Saturday, February 09, 2008

Helping Re-build a home

Friday 2.8

We have made a great friend of one of our Congolese brothers in Christ named Sopo. Brenda says they are the best choir in the district and get requests to come sing all over town. He is a choir director for one of the Ceca 40 churches that Ed and Brenda work with here in Bukavu. His wife Josephina is the head of the women's ministry. Our friendship began the first day we began work at Tracy's Heart. All six of us converged on the rooms we were going to paint and were kind of working out some details when in walked a tall Congolese man.

Ed introduced him to us as one of the volunteers from the church that was going to give his time to helps us paint. He waved his hands in a choir leader fashion and stated that he was a choir leader. He addressed me as "pastore" and was really pleased we could work together.

Every day we were there, so was Sopo. He worked long and hard right along side us not getting paid just like us. Some of the Congolese men were being paid due to their expertise and the needs that Ed had to have some important projects on the house completed.

We learned he has seven children, he brought a handmade guitar one day and began playing it for us. Denny was impressed! He picked it up and did a little jamming with Sopo. In case you didn't know it, Denny used to play a lot of guitar (I hadn't known that until our trip here).

We learned that Sopo is one of the many who has been effected by the earthquake. He has a mud house that has one whole wall tilted away from the house and beyond repair. One of the things that Ed and Brenda have been trying to do, much like us at MCC, is to get people to help each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Sopo has been doing that in helping to remodel Tracy's Heart.

The six of us here along with the Buell's are going to start the project of rebuilding his home as an act of love from us and for his contribution to Tracy's Heart. We believe we are going to need about $1,500 to get this small mud house completed. We know we can't get it all done before we leave, we are going to order materials and do what we can on Monday before we leave. You can tell by the pictures that we have our work cut out for us.

If you can help us show Sopo and his family how his family in Indiana care just get a check to me at MCC as soon as you can. Anything will help! We will wire it to Ed and Brenda and get it done!

As you can tell from the pictures, we painted inside the mission house today and finished up some roofing. Ed ordered materials for building a shed to house the generator. It was quite a site watching the materials being delivered. There was quite a chaotic moment as the dump truck was attempting to back into the drive and dump the sand for concrete. He finally decided after a lot of directions from about everyone that the best thing to do would be to dump it just outside the gate, we all breathed a sigh of relief.

We had some great comic relief at dinner time when Mick tried to complement the cook about his doing a great job on the chicken. "Cuku" means good in Swahi. The cook thought he was calling him a chicken!

Mick and Dutch got a treat of going downtown to do some shopping (won't tell you what they bought) it was quite an experience. Brenda actually made it back with both of them and not so usual, they got a good deal on what they were looking for.

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