For all of you who are considering a building program for your church, I thought I would give you some insight into what it will take so you can plan likewise.
First you need a big pile of dirt and rocks.
Then you have to sift the sand out to use with the concrete and pile up the rocks.
Then you have to sit and break the rocks with a hammer until they are small enough to be used in the concrete.
After you have a truck load of hand broken rocks and a truck load of hand sifted gravel you can start the foundation.
Here is a picture of what you can expect after many hours of labor in the 110 degree heat. As a note, the guy without a shirt on in the picture is the pastor...
If you are the pastor and a missionary shows up, put your shirt on and hurry over to get him a fresh green coconut. Cut it open with your machete you have been cutting the hedge with and then hand it to him to drink the coconut water.
Hand mix almost 400 bags of concrete and shovel it into buckets to and carry it to the masons.
Then you can start the foundation and blocks. After the walls are up you add the tin roof. Finally when you get more money, usually years later, you can pour a concrete floor and add iron windows. But until then, have church! 3-4 hour services praising God and seeking His provision.
So there you have. Pretty simple.
I had a chance to go to a church we are in the process of building today. The pictures show the work they are doing. The crew started just one week ago and they are sleeping on site to get the project completed. We were able to give enough money to buy food for the workers while they are there working so they can eat well so they can work hard. Getting food on the job is such a huge blessing here and it makes the moral all the better around the construction site. And many other people on the fringes of the site are fed as well so it is a service project for the community in the name of Jesus.
(The building we are replacing)
We have had enough money donated to buy all of the supplies to get the walls up and ready for the roof. The roof will be around $4500 so we will do that as God provides. I also found out today that we could buy the lot behind the church to build the out houses on and keep someone from building within just a few feet of the church. The pastor there told me we could buy the piece of land for $1500 USD. We are praying about that possibility as well.
(The current out house. It is not as nice as it looks once you get inside. Not much privacy either!)
Here are some pictures of the project. I felt so blessed today to be a part of something that will impact a rural community the way this church will. We can also use this facility for more than a school and church. We will also be having annual medical and optometry clinics there. The pastor there also wants to have retreats for people from St. Marc to come out into the valley for a weekend of spiritual renewal. Thank you to everyone that has been a part of the building in Desarmes.
(Some kids playing a game in the street where you toss rubber bands. Some of you may recognize Hayden, the pastors grandson, in the orange shirt.)
Joy and the kids stayed at House of Bread today while I made the 2.5 hour drive to Desarmes. Today was our first full day here running the place and it went well. We are excited about the opportunity and we sense the presence of God on the ministry and what we are doing. We are so thankful for everyone's prayers.