Sunday, October 28, 2007

Back to Africa

school continues at the CRC Primary Kabala.
I am excited that I will be returning to Kabala over the Christmas Break! My thesis work here at Dalhousie is concerned with developing or trying out a method for design and construction in development projects like this one in Sierra Leone. In addition to learning from the last 10 months working on this project I am hoping to design potential future construction on this school and elsewhere in Kabala as part of the program of the school. Athough it will be a theoretical endeavour, I hope that the design in the end is a useful tool to use in any future building with the CRC primary (or secondary??) school. So in addition to a very joyous reunion when I return to Kabala, I plan to survey potential building sites (including the current one) see how the school is working and being used, and observe more local construction techniques in Kabala and in the villages that might aid in reducing the use of concrete and steel in the buildings. It is incredible to still be working on project so close to my heart even half way around the world.
the pictures aren't loading that will have to wait

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

endings beginnings

School began at the CRC Primary School in Kabala on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007! This opening brings to close the introductory chapter of what should be the long story of Christian nurture in Kabala. The work that had begun so much earlier with the acquisition of the property, the groundbreaking ceremony, digging the footings, putting up the walls and roof, and finally making the furniture and the chalkboards and securing teachers. CRC Primary School Kabala is now a reality!! There was a passion for an alternative in education. That soon gave way to action for we know that when passion disappears there will not be much serious energy. This school became a reality as people on both sides of the ocean between them had a wide-eyed commitment and interest and put the "hand to the plow." A hope became reality. We are ordained of God to be people of hope. Hope is what we are called to do because it is God's community invited to be in God's Story-the ultimate story of hope.
We are back in BC. What a great time we had in Sierra Leone. What a delight to be present at the opening of the school! The partnership of Fraser Valley Christian High School, Surrey Christian School, complemented by the work of some others who are helping with such things as adult literacy, all of these with the Christian community of Kabala is dynamic. And so we journey together. We journey not as those who have much to give and who have all the answers, but as fellow travelers toward truth and light. We are always on the road. And it was done together. A slower job done together is better than a fast job done alone. We are learning by doing.
The Kabala community speaks so appreciatively of those from Canada and the USA--and British Columbia in particular--who have joined them in their dream for a Christian school. They repeatedly asked for promises of ongoing pledges of prayer and support.
We celebrate that we have been allowed to be part of the first chapter of the story of a new school demonstrating that a new way of life is possible, not only for those in Christ Jesus, but for all. We saw the children of Christian parents come to school in hopes of distinct education--even from parents who cannot read themselves. We saw muslim parents too bring their children to the school in hope of something better. The school looks great. It is off to a great start. People are there in hopes of a better world. May God continue to bless this school as a ray of hope in a land with so few financial resources but with a big faith in a God who changes things. A regular morning song for us while in Sierra Leone was "Cast your burdens unto Jesus for he cares for you!" This school exist as a hope. And I think the greater blessing was ours for being allowed to walk a common mile with wonderful people of Kabala who displayed hope in their love and care. Truly the Lord is moving in Sierra Leone.
Lee & Ilean