This morning (6.10.11), at 12:20A.M., our most recent work crew boarded a bus and headed to Bogotá to catch their early morning flight back home to Kempton Christian Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This is one of Martin Sander’s supporting churches and where my nephew and niece, Patrick and Sasha Gilson are members. Sasha served as our intern at the school a couple of years ago and organized this work crew. They arrived ten days ago and Martin and I had accompanied them down the mountain where we settled in at the church camp and began working on different projects.
I had suspended the work on the first cabin so as to be able to use the builders on the project at the original camp area. This also freed up my time to be able to help Martin in managing the group and the projects. This work crew had two primary goals; the first of which was to get a thorn hedge under control. It had not been pruned in years and was in bad shape. They braved hornets and two inch long barbed thorns to cut more than six feet off of the hedge and get it back to its intended shape, size, and purpose. They worked for their full time on this project whenever they were not needed on the building project.
This second project is the building of a bath house to go with the small pool on the original camp property. Since this had been a private country estate for a wealthy family, there was no bath house as they simply used the bedrooms in the house for changing. The new bath house will provide two showers and a changing room on each side; one for men and the other for women. As the Colombian builders progressed and materials arrived, the work crew would dig ditches for the foundations and the mix and pour cement.
By the end of their ten days here, the crew had trimmed about one third of the hedge and had worked on the bath house to the point where the walls were nearly head high. As they left this morning, the workers arrived later to continue this project. We always make certain that the local church does a significant part of the work in order to allow them to have a sense of pride in and ownership of the project. At the same time, this makes certain that the final project is to their liking and suitable to the purpose they had in mind. In an ideal project, they will state with satisfaction, “See what we have built, and what our American brothers helped us to accomplish.” It seems certain that this project will achieve that goal.
Now that the work crew has left and and this project is well under way, I will now restart the construction on the first cabin on the camp expansion project. It is nearing completion but there is still much to do. At the present time, we estimate that it will take about three weeks to a month to finish up the construction. We have a small work crew coming in on the 29th of July and they will probably be painting the first cabin and helping to put in the foundation for the second one. There is still time to join this work crew and share in the excitement of what God is doing here in Colombia. But you must act quickly, as time is becoming very short.
If you would like to visit Colombia on a work crew head on over to our supportCCM.com/workcrew for more information.