Benin: Day 8
Our day was spent in a village where we provided our unskilled labour to the construction team of three that were building a new church. The church was planted in 2018 after the a GAiN well was drilled in that same year. It has grown to 25 adults and 35 children. They have out grown their current 15 x 20 ft building.
The new church is 25 x 50 ft. The cement pillars that will support the roof were pored on Tuesday. Our task for the day is to help construct rafters and if we have time, the roof of metal sheets. All the work is being done with hand tools, no power tools. The framing material is teak poles, no milled lumber. The floor will be sand and the walls will be make by the church members from the branches of palm trees. This simple structure costs about $2500 dollars and has been sponsored by a Canadian donor.
Take a look at this shot of one of the workers. What do you notice? Bare feet and look at the tool he’s using.
The women on our Canadian team were invited to visit in the homes of two of the church members. One of the ladies operated a small village shop out of her home. Both provided warm hospitality. This is by fair, the most developed village we have visited.
Our role was very much of “carpenter’s helpers”. We carried poles, helped cut a few and did a lot of observing. Maybe that was a good thing because it was 32 degrees with no wind. It was amazing to see how very creative they are with the material they have! Our goal of getting all the framing completed for the roof was not accomplished. With one more day of work the roof will be complete. Then the church members will finish the walls and sand floor.
Monique helped a woman collecting fire wood. We trust this new building will create space for growth for this local church.
What a satisfying experience to help and also observe the life of this community around us. What a great team!