April 18, 2012

more church building

sanding the walls
The church we attend here has outgrown it's old meeting place, so they have built a newer, bigger meeting place on the same lot. We started meeting there regularly just weeks ago. We've gathered bits and pieces of the story of how this church was planted 20 years ago, and we can see how it has grown. We have heard stories of how the pastor and his wife didn't have a bathroom in their first place when they came to the city. We have heard how they cooked and sold chicken to raise money to begin construction. We know how they have reached out to the community because we can see how they are doing that now.

Sometimes I wish our friends from back home could see what we see, experience it. One whole wall of the new church building is tin sheeting, the windows haven't been put in yet but are covered loosely with black burlap, there are pigeon droppings - many - that have cascaded down the wall from the constant roostings, there is neither heat nor air conditioning, the sound vibrates from the speakers so much that sometimes I don't understand a thing, and on Sunday mornings you have to look up once in a while to make sure a pigeon isn't roosted directly over your head. This past Sunday we had quite a few flying around - one swooped precariously close to the pastor's head. It doesn't bother me - it's a refreshing reminder that we don't gather together for our own comfort, or because the building is great, or because of the cushioned seating, surround sound, and climate control.

Anyway, church construction (men build buildings, but it is Christ who builds His Church Acts 2:47) is a whole new beast here. You build as you are able, when you are able, however you are able, and when the funds become available. Members pitch in with construction because this is the Third World: you can't always afford to hire a contractor out to do the work for you. That means Joe PewWarmer often gets up out of his plastic chair to pitch in.

This weekend, we went in to paint the new building. No actual painting ended up taking place... prepping the walls took all afternoon. We sanded all the walls by hand. Wax on, wax off. Wax on, wax off... lol

An electric sander would have been handy, but construction is mostly manual labor here, tools are often unavailable. My back and shoulders were in a serious big knot the next day.

Another group did some landscaping in the tiny atrium that connects the new building to the old one and the Christian school.

atrium before

atrium after

It is always encouraging to see the pastors, their wives, their whole family out there sanding, sweeping, throwing seed. An example to follow, it always blesses us so much.

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. ~1 Cor. 11:1

Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. ~Phil. 3:17

1 comment:

Christy said...

That description reminds me of a story Christian told us recently of his time in Guatemala or Belize. How they would sit in a 1000 degree building with no air flow and drip sweat while this amazingly awesome guitar player would play and sing worship songs in a nasally horrible voice and they had no idea what he was singing but tried to sing along anyway. Or of church in Bangladesh where men and women sit on different sides either on hard benches with no backs or on the floor. Worship music was 2-3 people with mics and someone playing an accordion type instrument. It would be laughable here in the states in many churches but there it was simple and beautiful. It made me smile to read your description.

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