December 2010 -
Fall in Puerto Rico Once Again
It is now December 2010 but we'll tell you about our fall 2010 trip to Puerto Rico in this letter...
Sweet fellowship, blood sweat and tears, the joy of victory, and the agony of defeat! That pretty well sums up our last trip in just a few words.
But, it would probably be a good thing to elaborate on these words just a little.
December 2010 -
The sweet fellowship began, and ended, during our visits with the Attos. Once again they played a major role in enabling us to get to, and from, the work God has entrusted to us.
We also enjoy the friends we've made in Puerto Rico. There are two different church families we fellowship with there.
The first is Pastor Steve and Ann Buchanan and the people of the Berean Baptist church in Aguadilla, and the second is Pastor Rodolfo Garcia and his wife Dali with the church family of the New Life Baptist church (Iglesia Bautista Nueva Vida) in Mayaguez.
We've gone to Puerto Rico at least eight times now, and have worked in both churches on most every trip we've made. We've made many acquaintances, and some really special friendships as well, in these two churches.
December 2010 -Blood, Sweat, and Tears
The blood sweat and tears part came from the work we tried to accomplish.
This time it was a somewhat painful experience for me, because the first week we were there I managed to cut my self numerous times.
Two of these cuts were particularly nasty. The second day I was there I cut the index finger of my left hand to the bone, while terminating the main distribution panel feeder cables.
The second cut was to my left ankle, and it also went all the way to the bone. This cut proved to be a real problem because every time I climbed a ladder, or went up and down the stairs, it would open the cut. At the end of our trip, in early December, it still wasn't closed up. Even though it wasn't extremely painful, it was quite annoying.
I'm happy to say that once we finished working in Puerto Rico and were back in Florida for about five days, it finally did close up.
The sweaty part of the trip came from working in the church in Mayaguez. It is a concrete building and even though they have vents on the roof, because of a leaking problem they are temporarily sealed shut. This restricts the air flow through the building. Since it is concrete and located in the tropics, it retains a lot of heat.
The first three and a half weeks we were there, it rained or showered almost every afternoon helping to increase the humidity also. We were working in closed in spaces a lot of the time. As you might imagine, it got very uncomfortable.
When I work in Mayaguez it is usually a "three sets of clothes a day" situation, since I sweat quite easily. I can easily lose about five pounds a day just through sweating. It would be great if I could keep that weight off, but of course, that isn't possible. You need to replace the fluids almost as fast as you lose them or you'll have a real problem.
During our trips to Puerto Rico, I've sweated out my body weight in that building several times over, and I'm not a small person, as those of you who know me personally, are aware.
The tears came from not being able to accomplish the work we came to do. The real heart ache is not being able to get the permanent power on in the building in Mayaguez.
I believe I have made five trips to Puerto Rico with the intent of getting the permanent power on in the building, and each time there is some reason I cannot do it.
The requirements for the building from the power company have changed every time. This problem is the major prayer request for this building, and our work there.
However, we were able to get the feed into the main distribution panel, and terminated as I mentioned earlier. We tested all the feeder cables, and all the panel feeds, and have temporarily energized every electrical circuit in the building.
We have paid all the hook up and installation fees. The power company has inspected the installation and approved the work.
They told us they would hook up the lines to the transformer across the street. It was supposed to be done the first week of our fall 2010 trip.
But after two weeks had gone by, and Thanksgiving was approaching, we found out we had some problems.
- This first is, the 208-120v 3 phase transformers across the street are on a secondary pole, and are dedicated to two businesses there. The power company now informs us we cannot use those transformers because of this. They say this means they will have to bring us a new feed from a transformer a long ways down the street.
- The second is, the transformer they are feeding us from, although three phase, is not a compatible voltage. This means we will have to do some changing of the system we have hooked up now.
Consequently, we will have to add a new three phase 45KVA transformer to go from 240V three phase to 208-120V three phase.
We will be required to furnish the 45KVA dry transformer. We did a quick check on the cost of a new transformer, and were told it will be between four and five thousand dollars. Additionally, we will have to re-pipe the feed to the main distribution panel which will also be at our own cost.
December 2010 -
These previous problems constitute the agony of defeat part of the fall trip, because it will be well past the first of the year now, before the power company says they will be able to bring us the new power feed to the meter base.
The Agony of Defeat
Since they continue to change their story, the Lord only knows if and when they will actually get the power hooked up, and whether what they say now, will actually be the way things are.
Please pray with us that the powers of darkness will not be able to continue to block the permanent installation of power to the building.
December 2010 -
In spite of our inability to hook up the permanent power, the joy of victory was in all that we were able to get completed.
The Joy of Victory
Since we couldn't make the permanent change over, we had time to do a lot of other things that did need doing. We finished the lights in both stairways. The outside lights,the exit lights, and the emergency lights are all installed, tested, and working properly.
The roof over the existing church and apartments has been repaired. We have installed new lamps and switches in the current church sanctuary and fellowship hall.
In Aguadilla, we installed new light fixtures in the kitchen and in their fellowship hall as well. Along with many other things we fixed, repaired, or installed too.
Finally, I was able to just about complete the "as built drawings" which I work on in the evenings, and around the edges, of regular daily work.
Our greatest joy comes in seeing the possible end of this phase of the building project, and hopefully the occupancy of it.
We aren't that far away, and even though we have great joy in the time we've spent in Puerto Rico, This project needs to be completed and the building put in use.
December 2010 -Conclusions on Fall 2010 Trip
Well, this letter is entirely too long already, and after being gone almost two months, I have a lot of work to do just to get caught up here at home. I have check books and credit card statements to balance, and at least a bushel of mail to go through, so my next few weeks will be quite full.
Please pray with us that they Lord will open the doors and the electrical company there in Puerto Rico will connect the permanent power in the near future. Also pray the extra funds needed to make the required changes will be provided for the church there.
Finally pray the Lord will give us wisdom, and the financial ability to return when the power is actually hooked up, to finish the electrical work that remains to be accomplished.
Thanks again for your faithful prayers and support.
Electrifying for Eternity,
Dennis & Sherilyn (Nutting) Thompson
Central Baptist Church
2422 N. Thompson Drive
Sullivan, IN 47882
They accept tax deductible contributions for us.