Summary: 5th in a series. A message about living out our salvation once accepting Jesus.
Intro – Video about the project in Mexico. “The House Built by God” - La casa construida por Dios.
Psalm 127:1-2 (NASB)
Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. 2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
A year and one week ago, our missions team met with Brad Berg. Brad had a special request of the church family here – would we take on the project of funding and building a new multi-purpose building for Rancho San Jose, the camp in San Marcos, MX? Cost would be around $21,000. That sounded like a lot for us to take on. It was. If it did happen, it was going to have to be a “God thing.” Our missions team proposed it to our elders, the guys all agreed it was a good project to undertake, and we set some dates. A special offering would be taken up December 7. We announced it and committed it to the Lord and the CCC family. November 23, we had a special worship time together with brothers and sisters in Mexico, via Skype. We knew that 21,000 was a stretch, but we also knew we serve a big God. This wasn’t going to be something we do. After all, unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. The kids in our elementary worship brought in a bunch of money they collected. Then came the day of the big offering. Would we reach the goal? Yeah – we overreached it. Later that week, and over the next 2, some more money came in until the final count: $34,492.49. That’s more than 50% beyond the goal we had set out in front of us. As a result, the building size was increased to a bigger, more useful size. Brothers and Sisters, that was God using us to do something amazing! Every person who contributed to that offering can say, “I had a hand in that!” Every person who prayed that the Lord would accomplish this can say, “I had a hand in that!” This year, as the House That God Built is used and people young and old hear the good news about Jesus and as people cross over from death to life there at Rancho San Jose, you and I will have the joy of saying, “I had a hand in that!” And some time in the future, when we’re together in Heaven, and we look around and see those people there with Jesus and with us forever, we’ll be able to humbly say, “God let me have a hand in that!”
So, here are your representatives: Tom, Kaye, and Beth Bailey, Jerry Swinter, Kent Wolfe, Gary Erickson, and Bob the Builder. By the way, we’re not all builders by trade. February 19, the 7 of us loaded into one of the church’s vans, with our stuff, and took off for Mexico. The chill factor that early morning was around -25. Remember? We made the 24-hr trip in 2 days and arrived to unload the building before it was too dark. The first beams went up on Saturday morning, and by Thursday evening of the next week, we had this: (show photo).
Now, before you’re too impressed, we had other help too – Brad’s brother and his wife, another guy from their church, and another couple showed up to help after 2 days. What’s more important is the number of people who were praying for this project, and the way God helped us. The number of things that all came together to get this done ought to remind us again and again that this is a house that God built – and that He used this church family to get it done. For instance, after the offering here, there was the timing. It was just 2 days before we started that another crew poured the foundation. That had to be in place before any building went up. It was done when we arrived. The building itself had to be delivered. We drove into the camp with the delivery truck behind us. 7 hours before we left Rockford, I went to get my passport card and couldn’t find it. After an hour or 2 of frantic searching, Carrie found it – it had been placed in an odd place when we moved, back in August. Driving across the border and through Acuna, in Brad’s van, is a prayer journey all by itself! We narrowly missed being in an accident. We made it to the campgrounds and unloaded the building from the truck before we unloaded our luggage from the van. Weather was good the next morning. The ground had dried enough that we’d be able to get around, and we went to work. Brad’s tractor was our main lifting tool. It had some issues, but it was enough to get things done.