Today’s Blog Entry is written by Taylor Mather, Campus Ministry intern at Kansas State University!

Today marked our third day of work at Agatha’s House in Naivasha. When we arrived, we split into a couple of different groups to help out with different projects at the house. We continued to work on pointing (see Fr. Fun’s post from yesterday for more on that), filled the cracks on the interior walls, cleared brush from around the fence line, dug part of a hole for a bathroom, and laid the foundation for the walls that will be the outdoor kitchen.
Taylor Mather and Foreman Ndongo establish the cornerstone using a guiding string and a plumb-line.

Taylor Mather and Foreman Ndongo establish the cornerstone using a guiding string and a plumb-line.

Taylor Mather places the first layer of foundation stones along the guiding string.

Taylor Mather places the first layer of foundation stones along the guiding string.

I, along with the help of Taylor Cook, the foreman Ndongo, and a mason named Keman, did most of the work in building this foundation.  Taylor and I practically became mason apprentices. We learned a great deal about masonry and building as we began to put up these walls with a very specific process. The first and most important stone that was laid down was the cornerstone. The cornerstone determines the position of the walls being built up around it. Once this stone was in place, level with the back wall of the house, and perpendicular to the ground, we began to build our walls rock by rock. Sometimes the rock would fit perfectly into place, other times it had to be adjusted slightly or even removed entirely to make way for a rock that would be a much better fit.
Michael Funston stands where the new kitchen will be.

Michael Funston stands where the new kitchen will be.

The completed foundation wall.

The completed foundation wall.

Caitlin Gilliland filling in around the foundation.

Caitlin Gilliland filling in around the foundation.

The Taylors (Mather and Cook) build the foundation.

The Taylors (Mather and Cook) build the foundation.

We continued this process until we had 3 layers of stones and the foundation was complete.  This job took our whole day of work.  Throughout the day, I kept reflecting on the work I was doing and I was reminded of why I came on this trip: to make a difference. While I haven’t been able to see any immediate difference, I know that the work I did today will make a huge difference for the women who will come to live in Agatha’s House.
From that very first cornerstone, the foundation was already set. If that stone hadn’t been set perfectly in place, it could lead to a much bigger problem later on as more and more layers of rock are added.

Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures:
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes”? (Matthew 21:42)
Today, we built a strong foundation starting with that cornerstone. In the weeks to come, more and more layers of rock will be added to the foundation to form the walls of a kitchen, just as more and more people turn to Jesus as the foundation of their faith and beliefs. And because today’s foundation is strong, the walls will be strong as well. It has been important for me to remember that because there is such a strong cornerstone in Jesus, my faith remains strong. There may be times when that strength is tested, but in the end, my faith holds true because of His strong foundation.  While we may not see the direct benefit in the work we have been doing, I have faith that we are making a difference.
~Taylor
Tyler Kerr at the bottom of the future latrine.  He's 20 feet down now... it will be 50 feet by the time it's done!

Tyler Kerr at the bottom of the future latrine. He’s 20 feet down now… it will be 50 feet by the time it’s done!

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About FatherFun

Husband of Michael. Episcopal Priest. Rector of St. Paul's Church in Manhattan, KS.

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