Colombia 2015

February 1 2015

Day 1

Nine of the 10 team members came from Iowa, getting up about 3:00 – 4:00 am to drive to Cedar Rapids from Ankeny, Waterloo, and Dubuque. I got to sleep in until after 4:00. Flights all ended in Miami on time and we were able make the connecting flight to Bogota. We are now relaxing before bed. Travel to camp will come tomorrow.

Day 2

Most of the day was spent traveling. After staying overnight in Bogota we drove to Mauricio and Liz Parada’s and then walked to a nice restaurant to have breakfast together. It was great to catch up a little in the time we had. Then we headed out of town and stopped at a Home Center to pick up some plastic so we could put our luggage on top, enabling the 11 people in the van to have what is called more leg room. We hit a traffic jam from construction on the way that slowed us down, then we took a more scenic route which was to take a little longer, but added more time as were behind slow trucks going up the road. We also had to make occasional stops for peaches, plums and arepas. After a late lunch the late afternoon brought a huge thunderstorm that brought a lot of rain and caused a lot of water running through the compound, accentuated by the roof not being on part of the building. The evening was spent relaxing. The weather can be a concern if there are afternoon showers as they will stop the construction. Pray that they will hold off that we might continue working for a full day.

Day 3

This was Sunday, so we were able to relax with a continental breakfast. Since we are all from the north it was unusual to have the sun up at 6:00 and light outside when we arose. There was a double trip made by Dave to see that everyone made it to the local meeting. It was a good time of singing and remembering the Lord together. When the time came for sharing from the Word several were their feet, one right after another. It is tremendous to see an assembly functioning well and encouraging to be well prepared for meeting around the Lord.

Lunch was eaten at a local restaurant, then we spent some time looking through the shops in town. During the two hours we had in town all the internet cafe’s were closed, so this is being written at Dave’s house after supper. The rest of the afternoon was spent getting our thoughts and a few boards prepared for the start of work tomorrow. Now to get a good night of sleep and prepare for tomorrow.

Day 4

Now is the time to get to the work. Mark and Matt headed up the team working on the front, or entry way of the building. This is similar to the work they did last year on the porch roof, laying rafters from the building wall to a beam and this time replacing posts that holds the beam. Garth, Nolan and Bob started with painting the rafters until the job was completed and other details were ready.

Kevin and Fred started working on the rafters and purlins over the kitchen, with Jon’s direction. Elizabeth was helping Renee by taking the kids aside.

Thanks for praying for the weather and safety. The weather has been clear and only one small misshap that required a band-aid. We did not go anywhere for the evening as all were tired.

Day 5

Another nice start to the day, but when the sun gains the strength it becomes quite hot. By the end of the day all were well rung out. There was a lot of progress made on the front entry. Rafters and purlins were getting into place in the back with Garth and Nolan starting to cement those in over the kitchen area. Bob helps by mixing the cement and any other jobs needing done. Brian has not been mentioned as he had stayed with Sam Killans over the week end and arrived in the middle of the day Monday (day 4) and was helping with the entry way. Sam is working with Jerimiah Moffitt and Paul Rogers on more rafters and purlins over the dorms next to the entry.

The work stopped in the middle of the afternoon that we might go visit a local farmer, Pepe. He came from Spain about 9 years ago with just a bag. He also believed on the Lord after he arrived. He has taken what apprears to be dry, rocky ground and made it produce much, mostly centered on table grapes. This brought us back for a late supper. Some of the younger crowd went to the Easters to connect with home while the older crowd stayed at camp to rest up.

Day 6

The work continues with much progress being made in each of the areas. By the afternoon the entry had all the rafters in place, the sheeting on that covers them and a few of the final roofing sheets in place. All the purlins are in place over the kitchen, the truss and been remade and purlins attached over the dining room with most of the purlins being put in place in the ajoining dorm. Several holes have been prepared for the dorm on the other side to hold the purlins. (For the non-contruction people, a purlin is a sideways support that holds up the roofing sheets.)

Again the evening started a little early as this is Bible study and prayer meeting night. Brian brought the lesson, speaking of the need for the flesh and the mind to be under the control of the spirit, which is to receive teaching from the Word. After the teaching be broke into groups of 2-3 to pray. As we are in town all headed to the internet cafe to make contact and have some coffee.

I know some of you, especially those on Facebook are looking forward to pictures. I am still trying to determine how to get the mechanics accomplished (smart phone stilll being smarter than I am) and tonight I forgot to bring a cord to connect to the computer. Maybe next time

Day 7

Most had a good night of rest, but there were a few that were suffering from coffee sleeplessness. It is good Colombian coffee! Several were up early to hike and see the sunrise in a beautiful valley. You willl have to get a better update on that from those who went.

The work went well, getting the roof finished over the entry way. More work was done on the rafters and purlins over the dorm area in the rear. After lunch that crew shifted to putting the roof over the kitchen. This can prove to be more difficult as there is no sheeting to walk on like on the entry way.

Everyone is doing well. Thanks for praying for everything as we have been safe, working together, had sunny days and enjoying the cool evenings and mornings with the hot days. Tomorrow those from Ankeny will be leaving the camp to travel back to their families and tell of what the Lord had done in their lives. Jon, Bob, Kevin and Fred will remain in the work for another week.

Five of us walked to town tonight to check the sights and get on the internet. I had laid out the cord to send pictures, but see it is not with me. I had fully intended to send pictures tonight, but now that is impossible. Sorry, and maybe tomorrow.


Day 8

Really nice day as a lot was accomplished and the weather was not as hot, likely because there was more breeze. Because the front entry way was completed yesterday there were more people available to put up the roofing panels. Mark and Matt worked on a gable end to the poarch and the rest shuffled and cut and lifted and placed the roof panels over the kitchen and one side of the dining room before noon. After lunch the people from Ankeny packed and left. Many of the young people that were working with us went into Bogota to a missionary conference, leaving the place quite empty. The four of us plus Fred from Canada and Paul Rogers spent the afternoon getting the metal rafters and purlins in place over the rest of the dining room and dorm.

Thanks for praying for us. We were able to see the Lord’s hand in holding off the rain all week so we could work and it started in this evening as we were placing the last of the cement around the rafters as they go through the wall.

Three of us walked to town tonight so we might make contact with home. This time the phone connection at the internet cafe worked. I also think I have all the equipment to put some pictures on Facebook.

Day 9

First day for being a team of 6–Jon, Kevin, Bob, Fred and Fred Werner from Canada and Paul Rogers. The day was spent putting the regular length roof sheets over the dining room and adjoining dorm. It is difficult to give great expounding descriptions as we all worked together cutting the sheets and putting in place one at a time for the whole day (with usual breaks). The last sheet was put in place about 4 p.m. and caulked in place along the wall. It was tested by a rain storm after supper and proved well done. There is still a gutter, the angles sheets and peak to be placed over the kitchen plus another set of dorm rooms to do. The evening was spent talking over the background and plans of the camp.

Day 10

We are in the middle of the afternoon, but had a great time gathering with the Lord’s people here to remember the Lord Jesus Christ and the worth of His blood. Bob preached from Romans 3. We went to a very nice restaurant for lunch, a Venezuelan in Colombia, and had an extended conversation after lunch about the camp and its future.

Day 10

Since the last contact was in the middle of the day, we relaxed, then went back to the camp for supper. Roman (elder at the local chapel) invited us over to his house for the Super Bowl. We went for the second half of the game.

Day 11

The day is spent laying a foundation, or in our particular practice, getting the purlins leveled and correctly placed, ready to put on the roof sheets. Some of the panels had shifted over the chapel and they were fixed. David and Bob went about an hour away to Tunja to pick up metal for the valley over the kitchen-dining room and order more roof sheets.

Day 12

Now is the time to put the roof sheets on. The day was spent cutting and placing sheets and included getting roofing on an awning. The section over the dorms is nearly completed on one side. Everything is progressing well and again there has been no rain. Several of the young people and Chris Sanner came in last night from the missionary conference so we had their added help today also. Now we are in town, hoping to take in coffee and a brownie.

It has been several days since making contact, but it has been a combination of availability and accessibility. We do want to give a final report of the activities.

Day 13

The intent for the day was to start finishing off more areas. The final few sheets were placed over the dorm and entry way on the courtyard side. Then the attention shifted to closing the roof over the kitchen and next to the valley. This involved a lot of measuring and cutting, lasting most of the rest of the day. It was completed early and allowed us to prepare for Bible study and prayer at the local assembly. Instead of the usual study in Spanish by the local believers, Fred was asked to speak through interpretation. After meeting the team went to town for what was to be the last time for coffee and tea there.

Day 14

The push was on to finish off the roof, completing what was left over the dorm next to the entry way. It had been decided to attach decorative rafter extensions to the existing posts that it might continue the motif of the entry way across the front of the building. The roof sheets were then applied. During this time we were privileged to see the young people that had come jump in where ever needed. Some of the girls had helped in the staining of the rafters. We were also joined by Enyi, who was a craftsman with the cement. He plugged some holes and finished off the flashing over the entry way. To celebrate the ending of the project we went out for ice cream. The evening was spent having s’mores, singing around a campfire and playing soccer.

Day 15

Now to the clean up that goes with any job. The caps for the roof were fastened down, the remaining roof sheets were stacked out of the way, the small pieces which had been cut off were picked up, and the place where the roof joined the old tile was sealed. The construction wall in the kitchen had been removed and the refrigerator was put back in place. The kitchen was available for use again. After lunch the team packed up. A family came down from Duitama, about an hour and a half away, to thank us for the work on the camp and the impact on their children. After the final good-byes to those who were staying we loaded for the trip to Bogota with some equipment to be returned and the father-in-law of Pepe with his grape vines. As we were pulling out for the three hour ride the rain started. After traffic jams, meeting a couple more missionary families and an excellent meal at Crepes and Waffles we were able to get to bed.

Day 16

It was a short night as we wanted to be on the road by 4:30 to make the 7:00 flight. Everything went smoothly to Miami, where after a 3-4 hour wait Fred headed to Newark and the rest of the team on to Chicago, anticipating an arrival in Cedar Rapids at 10:30, and then the drive home in the Iowa winter which we haven’t seen for two weeks.

Thank you for praying for us through this time. We have had many wonderful experiences, made new or renewed acquaintances, and have had a safe and enjoyable time working together. The Lord’s hand has been seen in it all, and is especially revealed in the rain not slowing any of the wok, coming a couple times at night and just as we left.