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Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Weekly Report, Oct 7-13, 2018

October 16, 2018

Harry and Linda Nussbaum have been working closely with MDS while serving as host and hostess of Casa Ulrich here in Aibonito, but this week they officially became MDS volunteers.  Welcome aboard Harry and Linda!  Your gift of hospitality is such a blessing.  Additional long-term volunteers this week included David Zumpe, Sebastian Groothoff, Clete Yoder, and Don and Rachel Horst.

Our weekly volunteers were from Pennsylvania: Marty Weaver, David Martin and Leon Newswanger.  They enjoyed some time in San Juan before winding their way up the curvy mountainous roads to Aibonito for their MDS assignment.  As they prepared to head out to the job site Monday morning, light rain showers welcomed them to the Puerto Rico rainy season.  

Homeowner Nick Rivera Figueroa had two concerns for the volunteers working on his roof.  First, that his house would be covered when the rain showers came while they worked on the roof, and secondly, that no one fall off the roof should bats come flying out and frighten them!  This truly was a concern of his, so the fellows were prepared for a sighting but none were seen.  They methodically pulled the blue tarp back over Nick’s house when showers came during the process of removing the old tin and installing the plywood and felt, until the beautiful new steel roof was installed.  Following the installation of spouting and fresh paint on his porch roof, the crew felt good about being able to complete the job in spite of delays due to rain shower interruptions.

Highlights this week were the answered prayers.  One of our younger workers lost his wallet and diligently searched everywhere for it.  Finding it seemed impossible when it didn’t show up where he had been working.  With the tall grasses and steep mountains here, the possibilities of where it might be were endless.  To our delight, it was found that evening, safely in his bedroom where no harm had come to its contents.  

Secondly, we have been in dire need of a dry, convenient location to store our tools.  Now that we are receiving building materials from VALOR, we have a double need for a large, dry storage space.  The current storage space for our tools, next to the Aibonito Mennonite  General Hospital, was becoming increasingly unsatisfactory due to the leaky roof and mold.  A beautiful answer to these prayers came when Eileen Rolon called and said the hospital has taken possession of the vacant school next to the hospital and is making it available for MDS to use for storage.  This is a huge, huge gift for which we are so grateful.

We are also keenly aware of the gift of safety on the job.  As we anticipate working on the roof of Marta Benitez’s house next week, this is especially significant as her home is located where the property abruptly drops off down a steep, steep mountain.

Group prayer as they left Aibonito