When I come each visit we often play this game as I can pick out things that are new as opposed to those that live here constantly; they often feel as if everything is the same. I can point out construction that has happened, new homes, the change in cars in town, new stores, prices of products, and advancement in people.
One of the greatest “new” factors around here that has caused much excitement is the development of the road. They are not just widening the road and making it more passable, but they are actually planning on laying cement and paving the road to San Andres. This project is something that we have heard in the works for years and didn’t actually think we would see happening until the construction vehicles moved into town. It is not just a few construction vehicles, these are very expensive and extensive machines – many of which I cannot name. I need to watch a little more Bob the Builder!
It is difficult to go anywhere without noticing the action. There are eight dump trucks that begin at 5:30 in the morning that drive past our house to go to the river which is south of our house. In the river there is an excavator which fills the dump trucks with materials for the road. Last week the trucks were filled with very VERY large rocks that are being laid as a foundation for the road. This week it is 8,000 loads of sand that will be laid on top of the rock to build a foundation for the road. How long will this project last? They are hoping to have it finished before the new president takes office – in two years! It is amazing that a project like this might take that long, but they have many disadvantages as well working in this area.
There are so many positives to this project. The government is hiring local workers to do much of the physical labor in collecting and laying out the materials. First the road was widened and many curves were taken out. In many places they had to blow away chunks of rock to make it passable. This is investing money right into the local economy and giving work to many of the people that otherwise struggle to find employment. The government is also playing landowners for materials that they removed from their land. Those that own property by the river have hit a jackpot as they have received money for the rock and now the sand that is in front of their property.
On a personal level, this road reaches into the area of people which we feel most drawn to serving. San Andres is an indigenous area where the people have less money and resources. This road takes our 40 minute trip and cuts it down to 15. With the smooth road, it will also me easier on the vehicles as well as us as we travel to San Andres each Sunday and often throughout the week.
As for other things that are new, there are many changes that are happening right now within the ministry. There are definitely exciting times ahead. As these changes occur, there are many decisions that have to be made as well as vision in order to see what needs to happen first. Please pray for us through this experience as we know we are to prepare for the new.