You might know that, along with friend, Thanney Pyper, from Bangor, I’m involved in a wonderful project in Cali, Colombia, building a brand new facility for street kids, whose futures and lives are under threat, from a very early age, from drug dealers, gangs, and all sorts of violence. Thanney’s the brains, and practical expertise with the construction!
Thanney’s original vision was to modernise an existing house, for a wonderful lady, Dr Ana Elisa Bustos, with new kitchen, showers, toilets, etc., for the 150+ kids she takes care of. In true ‘God fashion’, it resulted in Thanney having to condemn it, as it was about to collapse – literally. And when it did, it would have killed all the children, and perhaps 20 or so workers. Thanney was devastated, but God gave him a new vision, much bigger, which began to become reality when we returned together to Cali in March. What Thanney, and a few volunteer unskilled helpers, were able to achieve in the initial construction, was every bit a miracle as the amazing healings that have become customary in that city. It was the rainy season – that has to be experienced, impossible to describe, it’s like a waterfall! – and Thanney was on a 4th floor roof of an existing building, totally exposed to the elements.
Reaching the last week, there wasn’t a single part of the steel structure standing, the rain – and the shortage of money – having hampered the guys at every turn. Money that was given for the project had to be delayed while ‘due diligence’ had to be obtained: it finally arrived in Cali last week, when we’d been home 5 weeks!
We sat together and prayed at the end of week two, asking for God to intervene, and multiply the work of Thanney’s hands by at least four times and stretch the money we had (about a third of what we needed): he did, and by the time we left, the whole shell was in place, with multiple joists that had to be made by hand, not bought – absurdly, in such a poor country, virtually everything to do with building costs up to 500% more there – which maybe explains why the quality of building is so bad: builders can’t afford to buy what they need.
In 7 weeks’ time, Thanney and I will be in Cali again: stage two will be underway, as, in Thanney’s absence, with the money that has arrived in Cali since we left, the roof has gone on, and some of the walls will have been erected. Our friend Davy King, from Londonderry, is going with us (he was there in October). This phase will be the most expensive, involving external brickwork, and effectively the whole layout of rooms (walls, etc), electrics, drains, and so on.
We’re needing to raise £25,000 for this trip (not our expenses: we pay all our own expenses. This is purely for the building, plus ‘gifts’ to the local unemployed volunteer labourers). The property will be completed ‘cosmetically’ during our trip in October/November, to a very high standard: Thanney felt that God said to him, when he gave him the vision, that at the time he condemned one house, a year later, he’d hand over the keys to a much better, brand new house.
The building will also be used to plant a church, in a very difficult, unchurched area of the city, on Sundays, which is a wonderful ‘bonus’ – planted by long-time friends from the church ‘Mision El Abrigo’, Hein & Teija Hoere, and Wilmar & Marlene Gomez.
Are you able to help us with a major miracle, for 150 kids whose lives will change forever as a result? The kids will not only be protected, fed, cared for, clothed: they’ll be taught – education, taught about Jesus, English (absolutely essential in current Latin America), they’ll have medical & dental treatment, and, in time, they’ll be taught trades.
We need £25,000 / US$ 32,500/Euros 29,700 / AU$ 43,750 – and, so that Thanney can order materials here in Ireland, to be sent there (yes, it’s possible!), ideally it’s needed within 3-4 weeks. Buying here would save a lot of money, the £25,000 has taken this saving into account.
It’ll ensure that the ‘key’ handover can take place in mid- November, which will be a blessing to the kids – just how much you’d never believe – and to have the church there is just wonderful.
Stewardship now have a dedicated account for El Abrigo, so if you pay tax, and are willing to commit the Gift Aid, it can be done through them:
- www.stewardship.org.uk Account: El Abrigo Account No: 20176270 on line, or by mail at
1 Lamb’s Passage, London EC1Y 8AB
Or if you don’t want to use Stewardship, the money can come to me, at my bank –
- Halifax, 11-08-75, Account 00256003. Everything will go towards the project.
If you live outside of the UK, I can send IBAN numbers for bank transfers, or alternatively, gifts can be sent through PayPal – all you need is a PayPal account of your own (easy to set up if you haven’t) and my email address –
It would be wonderful if Thanney could order some of the materials and essential tools here, in the UK, so if you can help, in the coming 3 weeks or so, that would be such a blessing.
Thank you, as always, for your help, prayers, encouragement, and support. This is such a vital project.
With every blessing,