It’s been a busy & focused couple of days. Following the word of knowledge to make the most of any opportunities, we managed to get an engineer who is a friend of Liz (great woman who is cooking marvellous food for us) to come & supervise the work, building a level concrete & block base for the animal shelter.
Funnily enough he’s turned out to be another God send! He came down first thing Sat morn to lay out the ground for the foundation and did a great job organizing the local villagers who were keen to work – they haven’t had any for a long while.
We quickly quizzed him on the mix of concrete & mortar before doing a few quick calculations and then sourced materials locally at a good price. You’ll appreciate building is a different business over here – supplies can be bountiful or non-existent & slow to be delivered, but after visiting several local merchants & tough negotiating we had 6 tips of sand (dug straight out of the nearest beach!) & 2 of granite on site by sundown, Willy sorted the blocks and cement to be delivered first thing Sunday morning so the work could begin – what a guy!
We left site much more confident than we were on Friday – with the engineer happy to be with us until the work is finished and the villagers glad to do the heavy graft (at a price!) it was looking like we would finish up here on Tuesday as planned.
Sunday saw good progress – the foundation was put in (it looks level!) and 3 courses of blocks were laid. The base has to be a couple of feet above ground level to survive the rainy season when the ground becomes saturated and erosion is a big problem. It also means the wooden shelter will be protected somewhat from the termites that are all over the place & from these monstrous ant hills.
Me & Joe got stuck in marking out and digging the holes for the fence posts. We had several post stakes set in concrete before we stopped for late lunch. It was hard work and we were filthy but no sun burn to report. Happy days.
Some “evangelists” turned up on site late this afternoon, armed with bibles & mega phones. They had a go at one the villagers about smoking, then left. Success.
The day before we prayed together for a lad who had been cursed by a witch doctor at the age of 4 & had grown deformed since that day. We were advised not to attempt deliverance ministry however – apparently these sort of things can be a bit lively and require wisdom.
We had some great guys from the conference come to help us today – one of them 32 the other 40, both unemployed but capable men, just eager to get out of the city for a couple of days. This is sadly the story of many men here – and there are so many everywhere with little purpose or opportunity to develop skills or to be creative and show their colours.
As we pile our way through Kissy Road, which is packed with hundreds of market traders, I realise that the grip of money is just as strong here as in the west despite the apparent lack of it, it just takes a different form. People are forced by this sick system to fight for survival, selling anything to get food for the day, struggling to make ends meet with no chance of a long-term plan. A beggar grabs my leg through the van window before we pull away. It’s hard to realise you can’t help everyone’s short term needs – they are endless; it is about thinking long-term and helping those within our range. The Multiply partners here are in our range, our relationships are strengthening and there are capable & committed guys behind each project. It may be a drop in the ocean but I believe it’s a reliable approach.