Monday, March 22, 2010

Auditorium Project Update #1

After nearly two years of searching for a bigger place for our church, God opened the door recently for us to do some remodeling and rent more of the building in which we currently meet.  This morning at 7:00 we got the project under way!  

The remodel includes knocking down one side wall of our auditorium in order to add the landlord's living room (which is on the other side of the wall) into our current auditorium.  This will result in a 100% increase in space!  The project also includes repainting both the inside and the outside, as well as many other cosmetic improvements.

Instead of saying a lot in this post, I just want to post some pictures from our day today.  The church and our landlord are splitting the cost of hiring a crew to do the demolition work as well as the more technical work we cannot do, but our folks are all excited to invest their own labors as well.  Today we had eleven of our church people show up to help!  

My own children have been as excited as anyone else about this project, and they were a big help today too.  If there are too many pictures of my kids in this post...sorry!  I'm not only a missionary, but I'm a dad too:)

Yesterday after church, I stayed around with some of the church kids and my kids and we drew pictures on the "doomed" wall.  Here's Emma working on her giant seaside mural.  After a couple of hours of drawing and coloring, the wall looked like this:

Here's one of the hired guys getting ready to take the first swing at 7:30 this morning.  As the bricks and cement fell, they had to be carried out to a big pile outside.  People will buy the smashed up bricks by the truckload to use to fill in potholes in the roads.  By the way, notice that one guy is in flip-flops, and the other guy is barefoot!  They're not really into "work boots" here in Cambodia.

About an hour later, a good chunk of the wall was gone.

My son has been dying to help knock down this wall, so while the hired guys were on a break, I put a hammer in his hands and let him go to it.  He found out that it isn't quit as easy as it looks, but he did manage to knock down a few chunks of brick and tile.

As our volunteers arrived, I put most of them to work scraping the outside wall in preparation for repainting.  This was right up Stephen's alley.  He worked with that scraper for hours, as did several other kids.

Here's a picture of several more of our people helping scrape the wall.  Notice the girl with the blue sweat shirt over her head.  No, it is not cold here.  In fact, it has been incredibly hot over the past couple of weeks.  But most girls here don't care how hot it is, they will wear sweaters and hats and long sleeves and gloves that go up to the elbow so that they will not get darkened by the sun.  In their opinion, the whiter you are, the better.  People with dark skin are often looked down upon as being poor or from the countryside.

A couple of hours later, we were working on the upper half of the wall!  

Meanwhile, on the inside, the auditorium was beginning to open up very nicely.  Our church's anniversary was in February, but we have been putting off our special service and Bible conference until this project is complete.  It will be nice to have some room to work with!

Stephen and our landlord's grandson spent hours taking loads of brick out to the brick pile in Stephen's red wagon.  Sometimes they would dump the load, but every once in awhile, they just had to throw every piece of brick individually onto the pile.  Oh, to be 4 again!  Two of my daughters, Deborah and Emma, also spent many hours today scraping, sanding, and carrying bricks in a basket between them.  Candace wanted to be down there so badly, but spent the day in bed sick.

We'll be working on this project over the next couple of weeks.  Keep us in your prayers, and we'll keep you posted!


  1. This was very enjoyable to read on several levels. Exciting to see the church moving forward. Awesome to see the church members involved. Heartwarming to see the kids wanting to be a part. Uplifting to see my nieces and nephews helping.

  2. Exciting!!! We will be praying for your project as it continues the next few weeks. Enjoyed reading the update AND seeing the pictures. Hope Candace gets feeling better soon. The kids all enjoyed this post as well.
    Love to all of you....

  3. Wow, so exciting! It was great to see the pictures and hear about the project. We will be praying that all goes well. Tell Candace that we are praying for her to get well soon. Love you all.

  4. How exciting! We will be praying for your building project! Its great to know exactly what to pray for :) Loved all the pics of your kids!

  5. Wow!!! It is exciting to see what the Lord is doing in and through your ministry in Cambodia. Keep us update.

  6. I really enjoyed reading this post and seeing the pictures. My favorite was how you all drew on the wall. How fun! ! ! I love how you've got the kids involved in the work of the ministry and it's neat to see the church family all working together as a team. We love you guys and are excited about this new endeavor. Your updates help me know how to better pray for you all. ~ DeAna