The Deep South Texas sun has been brutal this year. While other parts of the state have had their share of thunderstorms this summer, we here on the Mexican border have not seen rain for 3 months or more–so long ago that I can’t rightly remember when the Blessed Wetness last kissed our parched earth.
We are used to a yearly drought, but not such a long one. Fortunately we got enough rain last year from the hurricanes that the river still supplies us with sufficient water for normal household use and irrigation for the crops. We don’t wash our cars often and we water the lawn and plants at night.
However, my friend and I, who are both on the Board of Trustees (BOT) of our small church, got the idea that our dusty building and grounds had looked pathetic and uncared-for long enough. We brought our proposals before the BOT, who ‘blessed’ it. We obtained bids from local contractors, and made our decisions. So, though there was a recession going on, what had started out as replacing a contrary fluorescent light fixture in the Women’s Restroom with a standard fixture that would take a “curly” fluorescent bulb, soon blossomed into a full-blown project which included exterior repainting of our buildings, removing trash-gathering hedges from around the church, landscaping the grounds with drought-resistant shrubs and flowers at the base of the sanctuary, and placing desert plants in two concrete-curbed islands on the front lawn.
The sprinkler system is still undergoing repair, but the plants are in the ground, which is covered with black fabric and small brown-and-tan river rocks. As a final touch, we had a professional janitorial service come in and strip the old wax off the tile floors, scrub, seal, and re-wax them; then they cleaned the carpets and stained-glass window panels.
We have a new concrete access ramp at the main entrance, and a newly restored utility ramp for the Fellowship Hall. Our new butter-tan and dark green buildings with their red and yellow ixoras in front, and the dwarf oleanders at the side and back, invite people to come in and worship in the cool, quiet, and clean atmosphere.
Another thing we are happy about is that we were able to provide work for several crews of men who had been having a slow year. And the money to do it was provided when we needed it. This gave us a chance to put our belief to the test, and we have seen the reward.