Piece of the Puzzle

Piece of the Puzzle

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Constructing the City - Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010

Breakfast was early today, because the cement has been delivered to start pouring on the roof of the 2nd story of a new building. Since we had a while before school started, me & another one of the "classroom" helpers decided to go down to the construction site to see what we could help with. We got to try our hands at bending rebar (sp?) to be placed on the roof before the cement pour.

Working construction

The roof to be cemented

There were about 25 or so Jamaican day laborers on the mountain today to help with the job. They seemed to vary in age from late teens to 40 something. Some had boots and gloves, some just wore their regular sneakers. No one wore construction hats & there were no code inspectors or CALOSHA requirements to adhere to, no union to ensure adequate breaks.

 With limited tools & no advanced machinery, it was incredible what they were able to accomplish. The structural supports in the building were made of bamboo stalks that the men cut down with machetes. The ramp to the 2nd floor was made of a few pieces of plywood, bamboo stalks and a couple of 2 X 4's.
Running cement up the ramp

There were no cement trucks to speak of. The cement was mixed on the ground, dumped into wheelbarrows & run up the ramp to the second floor.  It was back-breaking work that went on for about 10 hours that day.
Mixing cement

Our crew on the roof

After school, I went to help the other ladies unpack the clothing and toy donations in the store room. This is where I got to meet the house mother over the boy's home, Ms. Sherine. She's been here since the City of Refuge started and truly has a love for the boys she lives with, as well as the entire place. Her husband works around the property and they have a 4 year old daughter. I felt an immediate connection with her and she and I chatted for hours while we worked.

After dinner, there was Wednesday night bible study with the older children and staff. Ms. Sherine's husband, Everton led the singing tonight (he also led on Sunday morning, as well). At the end of the message, it was prayer time. 3 of the older students, latched on to me so we could pray together. Their requests were so honest and simple - prayer for their families & to do better in school.

My Wednesday night prayer team

We learned about sponsorship today. Each of the children need about $150/month in sponsorship support to provide for their daily needs & to establish a savings account to help them transition from the home when they finish school. All three of the children who prayed for me tonight still need sponsorship. The directors ask for $25/month from the sponsors, so each child needs 6 unless each sponsor contributes more than the minimum.  I know that I can't leave here without at least sponsoring one, if not all three who prayed with me tonight. I'm also feeling a draw to find out about which of the children is eligible for adoption. Fil and I have talked about it for a while, maybe this is to be the time.  WHOOO! That's heavy duty stuff.

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