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Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Life & Times of Louis & Amber - Keeping Ben Busy...Part 3

My cousin Ben has drafted another letter to his peeps back home.  He was kind enough to allow me to post it.  Here you go:

Hello Everyone!
I’ve reflected on the last couple of days and thought I’d share what all has occurred beginning from Friday to the present.

Friday: Made bricks and finished early afternoon. I went and toured the Pines, an orphanage facility that functions in much the same way the Village we are constructing will. The two families I am helping build RHI’s Village originally worked and lived at the Pines. Ellie and Zach also were there for six weeks and I was able to finally see the faces and place they have been talking about for so long.

Saturday: I had toured the Pines with a youth group team from the UK and they invited me to visit a Lion park this day with them. Our drive was about an hour long and I enjoyed visiting with them. 
The park had various cats, but did have a ton of lions. They even had a rare breed of white lions. After a tour, we had the chance to play with 4 month old tigers and 3 month old lions. The tigers were much more aggressive and drew blood!
I arrived home in time to help make another batch of bricks that Louie, DJ, and Brilliant were already working on. DJ and Brilliant then spent the night and we roasted marshmallows over the coals of the grill after our hot dogs and then played a game of Ticket To Ride, where I came in 4th out of four hehe. For those of you who do know how to play, Louie dealt a hand of tickets to explain the game to DJ and Brilliant and I commented that it was a terrible hand. Well, guess who ended up getting dealt some of those very same cards?! It was just my second time playing, so…that’s not a good excuse, right?

Sunday: Louie was asked to fill in preaching at a church and did a great job, and even referenced me in his sermon. The guys came home with us and we had a lunch of chuck wagon beans. We were sitting around talking after lunch and Louie was going to bring them back to Thabong, but they got to talking. We all know that Sunday afternoons are great for a nap and well, I ended up falling asleep before they left and just briefly woke up when Louie returned.
Amber had an interesting thought to share after their sleepover here where they each got their own bed, or at least mattress on the floor. Brilliant has to share a bed with his 14 year old sister and DJ has 9 people + living in his 20’ x 12’ house. That’s the size of just my bedroom at home that I share with only four brothers!

Monday: De-molded a batch of bricks early in the morning then hurried home and cleaned up. Someone from the States had been watching the World Cup and seen so many people in coats and donated money for purchasing coats. Amber and Lois found many coats reasonably priced second hand and we needed a venue to distribute them so we headed to a hospice center in Thabong where they have been helping at weekly. After arriving, two of the staff joined us and two others joined Lois and her family and we began our distribution. The trip was far from all fun and games by any means.
After our trip we had to stop by the grocery to purchase our filtered water. A short time after a quick lunch found us back to making bricks, until the motor broke off the vibrating table. Getting that welded back on was not difficult, it just took time and we have come to learn “it’s always something” that impedes us in some way! We had to hurry then to finish the batch before dark.

Tuesday: Morning Star is a center that cares for only HIV positive children of preschool age. This is actually what brought the team from the UK here as they helped with many things but predominantly painting.
There have been various ways we have been able to participate in the ministry of Morning Star. They hold support group meetings for the caregivers/guardians of the children and Louie has posted on his blog about leading the devotions for them.  I was also able to participate in leading devotions, but I helped with the daily devotions for the Morning Star staff.
This morning my topic was Science and the 10 Commandments and I referred to II Peter 3. While these may seem a little disconnected, here was the point I attempted to make. Evolution is a FAITH, that does not fit the facts. Creation is a faith that fits the facts. Why would someone want to devote himself to trying to disprove the reality of a creator God, unless he is trying to escape the predicament that we as humans are guilty as sinners before God? All I would have to do is simply evaluate myself in light of the 10 commandments to realize that I am in desperate need of a Savior to who can forgive the sinner that I am. Or, I could put my faith instead in a hope that there does not exist a God to whom I am accountable, even when there is remarkable evidence that this world was created just a short time ago and, incidentally, also was recently covered in a catastrophic flood. In this way, evolution is a faith.
After devotions, I headed out to the property to help finish up digging the foundation for the Niehoff’s house. We had to add a little more rock, but there was a tractor there that was scraping and leveling the land that was able to help with that.

Wednesday: (today) Today was actually quite uneventful. This morning Louie and I went to unmold blocks, but they weren’t dry. I did get some math done then this morning, and the afternoon we finished the batch of blocks. These blocks are shaped about the size of cinder blocks, but they lock together.
Let me explain the block making process briefly. We have to disassemble the molds, stack the blocks, clean and spray oil on the molds, assemble the molds, mix concrete and fill the molds on a vibrating table. If you’d like to see the official presentation of the blocks, go to We are trying to get enough made to start building a house next week when a team from ISU arrives.
I hope this suffices for a brief day to day synopsis so you know how things are going. I do have a lot to accomplish before I leave, so these next couple of weeks will be quite busy, which is good!
Ben Stangl

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