Saturday, November 6, 2010

Maturity comes with age

“…but sometimes age comes all alone” says John Maxwell.

My prayer is that maturity is coming with age, but I can see why I could really appreciate the idealism of youth. I remember when I was a little younger challenging my co-pastors (most with a fair amount of maturity than I) that “you don’t need million dollar buildings to build Christ’s Church. The first century church never did build buildings, they built people!” I think one of the leaders attending the conference who was facing the challenges of providing space to worship for his growing flock, kindly said, “give yourself some time Dwight, and you may change your mind.”

Well he was right J. And I apologize publically to all those who I put on a guilt trip for planning and dreaming and finally building a place where people can gather, grow, get help and get launched. So now I am in that place and we are building, building and building and it seems like we will never run out of things that need built. When you come to a country where most of the infrastructure has been destroyed by war, there is a lot of building to do that may otherwise be there.

Tome, Charles and I putting on the latest clinic roof

So we are building schools, clinics, mission houses, cottages, offices, widow and orphan homes, carpentry shops, grain storage facilities, churches, and a multi-purpose training center.

The Mercy Air mission house roof half up November 2010

Although the training center has been planned and badly needed for a number of years now, security of land, finances, and mostly all the other building, has kept it delayed. In the meantime we have used our school, under trees, and our unfinished other buildings to host our intensive training times. Needless to say it has been less than ideal, but it has worked and we now have about 700 leaders enrolled in our training program in 34 communities.

But now the administrative challenge is looming large as we work to keep adequate books, exams, administrative records and student records. So the training center’s progress is a big encouragement.

And I trust it will be to so many of you who have generously donated toward it.

Training center left wing foundation dug

Training center left wing foundation wall built!

The big challenges we have and are facing are…

· B Building on uneven ground which meant trying to level, but an even bigger challenge has been all the back-filling that is needed to get the foundation walls filled so the floor slab can be poured and the building built. Back-filling has come one shovel full at a time. But now we have been promised a back-hoe to rent and if that does not come as promised, Mercy Air has had a back-hoe donated which they hope to ship and we hope to import early in the new year.

· S Stone – building stone makes up a big part of concrete mix and out here the only stone we can get is that broken by hand…a guy with a hammer banging on a piece of rock until It is broken into little pieces. can imagine the time and effort that takes.

· S Sand – river sand that makes a second significant part of the concrete has to be dug out of a river bed one shovel full at a time and then loaded on a truck… you almost have to be involved in the process to understand how tedious this is.

· CCement – well as I am sure most people are aware, you cannot build a brick and concrete building without cement and well out here the factory is broken down more than it is working! When there is a supply of cement, the construction place feels like an all-out war zone with people screaming and shouting and demanding and pushing and shoving. Well I think you get the point…not a fun place to go. So we graciously try to await our turn and get the number of bags of cement the manager can give us without getting shot by someone else who needs it.

Building out here, even if you have the money, is not a fast or easy process. But it is important, because people do need a place to gather and grow together protected from the rain and sheltered from the scorching sun. Thanks for your patience and support for this important project and be encouraged, we are making progress!

Training center right foundation wall built

Training center water tower built and tank installed

Progress to date. Foundation walls on left and right wing built and foundation walls and slab poured on main conference room, office and admin. storage wing.

And although I am definitely getting older, and even feeling older, I sense the need to keep working at the maturity part J