We arrived at church this morning to find the gate closed and a big sign on it saying "Closed for Fumigation" and another reading "Church on the beach today". The pastor's wife came up to the gate and told us how they had been closed since Thursday when the exterminator came. Last night, they came to check on the building, found the smell was still really bad, then their dog crawled under the building and died! They wisely decided to hold church on the beach today, so everyone trooped down (a very short walk).
It was a beautiful morning to have worship on the beach, cool and breezy with just enough shade. The worship service was a bit shorter than usual since the sun was nibbling away at the shade. We were in the same area where the baptisms took place a few weeks ago.
During the announcements, they requested help in cleaning the church, kitchen, coffee shop and hotel - a huge job. Every surface has to be washed down before it will be safe to use again. They also said that it wasn't safe for children under the age of 15 to be in the building until it had been cleaned. That hotel (missionary inn) is a pretty big place, lots of rooms, lots of work. Several of the church/hotel staff live on premises and they've all had to move out temporarily. I offered our help right away. Don then reminded me that I don't do well with fumes like that (asthma) and decided he'd better check it out first. So, after church, we stopped at the building and Don went in and walked around. He came back out and announced that I was not to go in there, not today anyway. He said he would go home, change clothes and come back and clean for awhile. This will no doubt take a few days although I know they want to get it done as quickly as possible. The hotel doesn't get very good ventilation - too many big trees, a courtyard and other buildings around it keep the ocean breezes out - so airing it out may take a while.
When Don returns, we're going to West Bay for a snorkel with many of our church friends, a usual Sunday event. He'll be ready to cool off and relax. I'll be ready to help!