Friday, August 2, 2013

Maintenance Update 8.2.13

Maintenance Project Updates

Sharon and I  (Tom) have been at GSF now for over 12 weeks.  We are settling into our ministry roles.  I have spent time with the maintenance staff getting to know them and understanding their skill levels.  I am blessed with 4 skilled nationals in the maintenance department.  We are working together to assess the needs of the campus and prioritize the projects that need to be done.  I am sharing 5 of the most pressing needs...

Cooking for 430+...

Can you imagine cooking for over 500 people 5 days a week and over 100 on Saturday and Sunday?!  Every day our faithful kitchen staff come in before dawn to start the fires in the 5 stoves and begin the process of preparing porridge for breakfast and posho (like finely ground grits) & beans for lunch.  It is amazing to watch!   

The stoves that are used to feed the children of GSF, the school and staff are beyond their useful life.  The outer metal case is rusted through.  There are 5 stoves and 3 of these need to be replaced.    I have been doing some research on what it will cost to replace the stoves,  the largest of which is 150 liters and would cost $1,400 USD.  I feel we can build a similar more durable unit on site for much less.  Through research and talking with others I estimate that we can build 2 or 3 stoves for the price of one if we were to purchase them from outside vendors.  

Bathing the Children...

Recently we have completed much needed repairs to the pit latrine system and have converted them to septic systems for our bath houses and now need to focus our attention on the actual bath houses.  We are so thankful to a church in the US that funded the project!

We have on average about 85 children in residence at GSF.  They live in duplex style housing with about 8 - 10 children in each house with one bath house per duplex.  The bath house is a multi purpose building, it is the latrine, bathing area and laundry washing area.  Four of the bathhouses are in need of renovating due to normal use and age, the average age of the bath houses is 18 years old.  The renovations will include new tile to improve cleaning and hygiene, plumbing fixture repair or replacement and the electrical system updated and light fixture replacement.  Top all of that off with a nice new coat of paint to complete the renovations.  I am estimating the renovations to cost $3,000 USD per bath house.  

Short Term Trip Anyone....

Good Shepherd’s Fold hosts many teams and visitors from all over the world every year.  We are blessed to have a bunk house style guest house to accommodate up to 18 people at a time.  Since May until August 1st we will have hosted 44 people in the guest house.  Our guest house has a bath house that had 4 instant on hot water heaters, unfortunately the guest house has been without hot water since early June.  We have a shortage of electrical power on that end of the campus and the circuit that use to power the instant water heaters.. also know as “widow makers” burnt out one night.. literally.. smoke checked the breaker box! All our guest since May have been real troopers taking cold showers or occasional visiting one of the missionary houses to take showers (and we only have 4 min of hot water, see Sharon’s blog post.. Showering 101).

So with the shortage of electrical power, we have sought a creative solution.  One thing we have in abundance here is sun light!  I have researched different types of solar hot water systems and visited sites employing these methods.  I have decided that a thermosipion system would be the best solution.  The system works simply and efficiently with no mechanicals that can wear out or break down.  The guest house would require a 300 liter system that will supply hot water for up to 15 people.  The cost to install the system will be $2,500 USD.  

Our desire is to install this type system in all the missionary & staff housing as well.  By using the resource of the sun, we can reduce our dependance on electric water heaters thus reducing our power bill which will enable us to use those funds for other areas of ministry.


The last need is hand tools and shop equipment.  Although I brought some tools with me, basic hand tools and power tools are lacking.  I have been amazed at what the maintenance team is able to do with so few tools.  Their ingenuity and resourcefulness has been inspiring.  That said we could be so much effective with the purchase of hand tools (carpentry, mechanic, electrical, plumbing) and portable power tools.  We also need to invest in shop equipment (table saw, welder, automotive jack & stands and metal band saw).  

Would you consider a special donation to help us with these projects.   You can donate by mailing a check to Global Outreach International with a note indicating for Batley Ministry Funds or clicking on the Global Outreach International tab at the top, select our name and  then select support.  

Thank you for partnering with us prayerfully and financially.