Dec 5, 2005

Laborer worthy of his hire

Pedro working on water tank
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

"See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship. In design, artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in carving jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.

"And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you." Exodus 31: 1-7

When God set before Moses the task of building a tabernacle in which the wandering Israelites were to worship, he provided men with the manual skills needed for it to become a reality. And so He has for us as well. Our Bezalel is Luz Maria's son, Pedro.

Work on our new water system has begun. As with the construction of the preschool, Pedro is aking responsibility for hiring and overseeing workers, pricing materials and doing much of the most skilled labor, such as arc-welding, himself.

Pedro is 25 years old and has two children, seven-year-old Pedrito (Little Pedro) and four-year-old Karelis. He and his wife, Mari, never finished high school. This is a typical pattern of life here. Many children drop out of school after sixth grade and girls start having their own babies while still in their teens.

To support his family Pedro has worked as a jack-of-all-trades, mainly in farm and construction work. It has not been an easy life and, although baptized and confirmed, Pedro long ago became estranged from the church, but working on the preschool has brought about a change in attitude. Pedro now participates in Bible study and prayer with us, and makes sure the children attend our Sunday school.

Also, purely on their own initiative, Pedro and Mari have begun attending night classes to earn the equivalent of high school diplomas.

The preschool project has allowed Pedro to use the skills and contacts that he has acquired to help something he believes worthwhile take shape. The quality of his work on the preschool has enabled him to find other jobs, too.

Please pray that as Pedro and Mari develop a more hopeful outlook on life that they grow in faith and love of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I am also pleased to report that in this coming year the preschool will receive support from the Children's Christian Concern Society (CCCS), a Topeka, Kansas-based organization dedicated to "sharing the love of Jesus with children around the world through Christian education". CCCS will provide scholarships for 10 of the poorest children in our preschool and Sunday school to buy school supplies and other materials needed to help them continue their educations.

I first heard of CCCS and its leaders, Jim and Edie Jorns, 20 years ago when I lived in Topeka. I stayed in Topeka for only three years and never had the opportunity to meet Jim and Edie in person. I am glad that our paths have crossed again, after a fashion, although I still anticipate face-to-face contact.

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