What are the plans for the Saidi Building Project in 2023?

The Saidi Building project hasn’t exactly been at a stand-still so much as a go-slow over the past few months.

We’ve had an exceptionally wet wet-season, and this certainly put the brakes on the building work. Which wasn’t a bad thing, really. As we’ve reported elsewhere, the spiritual work at Saidi has been growing steadily. Since MGO 2022, more and more children have been coming to the weeking Bible club. Similarly, the mid-week adults’ Bible has been growing, and we now have a Gospel meeting on site every Sunday morning.

Brother Goodson has a lot of responsibility for all of this work, which has been taking up more and more of his time. Recently he organised a program to visit each of the families to get to know them in their own homes.

On top of all that there was the huge task of distributing our 2023 Gospel Calendar – a major effort in itself.

Nevertheless, Goodson and his building team have managed to make good progress on the perimeter wall, which is now much nearer completion.

Distraction from spiritual work

This continuous work has been an additional burden on Goodson, our de facto building project manager – one which he has shouldered gladly. However, we are all agreed that we must not allow the building project to distract us from our mission. The infrastructure is intended to support the mission. It is not the mission.

Going forward, we will have to find the balance between the cost savings we can achieve by doing the in-house, and the effect that inevitably has on our ability to press on with the spiritual work. Please pray.

Planning the way forward

In the meantime, we have been working behind the scenes. Our local architect, Jackson, is well on with the development proposal for the entire building project. This should be ready for publication shortly – watch this space. Jackson is putting us in touch with a Quantity Surveyor who will help us cost some of the major parts of the project. This will help us have a better idea of an overall budget for the project. We know it’s likely to be significant.

The prolific rains also prevented a drone survey of the site we had commissioned several months ago. Carl was finally able to do it last week when the Lord graciously granted a break in the weather. The results are incredible and will be of enormous help to the planning team. I have included some of the drone images in this article, and hope to share some of the more complex 3D modelling at a later stage.

Next steps in the building project

Some months ago we started work on a maintenance workshop and store. It still needs to be roofed and finished internally. We aim to do that over the next couple of months, with a view to using it temporarily as a dormitory when we hold our Bible teaching conference in May (DV). We also need to refit our block workshop for the same purpose.

The building project team will also continue work on the perimeter wall. We want to section off the area where we intend to build a Gospel Hall, in such a way that it will be outside the main perimeter. And the section which runs along the eastern side of the site, next to the main road, needs to be raised with a steel railing on top of the existing block wall.

Apart from that, when we complete the maize harvest, we want to build some simple staff quarters. If we can finish that on time, they will also double as dormitory accommodation for the conference.

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