Jesus our foundation
June 11, 2018
April 20, 2018
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” I Cor 3:11
Anabaptist history tells us that this verse, I Corinthians 3:11, was Menno Simons favorite Bible verse. I am drawn to this verse as I follow the weekly development of our first MDS volunteers helping build the house located in Viví Arriba, Utuado. MDS Puerto Rico is helping Pastor Deborah and her husband Don Rafael build their house after Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 totally destroyed their wooden home.
Don Rafael started his new house just a few yards away from where his family’s old wooden house once stood. MDS had already decided to help this family rebuild from the bottom up, creating new foundation. Since January, Don Rafael has been slowly working on the foundation with steady MDS volunteers helping him. It has been a cross cultural experience to say the least, in communication between Spanish and English as they worked together. This third way is the best of North American building expertise and Puerto Rican rich building experience. The recommendation of FEMA and the P.R. government was to build new homes that are hurricane and earthquake resistant. The building codes will be followed as standard to all new building MDS P.R. will be involved with.
As of April 17 after many weeks of working with the base columns, placing fillers and rock, and placing the re-bars, Don Rafael and Deborah are hoping to pour in the concrete next.
It reminds us how much work and time it takes to work on a strong foundation. Patience, as a fruit of the spirit, has been needed in all these weeks and volunteer labor joining Deborah and Don Rafael laboring on the foundation of the new house alone.
Each week a new set of volunteers arrive to go hand-in-hand lifting up the dream for this humble family. All of us are eager to see the block cement walls start coming up. Just as Paul reminds his readers in the letter to the Christians in Corinth “What is Apollos? What is Paul? Only servants…” (I Cor 3: 5). And Paul says more to each its task, every one contributed according to their skill sets and time. And God will make it grow. God will help it happen using the blessing of the MDS volunteer, as humble servants they have been working these last six weeks in Utuado.
Don Rafael and the volunteers are laying the foundations as builders and other volunteers will build on it. Than Paul alerts the readers that this foundation being laid is no other than Christ, and no one can lay any foundation other than Christ. My Spanish Bible version titles these verses as “Collaborators of God” whereas the English version titles it “Divisions in the Church.” I will say both are correct, one is the answer and the other the problem in the context of a diverse community in Corinth. Nevertheless the key message is the same, Jesus the Christ is our foundation. Pastor Deborah shared with me ‘that it takes a long time to lay this foundation’, in our ups and downs, keeping our faith we learn to know God better.
Menno Simons was right in using this text as key in his many teachings. Let’s work hard and take our time to assure that Jesus is our foundation. So, in the next storm that hits us we are stronger in resisting those winds and quakes that life is full of.