With the new year, new things are happening in Colombia. When I am up here in the States I communicate with the leaders in Colombia almost on a daily basis. Sometimes that is by Skype, an internet phone service, e-mail, or by one of the social media services on the internet. They keep me informed as to what is going on with the work there and often ask for my advice or opinion on some event or project.
With the new year the school year is about ready to begin there in Colombia. I had planned on being there for the start of the school term, but with Jeanie’s chemotherapy treatments I need and want to be here with her. So I will not make it down in time to start the school year. Fortunately I have been training an assistant and she will fill in for me till I get back. But already I have had numerous students writing to me and informing me that they will miss having me back. I enjoy working with them and they seem to enjoy having me available as a resource for them as well.
There is also the anticipation of beginning things anew at the camp project. The contractor who is overseeing the work at the camp has also written to me, asking about reactivating the construction projects out at the camp. As I had planned on being back in Colombia by now, he had expected to begin working again about this time. He has been as excited about the camp project as any one and has donated his time and talents in overseeing the work out there as a contribution to the ministry. We discussed the plans and the economic realities that we must work with and considered priorities based on realities. That means slowing down the project this year until funds catch up with expenses.
One urgent need we have is to get a driveway to the back area of the lot where we are currently working to develop new facilities. At first, a neighbor had allowed us to drive trucks in through his pasture field. But he plowed that up and planted it in papaya trees. Since the current camp property is developed we cannot get materials back to the new area of the camp. Sand and gravel is dumped at the front part of the camp and then transported to the back in wheel barrows. At some 120 wheel barrow loads per dump truck, the nearly two hundred yard trip over rough ground makes that a very slow and labor intensive job. Plus it significantly adds to the time and cost of building.
The only way to avoid that is to put in a driveway some 500 feet long. Also, in Colombia, for security reason, we need a large, high gate to protect the area when not in use. The installation of the gates, the leveling of the land, and the gravel fill to firm up the soil will cost an estimated $4,000. Since we do not have the funds to put in that driveway, work in the back area has been halted since last October, when I left the country. We have focused on paying off the lot over the November, December holiday season and have done pretty well at that, nearing the amount needed to finish paying for the lot.
In order to be ready for the work crews, we need to get the driveway in the early part of this year. Because of Jeanie’s chemotherapy, I will not be going back in for a while. But the Colombian workers and church leaders can move the project forward in my absence if the funds are available. Please help us to put in this much needed driveway so that we can begin work anew at the camp expansion project as soon as I return to Colombia. We still hope to host a couple of work crews this year and need the driveway to take full advantage of their services. Be a part of this exciting development in the work by sending your designated offering for the camp construction project. We will be thrilled to have you partner with us in this project by sending in your designated love offering for the driveway access to the new camp expansion so that work can begin anew with the New Year!