Friday, August 30, 2013

We Are Building Our Church

Wilbert with 5000 bricks ready to go!
He sometimes gets up as early as 4 or 5 am and his neighbors say that they have never seen this kind of behavior from him. His name is Wilbert and he is the youth chair at Gamasara UMC. He is getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning to start making bricks out of mud. These bricks will soon be fired and ready to build with. Brick making is a fairly common activity around here and can generate good income and requires very little start up capital. The thing about Wilbert though is that he is not making bricks for himself. All of these bricks are for the church.  

Wilbert used to work for a gold mining company, but found that he was working long hours and not getting anywhere. After covering the cost of living so far from home and sending money back to his wife and kids he found nothing left at the end of the month. He came home feeling slightly defeated, and lost. Ever since he entered the church in Gamasara though, he has been a changed person. Never having gone to church in his roughly 30 years of life this has been a big, but welcome change to what his life used to look like, including the purpose with which he now lives. He says that he owes Gamasara UMC for the changes that have taken place in his life and this is one way that he can give back.

Gamasara UMC has almost completed the foundation of the church building and they will then be ready for walls. In the mean time church members have been making bricks, women have been bringing water to mix with mud, others have helped with mixing, but it has been largely the effort of Wilbert that has seen the completion of over 5000 bricks. YEAH, 5000! This work done by the church will save almost $450 on material costs and does not count the other volunteer labor they have been contributing for construction of the foundation. And this is the first 5000, with another 5000 planned after this rainy season to finish construction. That is $900 total that will be saved by the efforts of church members just on bricks. People who make on average $30-50 a month have made a big contribution to see their community have a church that cares about the people around them.

If you are as excited about the changes that our faith can make in someone’s life as I am I would invite you to think about your own contribution, either personally, as a church , or even as a Sunday School group. Can you match Wilbert’s effort? Can you contribute $450 to the building of the church in the Mara District?

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