Sitanachi Church Project . . . A report from on location . . . .
(Published January 24, 2016)
Yesterday and today were the big days for the roof of the church in Sitanachi. Tony is in the red short sleeved shirt in the pictures and I'll send a few more to try to give you a glimpse of how it went. We are absolutely delighted at how well it has turned out and also praise the Lord for great weather for doing it in.
On the right is Fernando, one of the elders of the church in Caborachi. The young man watching is Aaron...we haven't seen him for literally about 10 years as he's been gone working in the fields in the bigger cities. He looks good and it was fantastic to have him come with his grandma who loves the Lord. Lord willing, Aaron will grow spiritually now that he is back home.
While Fernando is measuring the tin against the string to see if it is in the right place, the other 3 are taking a breather. In the yellow hat is Gabriel who has come off and on to the teachings, he and his family have recently begun to be faithful in coming on the Tuesday Bible study days. It really was a blessing to have him working along side the men. Now, a little info. on the Tarahumara culture...no work like this is done without drinking corn beer. As believers they weren't wanting that and instead had two meals of beans and corn tortillas provided for all of the workers and their families, plus some coke.
Yesterday we had Josh Rose and Billy Tjernland help Tony build the trusses. These two fellas are missionaries with the Tarahumara as well and are in the process of learning the language and culture. Josh is an amazing worker on physical projects.
Santiago is a carpenter and has a small shop with many homemade tools made out of metal junk pieces that he has found along the highway, etc. This young man is ingenious with what he has made. Tony had him make all of the doors for the Caborachi Children's church to give him employment, plus they are solid pine doors. Tony has gotten him some very useful tools to help him in his shop and some tools from our Dad's have gone to him too. I think that you can see on his face the joy of learning something new with Tony teaching him. He made all of the adobes for the church, all of the window and door frames, built most of it with the help of other believers. In this picture you can barely see the window frame, adobes, cement cap, and he is setting a 2"x6" board on top of nails that had been set in the wet cement. These boars are what the trusses will be tied into with hurricane metal straps, I think that's what they are called.
This is Billy Tjernland who is a pilot with Pioneers Mission. He and his wife are doing pretty well with the Tarahumara language and are now focusing more on the culture of the people.
Sorry that Cheno's face isn't seen very well, he too is a fast worker and I had a hard time to catch him with my camera. He lives right below our house with his family of 5 children. His wife, Juana, is from Sitanachi and it was mostly their lives that attracted the extended family in Sitanachi to learn about the Lord. The family asked Cheno to ask the church in Caborachi to go there about 4 years ago on a bi-weekly basis to teach them about God. That was when the road was mostly dirt and it was quite rough and dusty in places. It took around 4 hours to get there one way at the beginning. Then, the government decided to make a highway through that part of the mountains, which after about 2 years from start to finish, it was done a year ago. Now it just takes 1 1/2 hours one way to get there. Once the Bible teaching began on Jesus' life, around 2 1/2 years ago, we started going every week to help them to remember the stories and to keep interest up. Cheno and Juana have been a tremendous asset to the ministry there in Sitanachi.
The next steps in getting the church done, is to put more adobe blocks in the two ends of the building. You can use that board that is leaning against the church as sort of a pointer to show you where the adobes will be placed. This will seal it well to help the roof stay on and not get airborne if wind got in under it. Believe me, this roof is sturdy!!! There were 4 long boards that were nailed and screwed into the rafters at the 4 corners to help stabilize it.
The other things that need to be done are to put up sheet rock as the ceiling, put the cement and fine sand mixture on the walls to finish them up, pour the cement floor, but glass in the window frames, and set Santiago's two doors in the frames. The sheet rock and most of the cement work is still coming out of the money from Christ for Humanity. As the dollar is very strong down here right now, it has given us between 20 and 25% more buying power with the money. That has been an unexpected blessing.