Well, all I can say is that this has been a hard week and I can’t believe that it has been ten days since my last post. Where do I start? Why don’t I bring you up to date on some of the construction projects and then move to some of the other things that have been happening.
The chicken houses are progressing nicely and we will have one house completed by the end of next week. The other three should follow quickly and all four houses should be finished by mid April. We should know by mid March when we will get our first chicks and then we will know when we can expect egg production to start. It has been an eye opening experience to watch these houses being constructed. The use of native materials, stone and timber, along with the fact that no power tools have been used, shows what can be done with the right craftsman putting it together.
I also spent time last week tracking down electrical problems at Sonrise Secondary School. It seems that when the latest building was constructed, there was a voltage problem with the outside light and all the florescence bulbs and starters were burned out. We have replaced most of the bulbs and starters, but there are a few that we cannot access. Extension ladders are hard to find and we have not found an alternate way of reaching some of the fixtures.
I did travel to Kigali this past week to look at another little construction project. It seems that a section of a retaining wall collapsed at the house of one of the Rwandan employees of Bridge2Rwanda. I went down to try to determine the cause of the collapse and to try and identify how to best fix the problem. Since this happened after a heavy rain, I am certain that the water build up behind the wall caused the wall to fall. I am traveling back to Kigali on Tuesday or Wednesday to meet with a contractor to get a quote for repairing the wall.
I have also completed my preliminary engineering work on the water well at Sonrise School. I will be meeting with school officials next week to go over the design and get their input. I still have a long way to go on this project. I have to get material pricing and estimates from contractors on building the pump house and tank foundations. An engineering team from Baylor is coming top work on a water purification system for the well, and I am working on getting them the information they need.
At this point, all I can say is that I have done it again. I have bitten off more than I can chew. I don’t know why I have a hard time telling people no when it comes to church. Please don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying my work at the church, but I think I have more than I can handle. Wait – I know I have more than I can handle!. Like I said in my last post, the English service has the same problems that all churches have - youth, music, Sunday School, communications, you name it, they have it, and if I were working there full time I might be able to make a dent, but with my engineering and construction responsibilities getting in the way, I find that I barely have time to prepare a sermon. I am not sure what I am going to do when my Memphis Theological online class starts! The church work is challenging, and while I think the preaching experiences are good, I don’t now and never have seen myself as a preacher. It's nice being called Pastor Bob, but I don't think that is really my role. I am going to have to spend some time working this out and trying to determine what my role should be in the church. I just know that I have more than I can handle now.
We also suffered through an unfortunate incident on Wednesday night. Our house was broken into and several items were stolen. Four laptop computers were taken, along with a backpack, camera, a computer monitor, a wireless router, a kindle, an Ipod Touch and several other miscellaneous things around the house. We are not sure how this happened, but the back door was wide open on Thursday morning. We are unsure of whether the robber had a key or whether by some mishap the door was left unlocked during the night. We spent all of Thursday morning with the police and they seem to be doing a good investigation. Andrew Rucyahana, Bishop John’s son, was been a huge help and blessing for us. He helped with the translation and with the police. The police have our guards in custody, yes we had guard on duty at the time, and they feel like the night guard and his brother are involved with the robbery. (The brother sometimes substitutes for the regular night guard.) The district police commander lives across the street and he has become involved. It appears that this is a very high profile incident. Hopefully, we will hear something soon and the police can recover some of the stolen items. I was very lucky that none of the items stolen were mine.
Thanks again for your continued prayers and support. Maybe I will have some more upbeat news next week. I have been thinking about writing “Driving in Rwanda part 2.”
Isaiah 58:12 - Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
Chicken House No. 1 ready for roofing!
Bio-security house nearly ready for the roof!
Chicken House 2 is ready for ceiling joist and roof.