Thursday, March 29, 2012

Remembering the Details

Here I am, just two days away from leaving for Mozambique, and as I go to collect my travel documents, I discover something important...I'd forgotten to book one of my flights.

Okay, it's a rather small flight that I won't have to take until the end of May (when I leave the bush to come home), but it makes me wonder...did I forget anything else?

Last weekend Mercy Tech Mission held its first ever Garage Sale for a Garage, a fundraiser for the skills training work we do in Africa, as well as for the maintenance shop we are building there. It was a huge success.

Eager shoppers line up for the 8am opening.
Some of the fantastic volunteers who made it all happen.
Used items donated and sold in Canada, so that we can provide training and tools in Africa...amazing.

Speaking of donations, I want to say a huge Thank You to Terry Cormac of Suncastle Design for donating his time and expertise in providing proper building plans for the maintenance shop. Awesome job, Terry!

These plans bring extra clarity to the project, and clarity is a good thing; it helps with things like not forgetting to book a flight.

Clarity also helps when it comes to remembering why you are doing what you are doing.

In the past number of months, I have been reminded over and over that the work we are doing in Mozambique is not only God's work; it's also a work we are doing on behalf of the many who can't go but yet contribute in so many ways.

Yes, we are ambassadors for the Lord, but we are also representatives of His church, His people everywhere who have a heart for the poor.

So thank you to everyone who is making this trip possible.
My prayer is that I represent you well.

MTM volunteer John Topham demonstrating woodturning techniques.
P.S. Please pray that the wood lathe for the Woodturning Project will arrive on time. We are being told that the shipment was delayed...but we all know that our God is bigger than that.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It Runs in the Family


Last night we said goodbye to our son, as he and his youth group set out for a week-long missions trip to Grenada. This is Steve's first mission experience, and we're pretty proud of him! It will be exciting to hear how God works as they visit schools and teach the kids there about the Christian faith.

My own mission trip begins in two weeks, leaving Canada on April 1st for a two-month stay in Mozambique. Mechanic's training and shop-building will be my main areas of focus this time.

Some significant donations have come in lately for the Maintenance Shop Project, and as a result, we were able to put in an order yesterday for 1500 cinder blocks and some steel, to be delivered to the ASAM farm as soon as possible. Hopefully the materials will be there by the time I arrive, so that construction can resume once again.

(Note: We still have around $37,000 to raise for this project.Tax-deductible donations can be made here.)

Another laptop?
A laptop computer has kindly been donated to Mercy Tech's work, thanks to the combined efforts of Rhona Bartolotti (Network Specialist in the School of Transportation at SAIT Polytechnic), Cam Janzen of Pro-Data, Calgary, and Grant Maley of Toshiba Canada.

Machines like this Toshiba Tecra A11 are a great help in our task of teaching trades in remote locations, so thanks again to Rhona, Cam, and Grant for taking such an interest in what we are doing.

Woodturning Project
Concerning the woodturning project scheduled for May, there have been some delays in the shipment of the wood lathe, and it may now arrive later than we'd hoped. (See previous post)

But we are praying that God will intervene, for we know that what is impossible with men is totally possible with God.

Mozambique Maintenance Shop 
Finally, a large "GARAGE SALE FOR A GARAGE" fundraiser is going to be held at Summerland Baptist Church on Saturday, March 24th, with all proceeds going towards the work of Mercy Tech Mission.

A big thank you in advance to all the volunteers and friends of Mercy Tech who are working diligently to make this event a success. The reality is that only by working together can we see progress in our fight against poverty and in helping those in need - those ones who are especially close to God's heart.

For as Jesus himself said in Matthew 25:40:
'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Summerland Rotary Gets Into Wood Turning!

President Doug Carnegie presents Rotary donation to Rick Cogbill & John Topham
 A big thank you to the Summerland Rotary Club for donating $3,000 towards Mercy Tech Mission's Woodturning Project in Mozambique. We so appreciate the support of our community!

The General wood lathe (pictured below) has already been modified for European voltage requirements and is currently en route to Mozambique, scheduled to arrive around April 25th. Rotary member John Topham will be travelling to Mozambique for the month of May to teach woodturning skills to some of the local men at the SAMM mission base near Chimoio.

General Wood Lathe
John demonstrating cutting techniques to Brad Denesiuk (L) and Bob Denesiuk (R)

John with some cutting tools he will bring to Mozambique. Behind him are
some of the artistic wooden bowls he is well-known for creating.
John is a master craftsman, and his famous exotic wooden bowls are popular items in art galleries around the Okanagan. We are thrilled that John is making himself available to not only arrange for a hi-quality lathe to be shipped to Mozambique, but to travel there himself to personally teach students on the proper care and use of the machine.
Pindurai, one of the young men we hope to train
for the wood lathe
If you would like to contribute to this or other Mercy Tech projects, please visit our website at

Mercy Tech Mission: Changing lives, one skill at a time.