Roofing and Blessing the Huacuyo Church

Huacuyo Church

Huacuyo ChurchLast week more than 50 volunteers built 17 colossal roof trusses and put a metal roof on the new Nueva Esperanza (New Hope) Church in nearby Huacuyo Valley. This is a momentous event: it’s the first new church in this region in more than 20 years! Now that it’s roofed, it can be used. The “floor” of dirt and grass, the absence of doors and windows, and the occasional bird flying through don’t concern the members. Now that the roof is on, they consider everything else “obra fina,” fine work, minor details.

We and the local folks are mighty proud of the new church, and we hope our donors are, too. The church is 10 by 28 meters, about 3,000 square feet including the entry vestibule, at a cost to date of less than $6,000 to the mission. We figure the floor, windows, doors and interior walls will cost an additional $6,000.

Huacuyo Church   Huacuyo Church

Church folks like to point out that another new church 40 miles away is smaller, has a smaller congregation, and cost quite a bit more! They are so proud that their own hard work saved so much money! And wow: they own their church!

The last nails were pounded in for the roof ridge cap during the start of a four-hour service, followed by a 90-minute ceremony in which pastors, church and community leaders, the three maestros (master builders), and we were called on to speak. As always, we reminded attendees that we’re merely coordinators and administrators; the money comes from our generous donors.

Huacuyo ChurchTo show their gratitude, church members showered us with gifts: a hand-woven poncho, a hand-knit gorro (hat), a woven coca bag and an alpaca sweater for Jeff; a hand- woven aguayo (blanket), two alpaca mantas (shawls), and a purse for me; baskets of p’asanqalla (slightly sweet, giant puffed corn), and leis of kantuta blossoms and p’asanqalla for both of us -- all presented with tearful gratitude and bucketsful of rose petals heaped on our heads.

The maestros had figured that roofing the church would require two weeks of hard work. But so many volunteers showed up it took just seven days. So instead of charging the mission 5,000 Bs. as we’d budgeted, they felt 2,100 Bs. - a total of $300 was fair. That’s $100 each, or less than $15 per day for each master builder!

Again, we revel in the beauty and spirit of Thanksgiving 2013. Thanks to our donors’ generosity, the mission has invested in a lot of good work, making money go great distances, and helping local indigenous people build better lives for themselves and their families. Congratulations, blessings, and thanks!

Huacuyo Church    Huacuyo Church

Please remember that on Tuesday, Dec. 3, every electronic donation made to Mision Frontera will be doubled! Please go to http://www.umcmission.org/Give-to-Mission/Search-for- Projects/Projects/3021288, and click the big red “GIVE NOW” button. Thank you again for your support!

With love and gratitude, Deb and Jeff

See the newsletter for more photos!

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