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Grand Openings and Big Dreams
It’s important to finish what you start. Deep down we all know the truth that every project needs a start date and a completion date if it’s going to be successful. If you don’t have them, then it’s not really a project; it’s just life.
This past Friday the completion of the Mercy Tech Maintenance Shop Project in Mozambique was officially celebrated, and we did it in style. There were speeches, lots of food, and of course dancing – this is Africa after all.
Does that mean that the shop has everything it needs? Of course not – equipping a repair and training facility is an ongoing task, and the ASAM mission base will always need the help of its supporters to keep things moving along, so we encourage you to consider that.
But what was only a dream in 2011 is now done and ready to be used, not only as a maintenance facility for the ASAM mission base, but also as a training center for local young men seeking a trade. Our former student and shop manager, Prosper Fernando, has been working there for over a year and a half and is now ready to begin teaching others in the trade. Mercy Tech Mission will continue to be involved in an advisory role with possible special training visits in the future, but we’re excited that basic instruction in the skills of mechanics and welding can now be taught locally.
If you’ve been following my blog over the past few years, you might also recall a young man named Fanuel Cesar. Fani worked long hours with me during the concrete pouring stage of the shop in 2012. Previously as a teenager, Fani had some limited success as a singer in Zimbabwe. He wanted to pursue music further, so in the evenings after work I also gave him guitar lessons, and eventually presented him with a donated guitar. Fani is now employed by the railroad in a nearby town and over the past weekend I visited him for a jam session.
It turns out that Fani has big plans and is building a small recording studio beside his modest home. His dream is to provide recording and mixing services for local musicians and churches. Attached to the studio will be a small beauty salon where his wife will do hairdressing. All the skills needed to build his original home and to build this new studio came from Fani’s time working with Mercy Tech volunteers, such as John Topham and Bob Denesiuk (Summerland). It’s very fulfilling to see how skills training has made a difference not only in the life of an individual, but for an entire family.
Finally, I visited a local church this weekend and was invited to the pastor’s home for a meal afterwards. As we chowed down on sudsa and chicken, I couldn’t help but notice the nice solar light installation in the room. The electrical work was done by Vasco, who was trained in basic electrical by one of our volunteers in 2013. Well done, Don Bryce (Summerland)!
Vasco has installed lighting in a number of the village houses now, including an LED system in his own house that runs on three flashlight batteries. Below is a short YouTube video that I made about it.
Thanks again for supporting the work of Mercy Tech Mission. Changing lives, one skill at a time. It’s not just a catchy saying; it’s real life.