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project #2

8 Jul

Once word got out that we were handier than a pocket on a shirt, we were asked to help with a second project. Chini is a former TB patient from the hospital that lives in Alafia Tinga (http://www.baptistmedicalcenter.org/projects/alafia-tinga/) and has four sons: Joseph, Abraham, Mordecai, and Timothy. We know of Chini because he sits on our front porch all day and greets us as we enter and leave the house. He is our protector, guardian, and watchman but sometimes we catch him taking a nap and he weighs about 90 pounds with clothes on soaking wet. The story of Chini is intriguing and I am sure deeply moving but we are only picking up snippets of his life gradually, so that will have to be a story we tell later and is probably best told with video.

One of the current volunteers, Mark, brought to our attention the need at Chini’s house for new windows, so we said we could take a look. Our second project was a little less complicated than the first and here are the results:

Before: notice the plastic stuffed on the lower right

Before: notice my hand sticking through the window

getttin’ after it

puttin’ new windows together


installin’ new windows

After: new windows with no holes, installed!

what do adam and aaron actually do?

8 Jul

The work of our wives appears to have practicality and purpose and of course their work is completely purposeful and practical especially while here in Africa. Adam and I, on the other hand, have work that appears… well, let’s just say that we had no idea what we would be doing upon our arrival at the BMC. So, when in a situation where we are unsure of our responsibility, what should we do? Be proactive!

Do you remember one of our first posts about the orphanage? Well take a look at this picture. Look past the cute kids with brand new beanie baby gifts, look past that sissy guy Adam, look past my beautiful wife, and look behind that kid with no pants, at the door.

That door was falling off the hinges, the wood was rotting, and the nails were protruding out dangerously. Besides these basic problems the door was crooked, a mounting brace had fallen off, and we were pretty sure the door did not function as a door. door – a hinged barrier at the entrance to a building or room. This door was definitely not a barrier. Those little orphan lives were in danger from the monkeys (as you have already heard, monkeys are dangerous, just ask Adam) and the dangerous people (not really but we told ourselves that our new door could and would stop anyone). Tell me, what would you do in this situation? We both decided, that day, to come back and fix the door.

Adam, on Monday morning, said that we needed to go back, that day, to the orphanage and fix this door. I was not expecting that type of proactivity but Adam convinced me that we could complete this task because we had… motivation, from both Jesus and James.

Two verses come to mind in this situation. The first is from Mark chapter three verse six: “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon.” The second is from James chapter one verse twenty-seven: “Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for the orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.”

We did not have much else in terms of tools, supplies, or knowledge of carpentry but we started on our quest. We went to the maintenance staff here and asked for a saw and hammer which they gladly gave us after we submitted our names to check out equipment. Next we employed the help of one of the staff members, David, to help us find wood in the surrounding town. David took us to a location that had some decent 1x2s and 2x4s but the sellers were not at the store. No problem, David simply called the number and someone showed up to sell us wood that was sitting out on display with no lock or supervision. Next we needed to get nails, and David took us to another place where we purchased what felt like 30-40 different size nails. Now we had supplies and tools, so we dropped David off at the BMC and headed out to the orphanage.

Upon arrival we promptly removed the door and then constructively discussed argued the best way to go about building a new door. This highly engaging discussion argument lasted far too long, however we finally started measuring twice and cutting once. After making our initial cuts we again discussed argued some more about the best way to stabilize the new door. This meaningful discussion argument lasted far too long, however we finally got our hands dirty with sawdust and started cutting out notches in the wood. After a while in the hot sun we moved into the shade of a tree behind the orphanage, stopped discussing, and did some real work. We came up with some songs while we were working. They mostly included Jesus, orphans, sweating, sun burns, water, and few rhyming phrases. Here is an example of one of our songs: “Jesus was a carpenter and so are we. Just building a door for some orphan kids. What do you think about THAT!?”

Right before we were putting on the finishing touches to our newly completed door the kids came back from school and were intrigued by our project. They picked up our tools, crowded around us, and sat on the door frame. After three long hours, we were a little dismayed when, while one of the orphans sat on the frame, it broke in front of us. We gathered ourselves quickly, sent the kids inside, fixed the door with a few nails, an extra piece of wood, the old metal siding and… well, the rest can best be told with pictures:

the outside of the new door

the inside of the new door

this d@&n door is indestructible

Aaron & Adam

p.s. We are working with the monkey. Trying to reach a resolution. We’ll let you know and thanks for the comments!