At the end of my last update I told you that the old wooden building on the college site which was primarily used for the church to meet in had been pulled down in readiness for the new 2 storey building to be built.
The building was pulled down at the end of the dry season and the rainy season began 4 weeks later which meant that any thought of digging out foundations had to stop until the rainy season was over.
In Bukavu the rainy season lasts from October to the end of April – it’s a long one of 7 months!
In the meantime I was becoming very stressed about the build, knowing nothing about building and knowing any instructions had to be communicated over a poor internet connection and an even worse phone connection.
I knew a couple called Nick and Kym Delport who were missionaries with Central Africa Missions in the south of Congo in Lubumbashi. Nick is a structural engineer who designed the moving parts of Wimbledon roof! I knew they had built a reinforced concrete hospital wing out there and that they had now finished and come home. Nick had already given me some advice regarding this 2 storey reinforced concrete build that I was managing.
As I prayed (and worried) about the build I felt I should ask Nick if he would be willing to go out to Bukavu to oversee the build for a time. I have to confess I expected he would say no as he had just come home and was establishing a business here. But God was in it all and he said if I could cover his support he would be willing to go. We gave it a fortnight for God to provide the considerable money needed to cover all his expenses and on the last day of the 2 weeks I had a text message from the Rock Church in York saying they would cover the cost! Praise God.
I am so grateful to those like Nick and Kym and the Rock church who have supported this project in so many ways.
Nick is planning to go to Bukavu at the beginning of April for 2 months and hoping to supervise the build up to the first floor slab.
The cost of the whole build is estimated now to be £60,000 – a lot of money until you think how much it would cost to build a 2 storey building in the UK. Up until a week ago I had £25,000 towards the build which Nick was telling me wouldn’t even get us up to the first floor slab.
Money was trickling in only very slowly and meetings in churches were few and far between, again I became very stressed; I would wake in the early hours and the project would go round and round in my head so that I couldn’t get back to sleep and became instead very agitated and afraid.
I knew in my head that God was for this project because I have experienced so many miracles already regarding the whole project but it needed to translate into my heart and I needed peace of mind.
I was due to go away last weekend (14th & 15th Feb) to a family reunion and in the days leading up to the weekend away I did some serious wrestling with God. I kept reminding him it was his project and if he didn’t provide the money it couldn’t go ahead. As I kept reminding him of course I was really reinforcing the truth to myself. It’s HIS project! I asked God to please show me again that he is with me in the project by sending me a significant amount of money immediately (I was thinking about £1,000 to £5,000).
I went away on the weekend and when I returned on the Sunday lying on the doormat was an ordinary envelope but inside was a simple letter from a couple where I had spoken about the project some months before. On the day I had spoken at their church God had spoken to both of them separately but at the same time to give a significant donation for the project. It had taken all these months for it to arrive as they were waiting for their house to sell. The cheque was for £20,000!
Tears ran down my face as I sat on our living room sofa and gazed at the letter and cheque. This was an ordinary couple who had sacrificed so much in obedience to God and been so instrumental in the things God was saying to me. They are special partners in this project with me and I thank God for them and thank him for his faithfulness. He is an amazing God!
I find that God tests us to the very edge with faith then bountifully supplies our need.
As I write this the foundations are being dug, the builder (Daniel) has been contracted for this first phase of digging out and laying the foundations and the ground floor slab.
Please pray for us during this critical time of the project.
Pray for dry weather
Pray that Daniel will be honourable and not try to cheat us
Pray for Boniface as he supervises the build and purchases the supplies
Pray that the measurements will be correct and the work done correctly
Pray that this phase will be completed by the end of March in readiness for Nick going out
Pray for all the arrangements for Nick to go to Bukavu
Pray that there will be no accidents in the whole build
Pray for me as I write the contracts for the other phases of the build
Pray for the couple who gave so generously that God will mightily bless them and everyone else who has given to the project
Pray that the final £15,000 will come in quickly so we can complete the build this year
Continue to pray that God will reveal a successor to be principal of the college
In closing as the prayer requests show I still need £15,000 to complete the build and am looking to speak about Congo in churches. If your church would like me to come please let me know.
My phone numbers are: 01922 683060 or 07876464735