PUEBLA 2019: Hump Day At Hananeel Is Always A Tough One

Remember that GEICO commercial with the camel strolling through the office asking everybody what day it is until a lone exasperated employee finally says the magic words? You know, “Hump Day!”

Wednesday is Hump Day because it’s between two sets of two workdays each. It’s the same for the annual Friendship Baptist Church (FBC) mission team to Hananeel Baptist Church.

We’re deep into our various projects, it’s the middle of the week and we stick around in the evening for the Wednesday night service. Some Baptist churches, including Hananeel, still call it the Wednesday Prayer Meeting.

The service tonight was packed, as you can see from the photos at the top of this post and on its jump page.  A bunch of folks were visitors who had responded earlier in the week to our invitations in the market and elsewhere to come check out Hananeel.

As always, it was a delightful service, overflowing with the same warmth and shared love for Christ that marks the Sunday service. The congregation also gives each of our team members a small gift as an expression of appreciation. This year it is a beautiful vase that is produced locally.

Work-wise, the paving team is about 75 percent done. They ran out of pavers in the morning, so another 900 were delivered mid-afternoon. They had to be off-loaded and stacked.

That stacking which, as is the case with so much else in construction in Mexico, was done by hand, with about a dozen of us in a hand-to-hand conga line passing pavers from one to another, with the last couple of folks doing the stacking.

The guys installing the hanging ceiling in the third-floor of the education building have also faced some huge challenges as well, not the least of which are the back-breaking positions required when doing such a structure. They will very likely finish up their work tomorrow or early Friday.

Then there’s the rebar bending table, which is where I spent a major part of my day. If you aren’t familiar with rebar, it’s a form of structural steel embedded primarily in concrete building structures to give them structural integrity by tying the various parts together in one reinforced whole.

Doing so requires hand bending hundreds of rebar braces that are wire-twisted into wall and support pillars. Each brace is formed with a series of six bends, which require a good bit of upper body strength.

Tomorrow will be our last full day to push and I expect all of our projects will either be completed tomorrow or by noon on Friday. It’s been a tremendously productive week thus far and the evidence of our team’s 19 years of working with Hananeel is everywhere you look.

Friday afternoon is our time to head to the bustling main square of Puebla for lunch, checking out the city’s numerous historic sites and museums, and sitting in the sidewalk cafes drinking coffee and watching Pueblans go by. This is about as close to being tourists as this team ever gets!

More to come tomorrow.

Author: Mark Tapscott

Follower of Christ, devoted husband of Claudia, doting father and grandfather, conservative lover of liberty, journalist and First Amendment fanatic, former Hill and Reagan aide, vintage Formula Ford racer, Okie by birth/Texan by blood/proud of both, resident of Maryland.