To read part II click here.
Having community buy-in and most of our major raw resources gathered for the aquaponics system we were finally in a place to begin building. Well, there is nothing like doing construction by yourself in Costa Rica to bring home the slowness of this country. After weeks of late nights and long weekends mapping out, planning, and trying to understand how to leverage the natural surroundings we broke ground on building November 16th (yes this is post is well overdue).

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Because plastic is hard to find and expensive here I decided to build the grow beds out of wood. So in planning like normal I went to figure out where I could contract someone for wood for the project when Dennis told me “you don’t need to order it bro, we have everything you need at our house”. Like my over analyzing self I asked multiple times if he had the exact things I was looking for, and he always assured me he did. When I got to his house the day I set aside to start building, I asked “where’s the wood” he looked around slightly confused then pointed to the pile in the first photo and said “its right there”, and then explained if I wanted I could take apart the tower in the second photo… and just like that he was in his truck and off to help out at the school. My internal reaction wasn’t the best, but not knowing what else to do I spent most of my day salvaging and deconstructing things to find and create a few usable pieces (third photo). Below is a better depiction of the difference between my daily expectations here and reality lol.

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There was a team of people from San Jose visiting that weekend working on helping at the school and the Leon’s new house, and while I was told and thought one of the volunteers from the church could help me frame out the aquaponics grow beds, when I asked for help they simply said “no” and explained they were too busy. Megan was at home painting the aquaponics tank frame with anti-corrosion paint and oil so this thing lasts longer that a few months in this gnarly jungle. So on my own I began framing out the grow beds with my new purposed wood.

While I mentioned we have received buy in I meant it, we have encountered incredible connections and have found that some groups desire and are excited about having this new thing called aquaponics help their community. The thing is while people want it, no one is interested yet in actually bringing it into fruition. So working on my own with no help, and no encouragement or thankfulness I found myself getting frustrated and basically angry… and that’s when Father placed a mirror in front of me showing me my inner feelings. It was then He asked me “can you serve Me with joy out of obedience, even if no one encourages you, even if they aren’t grateful, even if they don’t help, even if…. regardless of your environment and circumstances, can you share my love and serve in joy?”. Dang, that’s a convicting question and yet so close to the core of Father’s heart, just look at Yehushua’s life. I’d like to say it was a quick conversation with Father but it looked more like Abraham wrestling with God than a simple yes. I was convicted and am still wrestling with it, like when Peter asked Messiah about the other disciples future when he was told his brutal future… Yehushua simply responded saying in short “what is it to you [Peter], you follow me” (John 21:22). So there I was wrestling with God trying to learn how to worry about myself. Something Father is teaching me is that since He put it on our hearts to be down here were called to be obedient in that regardless of what happens around or to us. Can I keep persevering without encouragement, without others helping, can I simply just serve with a joyful heart and stay focused because Father called us to this months ago.

I can say that starting something from nothing with no buy in, no examples, no anything is much harder than I expected. But the question now is can we stay focused and persevere regardless.

I’m challenged by the book of Nehemiah – Nehemiah had incredible steadfast faith rebuilding the walls in Jerusalem, not only was he taking new paths never walked before, he was being persecuted and his life was threatened in the midst of walking those new paths. Yet he never lost focus of what YHWH called him to do. I highly recommend everyone read that story, its epic to say the least. Read Nehemiah here.

So, can we persevere, can I be obedient, can I stay focused regardless of my circumstances? I would like to say yes we’re going to perform with flying colors, but I am realizing this is only the beginning of the journey, and time will tell. Good thing His graces renew every morning and His patience is never ending.