Christian Mission News June-July 2010

We'd like to share with you our latest Christian mission news for June-July 2010...

If you're thinking,"Wait a second, this isn't June or July, we're in September now"...

You haven't lost your mind, but we do need to explain, and ask your forgiveness!

Dennis wrote this letter in the summer, but failed to get it to me (Sherilyn). I'm the one who actually types the letters, and sends them to you.

I didn't realize he had it written, but he thought he had given it to me to send. I didn't want to be a nag, so I didn't bug him about it, since as usual, we've really been busy this summer.

So, although it is now September, this truly is the news from June and July of this year.

We'll send it to you so you know what Dennis wanted to say then. As you read, I'm sure you'll realize the topics discussed are still entirely relevant.

Don't be surprised when you hear from us again shortly, since it is already time for our August-September letter to go out. We discovered the mix-up while he was writing the upcoming letter.

Let's call this letter

Further Reflections on Work in Mayaguez

I just thought I would tell you about a few things that have happened these last months.

The good news is that we made the trip to Puerto Rico and are now back home.

We actually survived with little or no real damage. We are physically and mentally tired of course, but after a few days of rest we will be fine.

The trip was a real blessing for us, and I believe for the church as well. At least, the people seem to want us to come back as soon as possible.

There was a lot of work done while we were there, although not all that we had hoped for:

Christian Mission News -
Roadblocks to Finishing the Building in Mayaguez

To make a long story as short as possible, we basically had three things that worked against us.
  1. The prints were not followed by most, if not all of the previous work crews.
  2. The material was not all available.
  3. The electric company had a very different idea of how to bring the main service feeds into the building than we had.

    Because we could not mount any transformers above 15KVA on a pole in Puerto Rico (what we needed were either 50 or 75KVA), we were required to install them in a vault or in a metal cabinet on the roof of the church. These options are very expensive and difficult to do.

    Christian Mission News -
    History Behind the Roadblocks

    As I've mentioned before, the building was built over an eleven year period entirely by volunteer help. Because of this fact, the prints weren't followed very well.

    This isn't unexpected, but the bottom line is there were a great number of additions, deletions, and pieces left out, as each work crew started and stopped, not really knowing what the previous crew had done.

    For example, when we started working there, the building was 90% plastered but had only about 15% of the electrical installed, and most of what had been done, was not done according to the blue prints.

    Several liberties were taken, and a lot of conduit was left out of the poured concrete walls, as well as those made of concrete block. Many electrical boxes were filled with plaster, and had to be located.

    In addition, more than a few pipes in the floors and walls were plugged with concrete and debris. In fact, some were never finished, and so lost for all practical use.

    Another problem we've dealt with is that several items that could have been pre-ordered weren't, and the delivery time on them was longer then the duration of our trips.

    Basically there was an over all lack of understanding about what was needed, and how long it would take to get it.

    Additionally, the building itself wasn't conducive to getting anything done because of all the trash and debris left there.

    Finally, the tools they have aren't really adequate. At times we found ourselves waiting on someone else to finish with one before we were able to use it somewhere else. Many of the tools had bad chords and chord caps on them.

    The ladders are in short supply, although the ones they have are in fair shape.

    During the course of our trips, we've actually thrown several tools away because they were worn out, burned up, or shorted out.

    We've also spent several days...

    In fact, almost three weeks, trying to figure out where the electrical conduits went. This is a very time consuming process.

    Another thing that was equally difficult was trying to figure out the existing wiring. We had no idea what each circuit operated, so we had to hunt them down one at a time.

    Christian Mission News -
    Closing Thoughts

    This is in no way an exhaustive list of the difficulties we've encountered, but it does give you some idea of what we've been dealing with as we worked in Mayaguez for the past few years.

    I'm reminded of Paul's admonition to Timothy, "Thou therefore, my son, endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ"...

    It is amazing how many different types of "hardness" we can encounter as we work serving the Lord. I'm sure you're all dealing with different types of "hardness" in your own lives.

    Please pray with us as we continue to serve the Lord through these short term trips, that He will enable us to overcome these difficulties by his grace, and He will remove those roadblocks that are humanly impossible for us to budge.

    Electrifying for Eternity,

    Dennis & Sherilyn (Nutting) Thompson

    Sending Church:
    Central Baptist Church
    2422 N. Thompson Drive
    Sullivan, IN 47882

    They accept tax deductible contributions for us.