Monday, February 12, 2018

One Down, Two to Go

If this were a television show, this is the part where a person with a wonderful speaking voice would say, “Previously, on the Sowers4Pastors blog…” That’s TV talk for, “Hey, let me refresh your memory, or just fill you in if you happened to miss an episode.” Well, this isn’t a television show, but previously on the Sowers4Pastors blog, we talked about the logistics of hosting three back-to-back teams. Now that you’re all caught up, we can move on to this week’s episode, er, post. It’s entitled One Down, Two To Go.

Team One, from Christ Church of Orlando, otherwise known as the Bridge-in-a-Week team, came down and did their thing (which you may have deduced involved building a bridge in a week). Russell and Allen thought this would be a good opportunity to explain the 4-way partnership that makes such a project possible.

The first partner is a church in the States. Not only does a church send a team to Honduras, they also raise a portion of the funding for the project. A participating church needs to be committed to providing finances, as well as labor. That commitment to finances helps purchase a significant amount of the necessary supplies. Then team members donate a week’s time and a lot of muscle toward building a bridge.

Partner number two is the local government, which helps determine where the bridge is most needed. Local government also helps pay for some of the building materials.

The local community serves as partner number three. As the people who will benefit from the completed bridge, the local community supplies most of the unskilled labor. Their tasks include removing rocks from the river, being involved with the team as the concrete is poured, and going up the mountain to get wood for the bridge deck.

Naturally, the fourth partner is Sowers4Pastors. They choose an appropriate bridge design for that location, calculate the construction budget, host the visiting team, transport them to and from the airport, get the supplies, coordinate the whole project, make sure there are enough volunteers, provide the skilled labor, and supervise the construction.

No one person pays for such a project. It relies on both North Americans and Hondurans. The Honduran government and a North American church join forces.

Team One arrived on a Saturday and the bridge was completed by Friday. Here’s what their week looked like:

Sunday--They showed up bright and early to dig holes. At that point, nothing had been done other than the prep work of gathering supplies, and the welding of internal, structural parts. They started pouring concrete on Sunday.

Monday--The second hole was completed on Monday and more concrete was poured.

Tuesday--This concluded the pouring of the concrete, as the handrails were put in place.

Wednesday--They started to string cables by walking the cable down through the river and tying them down on each side. The cables were tightened and made the correct length, so the deck of the bridge would be level.

Thursday & Friday--They built the deck of the bridge.

By Friday afternoon, they headed back to San Pedro Sula to spend the night before flying out on Saturday. Russell pointed out that by getting teams to San Pedro Sula the night prior to departure, they’ve never had a team miss a flight.

Now, if this were a television show, a voice would say, “Next week on the Sowers4Pastors blog…” But, like me, you’ll just have to tune in next week!

 - posted by Christi

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