Many Hands Make Light the Work - by Anna
This story starts before we left Kenya. After we realized that the Lord wants us to serve in Puerto Rico my dad started looking into places to stay in the capital city of San Juan. He was feeling really stressed because of the covid tests, the requirements that the airline companies have, flights, the laws in Puerto Rico for people having to quarantine, and how all this would impact the reservation that he was going to make for a rental house.
My dad prayed and asked Jesus to guide him so that he would find the place that the Lord had prepared for us.
Now I do believe in coincidences, but I also believe in the hand of God.
We arrived in Puerto Rico to find that our airbnb landlords are active Catholics who fix up houses for a living. Was this a coincidence? Maybe or maybe not. As soon as they found out that we are Catholic missionaries they were super excited to help us in any way they could. They drove us places when we didn't have a car. They showed us where the grocery store is and took us out for donuts after church. They helped my parents and my sister do everything that was required to get us kids into school. They also put in countless hours of work helping us figure out how to get the electricity and water working in our new house. Is it a coincidence that we just happened to rent a house with such amazing landlords? I don't think so. I think God had a hand in all this! Our landlords have really been instruments of God's in this mission.
|these are our landlords - aren't they awesome?|
We receive donations from people at various churches in the States for our mission. In the same way, our landlords reached out to the people at the Catholic church by their house in San Juan to see if they would be willing to make donations too.
They told the people that we came to Puerto Rico with nothing except some clothes, our bibles, my dad's guitar and a few personal items. The people were INCREDIBLY generous!! They gave us furniture, food, and even money so that we could buy the stuff that other people didn't donate. People say that many hands make light the work, and it's really true! Even though nobody gave a ton, it ended up being a TON when we added up all of the small donations!
About a week after we arrived in Puerto Rico we went on an exploration trip around the island and God really drew us to this town called Aguada. The same day that we decided that this was the town we're supposed to live in we found a house we were really drawn to. Here's a picture of us in front of the house the day that we signed our lease:
I know that everyone loves pictures so here we go....
I'll start with some "before" shots. 😊😊😊😊😊
|the boys room|
|my and Katelyn's room|
|us moving 10 years worth of trash and |
crazy stuff blown in from the hurricanes
|our backyard after LOTS of work|
|what our whole house looked like |
the first week of living there
It's incredible how much people donated. We received a dining room table, chairs, a couch, shelves, lamps, bed frames, fans, kitchen supplies, a fridge, and even money that our landlords used to buy us a used stove.
Our wonderful landlords drove all the way from San Juan (many different times) to bring us the stuff that was donated.
When we heard them honk their horn we would all get soooo excited to see what they had!
And nowwwwww...........some "after" pictures!
|my beautiful mother in our awesome kitchen...|
do you notice that there is now a stove, a fridge,
a sink and even a counter?
|our dining room|
|hallway/ storage shelf|
|the "good" bathroom|
(the other one isn't working quite yet)
|my and Katelyn's room|
|the boys' room|
|the living room|
There is something different about the houses here than the houses in the States - they all have flat roofs. So we can walk on the top of our house. I think its funny because my parents always talked about fixing up our back porch at our old house in Michigan before we went into missions. Now they finally have what they wanted, but on the roof.
|our fancy roof-porch|
(canopy, stools and table compliments of our amazing mission partners!)
#1 Fixing up the two back rooms, which are separate from the house, for ministry.
#2 Fixing up the space between the house and back rooms as a prayer space / family chapel.
I just got done telling my mom that these blogs are really good for us too. I get discouraged sometimes thinking nothing much is happening but when I step back and look at all the Lord has done I realize that it's AMAZING!
We talk about praying and following God, but we also have to do our work and plan for things. Often, as a kid living with my parents, I don't book hotels or make crucial contacts; I just follow. I feel like although our family has done our share of work we've been like little kids holding God's hand and just following His great plan this last month. Maybe some people would say that all the things that happened were just coincidences, but I don't think so!
THANK YOU 7 TIMES 70
TO ALL THOSE WHO SAID "YES" TO THE INSPIRATIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
AND DONATED TO HELP US GET OUT HOME SET UP.
NEVER FORGET THAT MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT THE WORK!
With more love and gratitude than can be put in words, Anna Carmody💓💓💓