Thursday, May 31, 2012

That's A Wrap...

All things have a way of coming to an end, and so has this two-month trip to the ASAM mission base in Mozambique.

Looking at the busy night scenes outside the Johannesburg airport, it hits me that my current trip has now come to an end. If any more work is going to be done on the projects over the next few months, it will have to be done by others - the staff and workers at the SAMM mission base - and to that end, I'm grateful that the shop is at a point where others can carry on with the building work. My hope is that with perhaps one more team of volunteers, we will be able to complete the shop on our next trip.
My KLM flight being prepared to leave South Africa
It was a busy time with many exhausting days, yet by the grace of God my health was never better. Thank you to all for your prayers and encouragements, and thanks once again to John Topham for joining me on this trip - it was a pleasure to work with you, John (and in case anybody is wondering, John cooks a mean pork tenderloin!).

I'll leave you with some photos to wrap up the time here, mostly of the shop, but a few from my visit to a local church.

Yes, my shoes are dusty (a lot of cement dust this time) and as I leave, the challenge remains - who will form the next team of Mercy Tech Mission volunteers? Who will use their skills and training to build into a life for the glory of God?

Could it be you?

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

Swiss volunteer Matthias helping to install floor steel

Peter setting the front corner pillar
Fani and Tome preparing steel for trusses
Quissito is small, but he's tough!
John Topham (center) advising Domingo (l) and Pindurai (r) on the first door frame
Installing the door frame
Peter and Fani finishing the very last concrete section
Roof trusses for the storage room
One tired but happy concrete crew

Where we started two months ago...
Where things stand for now
Pastor Mariano's small church

The women leading a song

The pastor's son keeping time

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Where Does The Time Go?

It's hard to believe that I have only one week left here in Mozambique, and also somewhat embarassing to realize that it's been almost 2 weeks since I last posted an update! Where has the time gone? Maybe this set of photos will explain.
Work continues on the maintenance shop.
Only one more floor section to pour.

The automotive training also continues (photo by John Topham)
The class learns about cooling systems at the power generator shed (Photo by John Topham)

Buying maize for the feeding programs

A visit to the river where a local family is doing their laundry
Cecilia is the wife of Domingo, the mission's head shepherd
The beauty of a child's smile
Providing water for the compacting of the airstrip
John couldn't resist checking out this ancient Hino truck...
Handing out soccer balls at a local school

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Quick Photo Update

Hi there...just thought I'd throw up some recent photos to show you all what's been happening. It's been a busy week - work is progressing well on the shop, and John has started his woodworking classes. Still no lathe yet, but it's getting closer. It's scheduled to leave Durban, SA on May 8th and arrive in Beira, Mozambique on May 14th. We're keeping our fingers crossed!
The first loads of concrete on the first of six floor sections
The first time these workers had ever used a "screed" to level concrete
John Topham and Fani leveling the pour
Me, trying to look important (photo by John Topham)
The finished product - only five more to go
John Topham teaching his first class of woodworking theory
The first walls going up
Preparing for floor section #2

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New man on the job

It's been a busy week, not just with the work here at the ASAM mission base, but also with some travel as well.

On Saturday Joao and I made a mad dash to Beira, a coastal city about four hours from our location, so that we could meet John Topham, a volunteer who flew in from my hometown of Summerland. The roads were less than smooth, and with all the truck traffic that comes out of a port city, the drive home was long and partly in the dark. But we arrived safely, and John claims he had an awesome sleep on his first night in a tent.
Home away from home
John will be here for the month of May, teaching woodworking skills to some of the local men. It was great to welcome him and show him around the farm - I especially appreciated the cappuccino coffee mixes that he brought from my wife...
John, right at home with heavy equipment
Checking out the garden where food is grown for the school feeding program
This year's lemon crop is ready for picking
Since today was a public holiday for the farm staff, John and I did some work of our own on the maintenance shop project. Some things go better when you don't have a lot of distractions.
Welding the metal rim of the repair pit (photo by John Topham)
John cutting wood to use on the cement forms
Taking a break in the noonday sun
Some last shots for you - on Monday, the workers had a bit of a celebration on the farm for Workers Day, and that always includes speeches, food, and games.
(Above photos by John Topham)
A good time is being had by all.