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Sweating the Big Stuff
One thing that makes a Mercy Tech mission trip so interesting is that you’re never quite sure what you’ll be doing once you get there. Yes, we come to teach skills so that people can be gainfully employed, but the exact form of that training will be shaped by what you find “on the ground” when you arrive.
Craig’s welding and fabricating skills are being used to the fullest on the new dairy barn project that’s underway here at Project Canaan in Swaziland. There’s a lot of heavy steel to be put into place, giving his students Menzi and Msobo plenty of valuable welding time in the process. Not only does Craig work from dawn till dusk (well, almost), but he refuses to let me drive him to the building site, preferring to walk the 1.7km distance four times a day.
In the mechanic shop, the list of broken vehicles and equipment is almost endless, to the point where it’s difficult to focus on the main priority of setting up a maintenance schedule and the protocols it needs to be successful. But in the midst of broken leaf springs and quads that won’t shift correctly, we’ve managed to create a database of the vehicles on the project – 17 and counting – and today we began the process of inspecting and servicing them all one by one. Our hope is that we can get this done in the next two weeks so that my students Bongkozi and Menzi #2 can get a handle on keeping this huge fleet mobile.
Heart for Africa’s Project Canaan is an amazing miracle all on its own. Mercy Tech Mission is grateful to play a small part in the work they’re doing here on behalf of the beautiful children they care for – currently 117 kids five years old and under. My tour through the baby home last Saturday hit me hard as I met some of the youngest of the abandoned children, probably because I’m a new grandfather myself. It’s a reminder that all of life is connected, and that the training we give today will one day translate into a secure home that can withstand the oppression of poverty and the hopelessness it brings.
Thanks for following with us on this journey of changing lives, one skill at a time. And yes, I say that a lot, but only because it’s true.
Sweating the big stuff in Swaziland,
Rick Cogbill and Craig Skinner