Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bridge Building: How we manage the costs

This is the last of the newsletter fragments I'll be posting. I don't know if you've enjoyed reading them, but it has been nice for me to have some quick and easy postings already written, as I'm pretty swamped with work right now. We've been organizing the items from the shipment and creating gifts for the pastors with whom we work, and this is a huge task. This final bit from the newsletter is about how we handle our bridge construction projects, with an eye toward being as efficient as possible with funding.

We also attempt to use funds as efficiently as possible in our bridge construction projects. We save money by acquiring donated gently-used cables and free design and engineering advice from contacts in the US. We utilize volunteer labor from the communities served by the bridges, and oversee the projects ourselves (thereby avoiding the cost of supervisors and the opportunities for overpriced contracts to be accepted and bribes to be paid). We estimate that our bridges cost about 10 – 20% of the cost of the same bridge built by Honduran government agencies and contractors. The material costs are mostly paid by the local government, which also oversees the scheduling of volunteers, maintains a secure on-site bodega for storing materials and equipment, and provides meals (and sometimes housing) for Allen, Russell, and our small paid crew.

So, now you know a bit more about a few of our ongoing ministries. We did mention in our letter (a part I didn't post on the blog) that we are having to look carefully at all of the different ministry works we do, because funding is down, and we might have to choose some things to discontinue. Of course we are praying that God will allow the funding to come in so that we can continue all of the current ministries, but we're also praying for wisdom and discernment for dealing with more limited funding than we've had in the past. Thanks for praying with us!


Cindy in California said...

I've enjoyed reading these more detailed excepts about your ministries. I love all the projects you are involved in. I pray you get funding to continue them all because it would be difficult to choose which ones to discontinue.

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to the whole Sowers' clan! Where can I get a copy of the newsletter in its entirety? I would love to spread the word!

Much love, Jane McSweeney

Trish said...

Thanks so much Cindy!

Jane, since I have your email address, I'll send you a copy of the newsletter now, and I'll add you to the list for future letters. Thanks so much for asking!