A little more than seven years ago I started Band of Fathers, a group for men interested in embracing God’s vision for biblical manhood. Our Band of Fathers are committed to doing life in community with one another because alone is dangerous. From the start we committed ourselves to doing three things: shared study, shared mission, and shared adventure.
In addition to meeting every Wednesday for a time of study around the dinner table, we have also engaged in shared mission by serving people in need and shared adventure in the great outdoors. We have summited Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas, and have enjoyed camping, hiking, biking, and paddling adventures. I look forward to meeting with my Band of Fathers every week.
At a recent meeting, the guys in the group gave me a card and asked me to read it before starting our lesson. My eyes got wider as I read the card. After I read it I looked up in disbelief. The guys had pooled their resources to bless Cheryl and me with a guest cabin at our place in Big Bend. They would buy the materials and build our guest cabin on site.
A little more than a month later the guest cabin has become a reality.
This past week several of the guys purchased the materials and transported them to the build site. Cheryl and I arrived at our cabin a couple of days early to prepare for their arrival. The convoy pulled onto the property at mid-afternoon on Friday and the guys wasted no time in off-loading and staging all of the materials.
The next order of business was to measure and prepare the site and to mark the locations for eight piers. We drilled down three feet and set each pier in concrete. The following morning, half the guys set the ledger boards and then secured the floor joists and screwed the decking in place. The rest of the guys framed the front and back walls of the cabin and set them in place.
Once the front and back walls were secured, the next step was to add the roof rafters, roof decking, tar paper, and finally the metal roofing and trim. When the roof was completed some of the guys framed the side walls while others set the siding and the skirting around the perimeter of the cabin. As soon as the siding was in place, we painted the exterior walls and trim.
On the final morning we installed the exterior windows and door trim, finished painting the exterior walls, and installed the nine-light door and hardware. In a span of 48-hours the cabin build was complete. Unbelievable — this was nothing short of an old-fashioned Amish barn-raising.
At the conclusion of the build, the guys used a Sharpie to write encouraging words and Scripture passages on the inside walls. We prayed together and officially named the cabin the BOF (Band of Fathers) Cabin — a place where family and friends can enjoy periods of rest and that will serve as a base camp for outdoor adventures.
In the months to come Cheryl and I will finish the inside of the cabin a little bit at a time. We will also add solar panels and batteries, gutters and additional water catchment, and a front deck and shade awning held up by rough cut cedar posts.
Cheryl and I are beyond grateful for my Band of Fathers and the generosity they have shown us. Even though only half the guys were able to make the trip, all of the guys in the group contributed to make this dream a reality. The new guest cabin will always be a reminder of the kindness of friends and the goodness of God.
I am blessed to do life in community with my Band of Fathers. I treasure their friendship and look forward to future adventures with them and more time around the campfire under the magnificent Big Bend sky.