to help us buy supplies. Thank you. Or maybe you’ve simply said “Good job” to one of us or thought about getting involved yourself someday. Thanks for that, too.

We’ve taken your good wishes and put them into action. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog when I hope to have lots of photos of our projects in use. That will show what some wood, glue, paint and friendships can do.—Phyllis

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