My first week of a two-week trip to the Dominican with MGM was both exhausting and deeply satisfying. I volunteered to be a "mule" on the construction team assigned to build a church and then later in the week to build a block wall fence around one of the mission homes in the MGM complex. We were part of a larger group of contruction guys like Terry who have been going down on MGM trips for years from the Erie area. They were a real blessing to us and we fit in pretty quickly busting each others chops and singing worship songs with the Dominican workers like Tito. These work teams are made up of "skilled" laborers who are masons, carpenters, roofers and the like but also "non-skilled" laborers or mules. I fall into the latter category. I was blessed to have a group of my brothers in Christ from Good Shepherd Church in Pittsburgh with me: Joel, Craig, Pastor Rick, and our carpenter extraordinaire Mark! Our mornings began with some great personal devotions then a great opening time of worship from a Grove City worship team that really lifted us into the presence of God! Jim then led us in a powerful daily devotion on the neccessity of surrender to Christ daily and the intimacy of walking with the Holy Spirit, our counselor and power source for the christian life. After breakfast each day we began our journey packed on a work truck enjoying some great time to learn each man's story and enjoy some singing together. During break times on the jobsite we through football and launched propeller toys that Craig had distributed with some of the many children who gathered. We were blessed as well by locals who shared their "expresso" with us, served piping hot in fine demitoss cups in 90 degree weather! I drank it with thanks! Our long rides home were restful and playful as we recalled highlights and encouraged one another. Our meal times together were filled with laughter, great food, and storytelling. Psalm 133 really stands out to me from my experience..."How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity..for there the Lord commands his blessing, even life forevermore." Being deeply united first by the Spirit of God and through our "locking arms together" on mission in the world is where the annointing of God is experienced! Our evenings included with some powerful church experiences in town, at the Mountaintop Church, a good session for men on lust & anger, and a hilarious talent show featuring staff and attendees. The Lord did some deep plowing in our hearts for sure and He took us deeper experiencing his love and opening our hearts with a greater compassion for the poor.