Friday, August 13, 2010
These are some pictures of the things we did the last few days. We started digging the first children's home foundation on Wednesday. This picture is of us digging the footings. The soil was very hard and very dry. Luckily we have a laser level, otherwise it would be very hard to know if we were digging too shallow or deep.
This is a picture of us unwinding after a long day's work. This board game is called Ticket to Ride, one of our new
favorite games. You can see Amber in the picture. She is Louis's wife. She has made our trip an awesome experience. She makes us lunch and supper while doing any laundry we need. Without her, it would not be the same. She has been a huge blessing to our team.
This is another picture of the first children's home foundation. As you can see, progress is slow and work is hard. You will see some pictures of the finished product on a later post.
After we were done with the first foundation, we burnt the empty bags of cement powder. Unfortunately, Micah's shirt was hidden underneath the pile of bags. He will try to tell you it caught fire because he was working so fast, but that wasn't the case. You can see Kendrick in the background. He is a local boy who volunteers his time working for Louis and Brian.
This is another picture of us relaxing at night. We are playing a board game with Brilliant and DJ. We have learned a lot about the local culture from these two great guys. The bond we have created with them will be on of our best experiences from this trip.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Wiped out tonight! We dug out the footings for a second foundation today. The plan is to build Louis and Brian' houses, then two children's houses, then a mission team house. In time they will have 10 children's homes built with 60 orphans. The digging took all day, after we spent an hour filling the brick molds. Dusty spent the day in bed fighting sinus problems, but is up and feeling better now. After a hard day at work we went to Brian's house and had chili and corn muffins. We're going to call it a night early. We haven't had much of a break the last few days, but we are happy with the progress. We didn't come here for vacation. We are blessed to be the Lord's hands and feet.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Today was the final and last day of pouring the foundation. Yesterday we put in 14 hours, from 6am t0 7:30pm hauling as fast as we could! We had rock and sand delivered a few days ago, and we rented 3 mixers for the cement. Yesterday morning when we started a mixer broke down. We rented a 4th mixer, and that one soon broke after an hour or so. Only using 2 mixers, we completed the job in about 20 hours all together. We poured about 35 cubic yards of cement. The mix was about 40 shovels full of rock, 32 of sand, 11 of cement, and water. Add all that up, and that's a lot of back pain. A bobcat took the loads from the mixers around the foundation, but a lot of manhandling was needed. We finished two-thirds of it yesterday, and finished it up today. It got pretty cold last night, getting to 27 degrees, and our hoses froze up. While we finished up cleaning everything up, we burned the cement bags. Low and behold, Micah left his shirt in the pile.Dusty and Micah are spending the night with Bridge and DJ to watch over the property, to make sure nothing gets stolen. (All the tools and supplies are out there, even though it has a wall around it.)
Tonight we went to an "American" restaurant called Mustang. For 17 people buying steaks, Eisben (what looked like a whole little pig on my plate), and burgers, it cost us under 700 rand, or under 100 dollars. It was really good too! Brilliant and DJ ate with us, each getting a breakfast steak. Louis told me that Brilliant only eats meat once a week, thats all he can afford. So we sent all the extra meat with the two of them. Brilliant's father got hit in a car accident, so he provides for the whole family.
Let me update you on our Sunday! We went to the township for service, and it was a very baptist like atmosphere. The preacher gave you goosebumps just raising her voice and putting every once of energy into her sermon! During the offering, the collection was given to Louis for the orphanage, and he teared up a bit. I felt humbled to see these people with a huge heart for Christ, with how small they lived on. It really reminded me of the lady giving two denari: that out of there poverty, they gave a lot. I hope and pray that God continues to humble us. I'll be sure to update you more thoroughly and more often as we rest and regain our strength. I encourage you to give more out of your own poverty, wealth, or weakness. We are aliens and strangers in this place, and our reward isn't of men, but of Heaven. God bless!
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Today we took a tour of a local gold mine, which was really cool to see. The drive there may have been the most exciting part. Brian took us. He was running a little late, so we got an early morning tour of the residential streets of Welkom at about 45 mph. The actual mine tour was really interesting. We ate lunch with Brilliant. He is a local South African who knows Louis through a local school outreach. He is an incredible person who is truly seeking the heart of the Father. We were able to ask him all sorts of questions about the culture and life in South Africa. He is planning to go to school to become a nurse, lawyer, or accountant. Brilliant is very intelligent and wise. The Lord has blessed him with a wonderful mind.
Micah's aunt sent a package along with us to give to Brilliant and his sister. We gave those things to Brilliant yesterday. Brilliant was so thankful. This was the best part of our day today.
We finished the afternoon just hanging out downtown. After supper, we had an awesome discussion about faith, the Holy Spirit, and other things that were on our hearts. It was a great experience to sit and pick each others brains with questions we have been thinking about. Thank you all for keeping us in your prayers. God is doing great things is Welkom, South Africa!