New post from missionary Erin Mackenzie

New post from missionary Erin Mackenzie

I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet

Posted: 17 Jan 2020 12:09 PM PST

And they’re off (to lead songs, a craft, and a devotion and pass out 75 relief bags at the letras de Ponce)! Below is much of the group that I’ve had the privilege of keeping fed and looked after these past few days. 
(Here we are about to dig into some homemade meatballs, salad, and garlic bread on Wednesday night.)
This morning’s was abbreviated as you may have guessed by the fact that we’re standing, but we’ve taken to starting our days with a devotion and ending with evening prayer (pictured). 

I’ve also gone walking in a neighborhood park the past two mornings. The grass could stand to be cut, but there’s a nice gravel path and some fun signage on some of the trees. 

I was startled this morning by the sight of people sleeping in hammocks in the gazebo! 
Outside of the kitchen, I’ve been dedicating most of my time to three main activities. By far the most time consuming was relief bag assembly. 
Superstar volunteer Rosa, a member of the church in Ponce, spent hours on end opening bulk packages of things to set us up for efficiency. 
The three gentlemen pictured here, plus me, put together the first 50 yesterday afternoon. 

Reinforcements arrived after dinner in the person of Stephanie. Fresh out of on-field orientation in the DR, she’s kicking off her deaconess internship with what we call “baptism by fire!”
She didn’t even unpack before jumping in. We did pause to celebrate with ice cream sundaes when we reached our goal 🙂

MANY more hands this morning and afternoon made for light work. WHAT are we doing to do with all this space?!?
Each bag contains 2 rolls of TP; 1 bar of soap; 3 granola bars; 1 trash bag; 1 Ziploc bag; 1 toothbrush; 3 cans of Vienna sausages; 4 mini water bottles; 1 tube of toothpaste; 2 applesauce cups; 2 fruit cups; 1 pack of baby wipes; and a postcard with the church’s information. 

Activity number two is logistical planning. Things are moving FAST when it comes to the status of the recently acquired church property, funding for long- and short-term initiatives, and personnel needs. I’m following along as best I can so I know how best to support the team and/or coordinate subsequent waves of supporters. 

And finally, we’ve been resting and helping facilitate each other’s rest. Yesterday afternoon, I was able to relocate the printer we bought on day 1 and some other paraphernalia pertaining to our makeshift work station so that the sitting room right inside the front door is a work-free zone. I’m also going to be part of a team helping ensure that each PR missionary family gets some extended, intentional down time in the coming weeks. 

OH YEAH…and I finally felt some earthquakes! I was going to say I had felt four, but there was another one seconds ago as I was typing this! It started with the top two on the above screenshot late Wednesday night. It felt like Freddy had jumped on my bed and was over in an instant. Yesterday afternoon, I saw the water in my water bottle jiggle ever so slightly and heard the kitchen utensils rattle in their holder. This morning, another tremor around 6 am, and then just now, my overstuffed chair turning into a rocking chair momentarily. The app is ~23 min. delayed so I’ll have to wait to see how strong this latest one was and where the epicenter was. 
Blake’s grilling tonight so I have it easy in that I only have to make sides. Time to go stir the creamed corn in the crock pot as soon as I hit “Publish.” Please continue to pray for those affected and for all who are lending assistance. Your intercession is helping us keep going full steam ahead!
Until next time, blessings!