Saturday, January 31, 2009

Long, hard days

(from Zack in Serenje)
It is Friday night and there is nothing to do. We ate dinner, I gave myself a haircut and now I am long overdue for making a new post. Last week I left you with a train ride that we were anticipating on Friday. Well....we rode the train. I'll save that story for another post.

The work this week has gone well. (sometimes I have to stop and think to myself while I'm typing, "is that how we talk at home?" The English here is poor and I find myself talking like they do.) The rains didn't disturb too much of the work. We have finished filling the foundations with dirt. That was a Long process that was often interrupted by the rain. Now all of the concrete has been placed in all of the floors. This is a big benchmark to hit. This week we have also finished the roof on the shop, prepared the bathhouse roof for tiles, installed the garage door, plastered all of the interior shop walls, and countless other things. Tomorrow, Saturday, we will be working to try to catch up a bit. We hope to get the new shop set up so we can be more productive during the week.

Death seems to always hang over this place. This week two of our workers had their children die. One left home in the morning to come to work, his child was sick at home, by 8:00 he had received word that his child had died. I'm still trying to understand things here. Why don't people go to the Hospital?

We have started having short bible messages on some of the mornings before we start work. It is fun seeing the conversation that is provoked through this. We hope to make this time more purposeful.

Having the Hope Center complete is starting to be within sight. There are several of us who thought this would never come. Now that it is becoming close, there are a lot of things that have to be figured out. Staff, leadership, programs, accounting, etc. Please pray That we would make wise decisions in the months to come.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Raise the Roof!

(from Zack in Serenje)
We have had a great week. Of course there have been many things not go as planned, but we plan on things not going as planned. This week we built the roof for the shop. The picture was from a couple of days ago, but it is the most recent I have. It had been awsome having the help needed to get things done. I feel like I am able to stay ahead of what needs done next, rather than running around doing damage control. We have also been able to get most of the walls for the main building up. There is still a lot of work to do, but is rewarding to see progress and begin to feel like I am getting over the hump.

This week Navice did a food distribution to the children in the area. As many of you know, there are 150 orphans the Cornerstone has been attempting to care for. This include providing some food to them through their caretakers. This time they each received a 25kg (about 50lb) of cornmeal (their staple food) and some dry beans. It is far from enough, but will help sustain them. We are looking forward to having the Hope center built so that we can be feeding them Daily what they need.

Tomorrow after work, Randy , James and i are going to board an overnight train to Tanzania. Randy made friend with a Railroad employee and the next thing we

know, we are all boarding a Train tomorrow headed for the border. We will then Spend the day there and return Sunday Morning. Should be an adventure.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


(from Zack in Serenje)
The last few weeks has been productive. Randy has come back and James is now here to help us. It has been great having both here this last week. Combined with the dry weather this week, we have really gotten a lot done. We received another semi load of cement, which should finish out the project. We got trusses built for two of the buildings, and got a ton, actually, tons of dirt moved.

As far as walls go, the septic tank is built, the bathouse is almost finished, and the big building is half finished. next week we will work on the house and the rest of the big building and put roofs on. The weather is still an obstacle, but we have been blessed with many nice days. We take the good with the bad.

There have been a couple of days that have been tough, where things don't go good, people give me trouble, and i want to give up and go home, but i do continue to find strength in the Lord. I have had a few of my Zambian friends who have lost their children in the last couple of weeks. One was one of our workers who's wife had just had a baby. We were excited for him, went and visited them in the "hospital" and everything seemed pretty much fine, a small rash, but the baby died the next day. Another one of our friends, Geoffery, a pastor who we have known for many years lost his son to HIV. His son was older, in his 30's and had been fighting sickness for a few years. It is sad to see people loose their family. They are used to it, but it doesn't make it easier for them.

This week has been a lot more fun. There are 4 of us Americans here, so it is more lively after work. There is also a lot more help, which makes things a lot less stressful. there is a lot of work to do, but the end is starting to be in sight. I'll try to update more often.