Sunday, June 3, 2012

Extreme Home Makeover: destitute edition

Our church finally raised enough money to build this family (and this girl) a house! We aren't a particularly wealthy church, so the house is made out of reeds, but it is still better than what was there before- twice the size, stable, and insulated. The following is a step-by-step documentary of the building process (click the pictures to enlarge):

The house as we found it: the walls are disintegrating, the roof is made of cardboard and newspaper, and in one spot the wall is nothing more than the back of a cabinet and a fleece blanket.

Step 1: Load up your friend's taxi with poles and reed mats.

Step 2: Carry the materials up the rest of the hill when the street gives out. 

 Step 3: Take the front of the house off.

Step 4: Dig postholes, insert poles, and refill holes with stones and cement.

Step 5: While the cement is drying, rip off the door and re-position it as desired.

Take a step back and appreciate the view. . .

 . . .have some juice. . .

 . . .and play with the neighbor kids.

Step 6: Put up the walls of reed mats, fastening them with wire and the occasional nail to cross-pieces and poles. 

Step 7: Lay crossbeams for ceiling supports, binding them together with wire.

Step 8: roll out cane mats for the first layer of roofing. 

Step 9: Measure and cut plastic.

Step 10: Put the second layer of roofing on the house.
Step 11: Apply the final layer of roofing (we don't get rain, so the roof is more a shade and protection from the occasional misty drizzle).

Step 12: Adjust roofing so that it lays flat and throw old pieces of wood on top to hold it down. 

Step 13: Line walls with plastic for insulation from wind and cool-blue light effect.

Since we are not a particularly young or masculine church, we partnered with another local body to provide the physical labor. Starting around nine in the morning, we finally went home at three with the house half completed. We will return in a couple weeks to replace the back half. It is a beautiful and uncommon testimony of cooperation between two churches to serve a family from a third.
 This is what it means to be the body of Christ.