New Constructions

I’m back! We’re alive! So sorry I haven’t written in a while. An embarrassingly long while…  Was my last post really in June? Eish. Buttttt, we’re alive, healthy, and very very happy.

I’d like to talk about the Feast of Tabernacles preparation, aka, what has been going on since I last posted. The work parties that I’d written about were to prepare the land for the Feast of Tabernacles! Looking back on everything that has happened in the last 5 months, I’m amazed. When God has a plan, it’s going to happen.

In the past 5 months, we’ve bought a plot of land, added onto it twice, cleared it, built a bathhouse, drilled a borehole, laid the foundation for a kitchen, planted a garden, prepared part of the land for farming, and kept the Feast on our land (which has been nicknamed the “UCG Village”).

After 3 paragraphs of introduction, I’ll start where I left off in Working Together and We’re LANDOWNERS!!. When I posted Working Together, we owned 6 acres in one area, 1 acre in another, and had to walk through our neighbor’s field to access our property. Since then, we added on. The original landowner’s brother wanted to sell his plot as well. The addition wasn’t big, but we learned that when you buy a family’s farm it’s wise to buy all the land to avoid problems down the road. Plus the plot was bordering ours, so we just extended. We also bought a “driveway” that connects our property to the dirt road. It’s a nice 8 meter wide strip where we’ve planted saplings on either side. In a few years I think we’ll have a beautiful entryway. Now we have a total of 9.8 acres.

While the land was still being cleared, LifeNets donated a borehole, which was vital. Without it, keeping the Feast there would’ve been insanely difficult and expensive at best and impossible at worst. Next to it, but not so close that there’s a chance of contamination, we have a bathhouse. We have a quality septic tank built, but no plumbing yet. Currently, instead of our bathhouse consisting of toilets and showers, we just have a ton of shower stalls. Over the septic tank and near it, we had pit latrines dug. The walls of the latrines were made out of reed mats.

Down towards the entryway, we have a kitchen foundation, but no kitchen yet. The foundation was used during the Feast as a place to store the communal charcoal and firewood and a place for the ladies we hired for group meals to cook.

Farther down, we have our church hall! The church hall was build out of bamboo, reed mats, and “African cement.” I can’t remember the Chichewa name for the cement, but it’s this natural super hard drying dirt. It crumbles with use, but it makes a nice firm floor. The church hall was nicely shaded and pretty cool, considering we were in it sometimes up to the hottest part of the day. Outside the church hall, on either side, we had urinals for men and women. They weren’t pit latrines, but instead 4 stalls made out of (bet you can’t guess what) reed mats that had a pile of bricks to drain.

Okay, right after I post this, I’m going to write another post going more in depth about the land and Feast preparations. I’m saying it on here so I’ll have to do it :). It should be posted within the next week or so, but for now, here are some construction pics!

Front to back: discarded bricks, cement mixing circle, and our water tower
WT construction.jpg
Construction on the water tower
Completed tower!! The black pole in the front of the picture is our solar panel stand for the pump. The mzungu on the water tower is my dad 🙂
BH construction .jpg
Bathhouse construction
BH 2.jpg
The contractor (also one of our church members) outside the male sections of the bathhouse
BH 1.jpg
Bathhouse construction
BH stalls.jpg
We had 12 stalls per section and 2 section per gender. We were well supplied with shower stalls.
Left: church hall, Right: shade structure
CH construction.jpg
Church hall during construction
CH b4 cement.jpg
Inside the church hall before the “African cement” was laid
Overview. Left to right: shade structure, kitchen foundation, water tower, garden, FOT booths, and bathhouse

6 thoughts on “New Constructions

  1. So glad to hear from you again. What hard and dedicated workers you both are and what a wonderful group you have with you. Glad to hear you were able to have the blessing of cooks for your joyous group meals during the Feast. Always happy to hear more.




  2. You are doing such awesome work for the brethren you are serving! God is clearly blessing your efforts – you & Brennan are a wonderful gifts to the Malawi brethren!
    Thanks for your update!!

    Liked by 1 person

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