I Need People

There were 21 people there total. 17 curious and courageous high schoolers, and 4 loving adults. For every water bottle we drank another one ran out the pores in our skin, glistening in the humid atmosphere. The smell of tropical dense vegetation and sawdust diffused throughout the air. You could tell the rain was advancing toward us because the width of everyone's hair began to increase. Ever so slightly you could hear the dibble dabble of the rain on the leaves in the distance. Lightly but then all at once the roar became louder. Juan got my attention and pointed out into the distance. There was a wall of rain 50 feet away. We stood on top of the wood we were using to build his house and just observed the beauty and mystery of how this world works. The jungle 50 feet away was getting pummeled, but we weren’t being touched. It was like standing under an umbrella and smelling the rain, hearing the rain, and seeing the rain, but not getting wet. As the hammers continued to pound and the nails continued to be driven in, the rain made its’ appearance above us.

We had 15 minutes from when we saw the great wall of rain to when the water started to coat our bodies, but we decided it was a good idea to wait and see how wet we could get out backpacks before moving them.

Normally if you were with a group of people and it started to pour, tension would rise while everyone frantically rounded up their belongings and searched for the dryest place to put everything. Instead, I was surrounded by a bunch of encouraging people whose first thought was just to embrace it, to enjoy God’s creation and be thankful for the exhilarating opportunity we’ed been given.

A wave of elation flooded my body and I remember jumping into my best friends arms before our team got together and worked like a well-oiled machine to retrieve everyone's stuff with a massive smile written on our faces the entire time. It didn't stop there. Long hefty boards were stationed just over the big mud puddles that would later be the destination for pouring concrete in Juan’s newly built house, but for now it was the plank you tried to glue your feet to so you wouldn’t playfully get thrown into the mud by your oppnent. Shaelah and I had a little crowd around us, sitting on the framework that surrounded where we were fooling around, cheering us on as we jumped from board to board blissfully living in the moment as the drops from above streamed down our faces. The laughter was endless.

I love my people.

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