Clermont Building Project
As of last posting we had begun building the walls of the future ecclesial building. Things have progressed nicely and we have been fortunate to have good weather. The building itself has been completed and the windows and doors are in with the roof to follow shortly. We have used attractive anodized bronze aluminum windows throughout. These will weather well as the elements in Durban can cause wood windows to swell. The doors and frames are manufactured from Mirranti wood and should sufficiently handle the climate conditions quite well. The Porch area at the front has also been finished and it should be a nice gathering spot for the children, as they will now have a nice safe place to play while the adults can keep a watchful eye on them.
We have also constructed a Loffelstein block wall on the front of the property and filled it in with dirt to give us a nice play area on the front overlooking the road. We also have a nice stairway leading up from the roadside to the ecclesial property level. We’ve also constructed a concrete deck at road level, which will be used as a location for the Mobile BEC. I think this was Charlie’s brainchild and will hitherto be referred to as Charlie’s Deck.:)
We are working very closely with the brothers and sisters of Clermont to solidify their work in the surrounding community. As of last posting the plan was to build wooden stairs at the back of the property to facilitate access for those living behind. The plan changed and concrete steps were built, which I think have turned out much better.
Last week we poured the concrete floors and on cue it started to rain. The poor concrete finishers had to stay until 2 am in the morning to finish up, as the concrete would not dry. Thanks to them for staying so late.
We are finishing the roof and started plastering and hope to have all the finishes go smoothly.
This is a fun and rewarding project and we have really developed some good relationships in the community going forward. I think we are developing an atmosphere of trust that will serve us well when we open our new Ecclesia.
Almost daily I am either referred to as the “Kingdom of God” guy or in many cases “Jeremy”, which is my sons name. He has quite a fan base in Clermont as he comes there quite often after school. He is the proverbial Pied Piper. What a great opportunity for my family to share in this experience!
This is a very busy time for us as the completion date is just around the corner and lots of finishing touches have to be done.
We are getting help from abroad with the planning of the garden and using local talent will implementation of the plan. A two to three week preparation plan is under way to celebrate the opening of Clermont hall. We hope to create a community atmosphere that will make full use of the hall to run various activities and courses.
Over the past couple of months we have established some valuable friendships in the community and there is already some excitement about the opening of the hall hopefully towards the middle of October.
Sunday Meeting and Sunday School
Funo is running the Sunday School on a Sunday morning with the help of Fanisewe and the kids love coming every week to learn new lessons. The Sunday school is now predominantly in Zulu as most of the kids do not speak English. It is going very well.
The meeting has a regular attendance of about seven or eight adults. We have had some requests for a change in the program, and Grant and I are working in the background to work with the current members to make them all feel comfortable and involved in this meeting.
Youth is run by Fanisewe on a Saturday and she has a couple of students attending regularly and some coming from time to time. She is doing very important work with the youth.
Bible study still takes place on a Tuesday evening. With Charlie probably moving to other projects, we will continue to support this venture.
We really enjoyed having the P2P group from the UK here and I enjoyed getting to know them and working with them at “Happy’s.” Tyrone and Carol from New York also worked with the children there and I found their enthusiasm to help the children with occupational therapy very inspiring. A reporter covered their story and wrote a fantastic article that appeared in the Sunday Tribune on the 25th of August.