Back to Dongi Dongi
The trip out to Dongi Dongi was longer than I remembered. Maybe it's because we were so excited to see the progress of the project we had been fundraising for and eager to get involved with the construction. Our anticipation was rewarded with the sight of a magnificent structure that was way further advanced than I had imagined. From the dilapidated buildings at the front of a borrowed property, the Dongi Dongi School is now situated on their own land with a partially completed building that will provide the children and staff with an environment much more conducive to learning when finished.
It's difficult to describe the feeling of seeing the collective efforts of our Corps and community fundraising take form in a facility that will facilitate the education of 180 elementary students across the Dongi Dongi region. To be able to partner with such a vision and resource it to become a reality is an incredible privilege!
When the local tradesmen arrived back at work after their siesta we couldn't wait to get involved. The afternoon consisted of a general clean-up of the building site, including clearing the verandah of building rubble and relocating the timber ready for cladding the walls. It was interesting watching the pace that the two builders cladded one of the internal walls with the timber panels using only hand tools and work practices that would give a work site safety officer in Australia a heart attack. Eager to help, but not get in the way, we keenly observed their pattern of work and were able to act as their laborers, passing panels of timber, measuring lengths...but not yet earning their trust to use the hand saw. While it wasn't a particularly demanding afternoon of work it was a rewarding afternoon to finally engage with this project.
The evening presented us with an unexpected opportunity to wander into the Boya Lentora Corps next door and join the youth in their Youth Service. Major Paulus gave the youth an inspiring message and the worship band led a powerful time of worship. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the youth from the Dongi Dongi area worship and express their love for Jesus.
We have also been so blessed by the generous hospitality of the Corps Officers as they welcomed us into their home.