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Aibonito, PR – Weekly Report – Mar 11-15, 2019

March 26, 2019

Our energetic and talented volunteers this week were from the Hinkletown Mennonite congregation.   Since there were ten in their group, five went to Ponce and five came to Aibonito.  For quite a while, Don has wanted to repair Eileen Rolon’s driveway bridge and finally it happened!   We have a saying that bears repeating, “God always sends the right people at the right time”.  A true gift as several of the fellows volunteering this week had masonry experience, a perfect match for the task at hand.

We learned from the Municipal Chief that Eileen’s existing bridge is actually on municipal property thus we did not have permission to remove the bridge but could repair or enhance it as much as we wanted to.  That gave us clear direction for moving forward. We carried Johann Zimmerman’s specifications for adding 4’ to the width, across the entire bridge, which now gives her a strong, safe entrance to her home.  Now you can visit Eileen without great concern of dropping a wheel off the side as she and others have experienced numerous times.

The team finished Eileen’s bridge Tuesday and moved on to replacing the roof on Rosita Espada Luna’s house.  Once again I will mention that this group is energetic and talented.  They completed Rosita’s roof and headed to Ponce Thursday afternoon, giving a helping hand with the installation of rafters, sheeting, ice and water shield on the house their counterparts were working on.  Friday was spent taking the forms off Eileen’s bridge, unloading the VALOR (Voluntary Agencies Leading and Organizing Repairs) materials and getting the vehicles ready for next week’s volunteers.

Highlights for the week included the joy of hospitality and everyone gathering for a time of song and prayer of dedication with both homeowners.  We were richly blessed when Rosita sang, with her beautiful voice, “One Day at a Time” for us in Spanish.  Another highlight was learning how the art of paper folding impacted a young neighbor girl’s mother.   Sam Beiler had created an origami bird for a child who had come by to watch the team working.    When the little girl brought the bird home to her mother, it was received as a sign of hope and peace as she was heavy with grief from the loss of her son exactly one year ago.

 We rejoice that the forecasted rain held off allowing us to complete both projects this week.  With the arrival of the VALOR materials, we should be able to move ahead on putting roofs on more homes next week.   We continue to praise God for his tender loving care & watch over us.

 Don and Rachel Horst