Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Workin' Hard

So I have to apologize...people are emailing me thinking that something has happened to me, since I haven't updated in awhile. No, I wasn't eaten by a hippo...just keeping busy. So I want to give you an idea of where I'm at as far as my objectives are concerned. My objectives are many...but among them include oversight and assistance with construction, contributing to the ministry of the Hope Center for Children and of Pastor Novice Kulunga, connecting relationally with the orphans, help to develop and carry out a game plan for Brookside's program of getting orphans back in school, and think ahead for Brookside's possibble future plans here.

As of now, I'm still getting started on some of those, but my main focus has been on the construction of the orphanage buildings. There will be two more men from Cornerstone Church joining Zack and I, which will free me up to tackle some of my other tasks. But untill January 9th, about 80% of my time will be towards construction. In addition to that I have been talking with Novice about future mistry opportunities.

The weather has been cooperating well for us, so a lot has been getting done. Building here is quite different than at home, so there are things that take much longer to do here. Right now our priority is to backfill our foundations so we can lay the concrete slabs down before the rainy season hits us with full force. We've been praying and hoping for the rain to hold off at least for the work day. It's pretty cool, because both days this week it held off all day and then started literally within 5 minutes after the end of the work day. Hmmm. Yesterday was even more impressive because it was a downpour right after we finished.

I think I'm doing alright considering I have to drive a giant truck that is a stick shift, the wheel is on the other side of the car, and I have little construction experience. Don't lose your confidence in me though, I'm doing just fine...plus Zack has expertise.

Really though, things are going great! Not only are we getting a lot of work done, but I'm getting to know a lot of the guys really well. You know me, I'm a talker. I even talk to the guys that don't know much English. The lower picture is of me sharing with the guys on Christmas Eve (read the previous blog for details). I watched part of a "soccer" match with a couple of them the other day, and many of them want me to see where they live or hang out some time.

Tonight, after work, I drove Novice and some of his family to a village about an hour and a half away, deep into the "bush." It's not that far, but the dirt road that goes there is very ruff...some parts are like constant speed bumbs, and I've learned a whole new meaning to the term pot hole. Novice needed to go there to get some documents for the government (It all had to do with Hope Center stuff).

It was the village where Novice grew up, and he showed me around a little. I had another surreal "whoa, I'm really here" moment when I met his mother. She is 84 years old (keep in mind they have a lower life expectancy). Novice and I walked into a small dark hut the size of a cubicle, there was nothing inside but a fire in the middle of the floor, and Novice's mother keeping warm beside it (it was after sunset). She's blind in her old age, but Novice told her who I was as we shook hands. I don't know how to explain it, but it was a great little moment.

Usually we try to avoid driving at night, for many reasons, but it was dark before we headed back to Serenje. There are stories of "highway pirates," and things like that, but the scariest part is that there are no street lights. It's crazy how dark it gets when there's NO lights around. It's very difficult to see in front of you, and often there are people walking on the side of the highway! There are so many dangers to keep you tense (don't worry mom, I was careful). Rest assured though that we were only on the highway for a few minutes, and we will rarely drive at night. So that's a little about what I've been up to, just a small glimpse though, thanks for reading.

PRAYER REQUESTS: For the growing relationships with the workers...for my open ended plans to hang out with Sunday (the guy in need of some guidance after poor life decisions)...for my objectives (I feel there is a lot to figure out, plan, and do...so it looks a little overwhelming as of now)...for the health of all these kids I see every day (it's crazy how cute they are, you can't not smile when you see them)...for the progress of construction...for Novice, who is having major problems with his left eye.
Thanks all! Remember, any questions you have send to jarcher1135@gmail.com. This blog is more for you than me, so I want to write about what you want to hear about.

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