Sunday, February 1, 2009


I promised in the last post that I would have some pictures of the ongoing construction. I thought that I would also give some details of exactly what we’re building and how we’re going about it.
Cornerstone Church and Brookside Church have teamed up to build an orphanage in Serenje, Zambia on about 12 ½ Acres of land. We have hired about 40-50 Zambians to work in constructing the buildings and growing the crops that will feed orphans. Some of them travel from as far as 30 or 40 Kilometers by bicycle every day, but they couldn’t be happier to have a job. Some of them also sleep at the job site all week and then they go home for the weekend…we’ve built a small shack to store tools and where they sleep. They range from speaking great English to only speaking a few words. It’s been great to get to know the workers, and we do a brief Bible Study or short message on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
We are building four buildings on the site, three of them are being funded by the people of Brookside. The first and biggest building is the Multi Purpose Building. Among the rooms are two classrooms, a kitchen, and a large open area to congregate, this is the most important building on the site. It will be where the orphans come daily to receive a meal, as well as to learn about God and maybe get help with school work. In addition to that, it will be used for a Pastor Training School that Navice holds for a few days every few months. He invites pastors from surrounding regions to be taught accurate doctrine, theology, and etc.

Second is the Bath House. There is a boys’ side and a girls’ side, each side having three sinks, three toilets, and three showers. Although it may seem very simple to us, it is very high quality, especially when compared to the rest of Serenje. It is spacious, and it will have running water and lighting. The fact that the children will be able to bathe properly is very significant, considering that hygiene can be very poor here.

Third is the Storage Building. Equipment and supplies will be stored in there, and probably food as well. It will also be used like a garage, for working on anything necessary. We will be using it as a base of operation for completing the rest of the construction. We have been using a storage building across town, but this will be a much better place to store supplies and work from once it is finished.

The fourth building is the Guest House, which will be used for short term teams that come over from Brookside and Cornerstone. The three buildings that Brookside is funding have been given priority, so progress on the Guest House has just recently begun.
The buildings are much different than what we’re used to at home. They are built with cement blocks from the ground up, with steel window and door frames. Then the roofs are put up with wood trusses and rafters, and steel roof tiles. Wood is not used in building often here, because termites pose a serious threat, so all wood must be painted completely and carefully with a preservative and termite repellent. The inside and outside walls are then covered with plaster (similar to concrete or mortar) before being painted. All the buildings will also have plumbing, running water, and electricity, so those are installed along the way. Then there are finishing things such as installing the ceilings, lights, switches, sockets, sinks, toilets, breakers, etc. There are many more details, so all of you construction guys can feel free to email me questions and comments.
Because we are in Africa, the processes of construction are much more limited, so it takes plenty of time. Almost everything is done by hand, from filling in and compacting the foundations with dirt, to mixing, pouring, and leveling concrete for the floors. It can also be difficult to get supplies, so we have to be thinking ahead and ready for what’s next. Zack, from Cornerstone, is in charge of the overall construction. It’s obvious that he is well qualified for overseeing that everything is done well.
So that’s a quick summary of the construction details. Here is a link that I posted at the beginning of the month of some pictures I had taken so far. I will be posting more recent ones soon, so be sure to check back for those.


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAN!!!!! i hope you have a great day! I'm praying for ya!

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  3. Happy Birthday, Jack! I pray that God blesses you with an awesome day! Thanks for taking the time to share with everyone. It's great seeing and reading about what life is like for you.
    ~ Julie Timm

  4. Hi Jack. They shared some of your photos in church on Sunday. You are doing a super job, and all of Brookside is incredibly proud of you! Thank you for sharing your journey with us via this blog. The work on the children's center is nothing short of amazing. God is good -- all the time! Praying for you! Andrea Ferak