Two weeks ago Alan and I began his full-time and my part-time work at our church, Hillside Christian Centre. I'll try and take some pictures and post them so you can see the work we've done thus far. Basically it's a huge brick church built in 1860 that is falling apart. The guttering was never done properly so the walls in the big hall (which is currently used for storage and a one day a week charity shop) is infested with dry rot and was falling down in multiple locations. On the outside of the building there are large bushes growing out from the brick where water has dripped for the last decade without attention. There are also at least a dozen pigeons that have taken up roost in the tower of the church due to windows being broken from vandals in the area. In the past two weeks we've managed to knock down about 75% of the affected plastered walls and bag the rubble into last count 75 rubble bags. Those we've then lugged to the tip in small loads as we couldn't afford to rent a tip for a week. So our work continues but basically, it's a mess.
Alan started work right away on the guttering on the sides of the church and also in the alleyway that runs between the two buildings of the church that has been overgrown with more plants, more pigeons, more grime and more muck. Fortunately he's cleared all that out now and cleared all the guttering and has started the big job of replacing what needs replacing as well as putting up steel panels to protect the gutters from kids trying to climb them. Unfortunately this area of Birkenhead is prone to a lot of vandalism and destruction. The garden area the church worked so hard on was at least partially wrecked by a kid in the neighborhood only a couple of days after it was completed. Sad.
In addition to the work at the church I've been busy working on stuff for Germany. Sometimes it's hard to believe how much there is to do before we go but on a good note, our good friends Simona and Mihai from Romania are going to rent our house starting October 5th. Great, in that it's rented so we can feel free to move... not so great in that we have to be gone in a month and I've got a to do list a mile long! Anyway, it'll get done eventually I know :).
This morning we drove to the Manchester airport to see my mom and dad and Dr. and Mrs. Dicks at the Manchester airport. They are off to Welshpool for a few nights to stay at the young life castle for a prayer week before going to south wales and then back up along the coast. We'll meet them in about 9 days in Conwy in North Wales where we'll tour around with them for 2 days before they'll come here for 2 days. Should be fun :). Tomorrow we think we'll drive to Welshpool to see them and spend the day.
Right now we're gearing up for moving out, moving in briefly with Alans parents, going to Germany for about a week then orientation and then Georgia. Support raising is going well. My latest inspiration was to try and find 100 people who will give $10 a month and 100 people who will pledge $5 a month so that we can raise the remainder of what we need. In any case we're trusting the Lord that He'll give us the right number of prayer and financial supporters so we can do our work in Germany without too much stress over finances.
God is good and we are blessed!