To begin this blog I think I need to start with the training center in Garubunda. We began construction on this training center last year in July of 2017. We were told that this would be a three-month project and it would cost us only about $10,000 US dollars. Fast forward to now. A year and 2 months later and the building is still not finished and we’ve spent about $20,000 on it. Talk about frustrating..amiright? The glass for the windows needs to be installed, the stones need to be laid into the wall and there are so many small detail things here and there that need to be done. One of the main reason that this building has not been finished is because it lacks strong foundations….actually it completely lacks foundations on the HEAVIEST part of the building. Uh-mazing.
As the building began to settle into the soil it began to crack. We first noticed small cracks on the side of the building, so we would fix them. First by building iron rods into the walls of the building to try and make it stronger. Then small patches here and there with cement. The building was looking good minus these few “cosmetic” issues…so we thought. We took some time without going to the building. Teams come and we get busy. The building is about 15 kilometers away and the roads are not the best so we rarely go out there. Anyway, in May we went there for a center day with our sponsor children and their families. Upon arrival We came to find that there was a MASSIVE crack in the side of the building. WHAT IS HAPPENING??
We had a few contractors go out to the property and inspect the building. One said that we would have to tear down the building and restart because it was not safe. The foundations for the columns were not built right, the basement lacked hardcore (foundation) and the building was pulling itself a part. Talk about discouraging. Collin and I both wanted to throw in the towel…..not really but this was really disappointing. The next two contractors gave us the good news! We could repair the building without having to tear it down, it would just add another $3,800 that we did not plan for. That money doesn’t even finish the building it just repairs the foundation and the other issues the building has. The good news is that even though the foundation was not built correctly, the building can still stand, it’s just going to need a little TLC to get it up to par.
Having strong foundations is important, in fact just plain having foundations is important. Our lives can be a reflection of this building and that is what this blog is about. This was a strong beautiful building, like honestly when you see it you’re almost taken aback with how big it is. The windows and doors are strong, painted black and gold. The iron sheets are rich in their maroon brown color, nailed to the tresses with perfection. The bricks are laid in uniform stacked on top of each other, building the walls of this building one by one. However, over time the beauty has lost its glory. Now when I look at the building I see its cracks. The imperfections that mask the beauty of this building. There are cracks in the walls, cracks on the floor and people broke in and damaged and stole our electrical sockets. This building was majestic, and now it’s just a reminder that you shouldn’t have someone be a contractor unless you’re absolutely sure they know what there are doing.
Strong foundations, how does this relate to you and me? In Acts we learn about the early church. Acts 2:42-47 tells us what the church looked like with the apostles.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teachings, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer (vs. 42). Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people (vs. 46-47a)
Every day they would meet together, remembering Christ and his sacrifice on the cross and it changed them. “Every day the Lord added to their numbers those who were being saved (vs 47b).” They were building on the foundations of the church and they had Christ as the cornerstone. Now why is that significant, what’s a cornerstone anyway? Well, a cornerstone is defined as a stone that forms the base of a corner of a building, joining two walls. Christ is the stone that keeps the whole building together, he keeps it from collapsing. In a real sense he is the one who joins us together as the body, we need him and we are nothing without him.
In Ephesians we learn all about a cornerstone and what that means to have Christ as the cornerstone. Ephesians 2:19-22 we read, “So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the CORNERSTONE. In him the whole building, being put together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you are also being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.”
In Christ we are NO LONGER foreigners or strangers we become a family and together we grow in Christ. We are building blocks for each other, bearing each other’s burdens, holding each other accountable, building each other up in love. Why is this community, this family so important? In John 17 we see a strong concern for unity in Christ. Verses 22-23 read “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” We are one in Christ and to be strong we need to have him as a foundation our cornerstone. I honestly think that most of us parade around like this building. We are strong and beautiful on the outside maybe have some cosmetics issues here and there but when you take a look inside you see the mess that only Jesus can fix. The truth is that men are flawed and we need Jesus to help make that right. As members of the church, as bricks in a building we belong and we belong as a family.
4 As you come to him, a living stone—rejected by people but chosen and honored by God— 5 you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in Scripture:
See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and honored cornerstone,
and the one who believes in him
will never be put to shame.
7 So honor will come to you who believe; but for the unbelieving,
The stone that the builders rejected—
this one has become the cornerstone,
A stone to stumble over,
and a rock to trip over.
They stumble because they disobey the word; they were destined for this.
- 1 Peter 2:4-8
We are called to be living stones to build a spiritual house for all to come and experience the Glory of God. His powerful love, his abounding grace and his overwhelming mercy. When we try to become our own cornerstones, we make the whole building collapse. It starts as small cracks here and there and slowly becomes like water that freezes between the bricks, slowly ripping each other a part. I pray that we would no longer be stumbling blocks for each other but that we would believe that we are a part of a family a strong, magnificent family built upon the foundation of Christ. Y’all we are Unified together when we are on mission in Christ. We are Unified in Mission and that all starts by having strong foundations, built on Christ, our cornerstone.