This trip has been fantastic, so far. It’s only going to get better as if we needed any more ‘proof’ that God has got his hand on it, and is integrally involved in it, we got it yesterday, though a lovely miraculous intervention. Not a physical healing one this time, but REALLY practical, and essential, and right on time…
We’re getting to the point where, because the construction of the Street Kids refuge is going so well – Thanney reckoned yesterday that he was about a day AHEAD of his schedule, which meant that yesterday, he was able to stop work at lunchtime (until more materials arrive this morning there was little more he could do), so he was able to have a rest, which I was happy about as he works so had, and his foot/ankle needs rest)…. Yesterday, Thanney did a short video of the whole construction: I think you’ll agree that for a building constructed so fast, with only one expert builder (Thanney), and on a shoestring sometimes non-existent budget, it’s amazing….
How did the miracle come about? Well, our budget for the construction on this trip was £25,000. Prior to leaving Northern Ireland 13 days ago, we’d reached around £16,000 (a little vague, as some promises – perhaps better to call them ‘suggestions’ – from people hadn’t materialised!). We were worried that work would grind to a halt the middle to the end of this week, still with a full week here next week). Some money came to us for some expensive materials and work Monday: by Wednesday we were ‘skint’ (broke, out of money, for non-Brits and Irish!), but Thanney needed to buy a large quantity of plasterboard… wonderfully some money came in yesterday morning, but with everything we had it wasn’t anywhere near the cost of the materials Thanney needed – 36 sheets of 8 feet by 4 feet plasterboard and the outside cladding.
In faith, he and Wilmar went shopping. At the Colombian equivalent of B&Q, they ordered some materials, to be delivered today…. and then to another building suppliers for the plasterboard. The lads sat on a big pile of the plasterboards while they talked about what to do. Thanney felt that to buy one thickness of board would be perfectly adequate rather than a slightly thicker one. The board was on offer: a discount if you bought 40 sheets, Thanney needed 36. So he worked out what he’d need for other internal walls – like the toilets, washroom, small kitchen etc, and for other rooms. He’d need 58 sheets, which meant getting the bit of discount, which of course, helped a bit….
So he counted the pile – out of dozens of piles of different thickness plasterboard in the store, some higher than others – that they were sitting on. 58 sheets. Coincidence? Not at all. So they went to pay. It came to 4,800,000 pesos (4.8 million) – about £Stg 1,400. Which they didn’t have. The store guy asked why they needed so much, so Thanney, with Wilmar translating told him. The store man, without hesitation, because of what Thanney was doing, said he’d reduce it further – to 3,600,000 pesos (around £Stg 1000) – and then said he’d knock the ‘odd'(!!) 600,000 (about £170) off, too… so, now 3,000,000 (about £840, instead of the original near – £1400!! With what came in yesterday, and some late Tuesday night, there was exactly enough…. saving around £560-600…. To us, here, right now, that’s a wonderful blessing, a wonderful miracle. THANK YOU, LORD!! It might not sound much to you, but when you’re here, and the ‘money pot’ is dry, it’s a major miracle.
Next up is to buy the external cladding – the fitter is coming Monday to fit it: so we need, by then, around 3,000,000 pesos (£840) for the cladding: 4,200,000 pesos (about £1250), plus 600,000 pesos (£175) for the horizontal bars (for the cladding, not for Thanney and Davy to train on for the Olympics… 😉 ). Our next goal is, then, £2,285…..by the end of the weekend. Please, Lord….??!!
The electrician is in, too, so cable and wires to buy: and the friends who have a business installing sound systems, will be at the site tomorrow to say what is needed to ‘bury’ the cabling in the walls, and for built-in ‘plugboards’ etc (for the church that will be planted there as soon as it’s ready, and so the kids won’t have ‘spaghetti junction’ to trip over!), and the air-conditioning people in on Monday, we’re on our knees asking God – and his people – for help!!