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Village Churches

One of our primary tasks in coming to India was to assist in the building of the 12 churches we co-funded with the Fjarlis. While the construction teams have worked on the churches, Pastor Tim has held VBS-style meetings for the children of the town.

The current evangelistic meetings have, as of the last meeting, resulted in 1762 baptisms, creating an immediate need for village churches to enable these new believers to gather and continue learning about Jesus and the salvation He offers. Thus, we have had teams working in hot sun putting on the metal roof of structures that were built before we arrrived, as well as building the block walls around the structure.
The blocks that are being used are the same ones used at the mission compound. They are strong and good-looking, producing churches that will be low-maintenance and durable for years to come. Unlike many of the buildings in the villages, these churches will have nice windows to enable ventilation. All the villages have electricity, so ceiling fans and a PA system will be possible.

Work has progressed on these churches along with much enjoyable conversation, Andrew's attempts to improve best times on laying a row of blocks, and a great, cooperative team spirit. The blocks weigh about twice that of a brick, but a little less than a concrete block. Lines were created to hand off the bricks, making getting the blocks to where they were needed fairly fast and not too much work for anyone.

Local teams built the specially-cut corners while we built the walls. The locals eventually realized that they could do corners ahead of us, enabling our team to keep going without having to wait. Last I knew, Andrew's team had the time down to 2 1/2 minutes per row. There was a limit to what they could do, however. Once they built the wall up 8 rows, it was time to begin fitting the brick around where windows would go. That was beyond our skill set, so we were moved to other churches.

Church Dedication

After a small ceremony to dedicate and officially open the Medical Clinic, Sabbath School with the 200 students in the Dining Hall, we drove to the above site to dedicate the partially completed church. Anticipating it would be a normal church dedication, we were all surprised by what awaited us.