Tag Archives: Father 2 the Fatherless

Father to the Fatherless – Published!

As we shared in some earlier posts, Jeff led his first team project trip in September to serve a ministry called Father to the Fatherless. See here and here to get a sense before the trip, and here to see the trip wrap up.  As you saw, a great deal was accomplished during the trip itself, but that was only the beginning of a long involved effort to complete the design work, drawings, and publish our Master Plan for the ministry.  In mid-December, just before our fall interns returned home, we thank God by His grace that we were able to complete the project and pass it along to the ministry in time for Christmas!

Site Perspective

Above is a 3d rendering that our architecture intern Christine produced showing how all of the buildings will fit onto the land and below is an artistic rendering that one of our volunteers David made for the children’s homes, which are the first priority in F2tF’s planning.  This team did some incredible work and it was such a privilege to be a part of it.  We trust that images like these will go a long way in helping F2tF raise the funds that they need in order to build these buildings and see their ministry lived out.

Chlidren's cluster rendering

In addition to the pretty pictures, we gave the ministry drawings that will aid them in planning – building types and locations to fit the site, floor plans for the bulk of their buildings, and technical information like how to get water from the well distributed to those buildings.  Take a look:

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Finally, and not so picture worthy, we gave them an 80 page report with information on everything from the soil profile, to recommendations for waste disposal, to how they should plan to power the site.

This team worked incredibly hard, putting in over 1750 man-hours on this project.  This is amazing even more notably in my absence as I had to make an unexpected return to the US.  My co-leader Sarah and the interns and volunteers picked up the pace even more to get this project done and it is beautiful to see.

I was so encouraged to receive an e-mail from F2tF in the last couple of weeks saying that they have been showing these documents around and they have already raised $8,000 towards their first children’s homes and the associated infrastructure.  Praise the Lord for this!  I am grateful to know the leaders of Father to the Fatherless and trust that they will continue to hold closely to the Lord as they seek His best plans for their ministry.  I am grateful to have had a role in serving them.

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F2tF – Trip Wrap Up

Thank you all so much for your prayers for our team as we worked for Father 2 the Fatherless (F2tF).  We had a great trip and it was such a privilege to have this wonderful group of people for my first project trip lead:IMG_7430

As I’ve shared before, the building site is gorgeous.  The 75m drop provides wonderful views (even if it provides lots of other design challenges):

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One of our architects (a repeat volunteer) wrote his wife and said, “this trip is very similar other EMI trips I’ve been on…everyone is huddled around a table with their laptops working long hours with insufficient fluorescent light.”  There is something accurate in that description <grin>:

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When we weren’t cranking out drawings and putting together test data, we were asked to represent F2tF for a “friendly football game” with some of the villagers.  Little did we understand that we were playing against the village team with about 200 onlookers.  Because I was the project leader, I was the de facto captain of our team (yikes!) which was soundly beaten in spite of their attempts to take it easy on us.???????????????????????????????

With less than a week at the site, the team worked diligently to put together a Master Plan for the 83 acre piece of land that F2tF owns, put together preliminary floor plans for 14 different buildings, tested water quality, soil strength and more.  Whew!  You can see the proposed Master Plan here which includes homes for orphans, a community medical clinic, a church, a primary school, vocational training and more:9146 Master Site Plan 02eAs I shared in my post from the site, the new well from Living Water is operating and already a huge blessing to the community.  Our civil engineering team tested the water to compare the old and new well and it doesn’t take an engineering degree to read these petri tests and decide which well is better for the community (hint, more dots are bad).  I’m so grateful to have had a role in seeing this come to fruition.

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Our week concluded back in Kampala, where we were able to visit a slum area where F2tF founder, Mathias, spent several years as a street child.  Our team visited a local church – a 10′ x 20′ rick shack enclosure with about 50 people when you include our team.  It was a blessing to see these people so excited for what the Lord is doing and to have a chance to worship with them (I was asked to play).IMG_7638

It was a fantastic trip and your prayer covering is so appreciated.  Now with all of our volunteers home or in the air, our Ugandan team (consisting of myself, 2 interns, and a Civil Engineering volunteer) will be taking our preliminary sketches and putting them into CAD drawings while refining the master plan, civil design, and fundraising renderings.  There is still much to do so your ongoing prayers are greatly appreciated!

F2tF – Update (Monday)

Yesterday our team arrived in the village of Namuganga to walk the perimeter of the land for Father 2 the Fatherless.  The site is gorgeous and it was wonderful to begin to dream as we were swarmed by village kids that wanted to see what we were doing.  Here is our team before the walk getting hearing about the vision of F2tF.

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As we were walking, we got towards the lower end of the site and there was a big crowd of people.  I wasn’t connecting what it was but at the bottom was a moving sight:

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Here stands Jja-jja – “granny” along with a whole host of kiddos that have come to draw water for their families.  There was a HUGE line of people that had come to fill jerry-cans full of water to bring to their families.  Water quality test results aren’t back yet but it’s no doubt cleaner than the brown water that is drawn from their old hand-dug pit.  It was so moving and I was just thankful that my job lets me be a part of doing something like this.  Praise God!  Thankful too to our partner church Cornerstone E-Free that was part of raising funds for this well.P1050797

P.S. – please continue to pray for David – his flight has been delayed or rerouted 3 times and he is supposed to arrive today. Pray the Lord will get him here safely and help us all to acclimate him well.

F2tF – Ready to Go (and Well Update)

This afternoon, 4 men from the US are hopping on planes to come to Uganda.  I will be meeting them along with 2 interns and 2 staff and on Sunday we head out to the village of Namuganga to develop a master plan for Father to the Fatherless (F2tF).  You can learn more about the project here.  The ministry is trusting God for big things and it is a tremendous blessing to be able to use our skills in such a direct way to see God move.

A couple of weeks ago, we shared a special update about the F2tF regarding efforts to put in a well.  You can read more of the backstory on the well here.  The short version is that F2tF REALLY needs a well – and a good one – because the hand dug put that the community currently uses is dirty and inadequate for them least of all the several hundred orphans and widows that are envisioned as part of the ministry.

The drillers, from a partner ministry called Living Water, warned that the site is in an area known for being difficult to tap.  They agreed to make 3 attempts to finding a water source.  The first attempt was a low yield well with limited capacity.  The second wasn’t even worth casing.  For the third attempt, they went to the bottom of the site and as they were working, the drill rig broke meaning it took several days.  When they finally did get moving, they tapped into a strong source of water – with a preliminary estimate of 1000 gallons per hour capacity!

This is tremendous news! Our civil engineer tells me that this should be sufficient to provide water for everything that F2tF is envisioning along with the needs of the community.  So as we prepare to go out, it is wonderful to know that we can dream big with the ministry for all that they wish to see on this piece of land.

We will try to give an update during the week, but as we are going – we would appreciate your prayers:

1) For the volunteers and staff as we travel.  Pray that the Lord would use this time to prepare hearts and minds for the task ahead.

2) Pray that the Lord would provide for all of our needs – for consistent power, for sustenance as we labor diligently, for all the logistics as we travel from our hotel/workspace to the site (about 40 min. apart).

3) Pray for team unity – that we could build each other up and that we would work well together as we throw together a team of 5 architects and 4 engineers all of whom come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Pray that the Lord would speak in a special way into the hearts of each of the volunteers, interns, and staff.

4) Pray that we would serve F2tF well.  That we would help them refine their vision and that we can develop site plans and building layouts that F2tF can use well as a basis for fundraising and construction.

5) Pray that the Lord would open up opportunities for us to share the Love of Christ with the people around us.  On airplanes, at the hotel, and in an outreach into a Kampala slum at the end of our trip.

Well Drilling this Week!

Hey Folks,

This will be a quick one but we shared last month in pretty good detail about Jeff’s project trip coming up (now in just over 2 weeks!) to serve Father to the Fatherless (F2F).  If you didn’t see the previous blog post check this out.

As we shared before, F2F needs to put in a well in order to serve the needs of their ministry as well as to provide a better water source to the community at large.  By putting in the well before our team arrives, this will allow us to know the capacity of the site.  For example, if they want to build homes for 300 orphans but there is only enough water for 100 people, then we have a big problem!  So before we put in the effort to make a Master Plan for them, we are grateful that we will have this information so that we can plan appropriately.

Living Water is a partner ministry of EMI’s and is going to be putting in the well this week.  I spoke with them Monday and they are on the site and are drilling the well as we speak.  There is a lot to it – finding (with guesswork and prayer) where you hope is the best place to put the well, digging the hole (perhaps more than once), casing the hole with PVC piping so that it’s stable, and then testing the hole to determine how much water output there will be.  This process can take several days.

Please pray that the well will go in smoothly, that they can put in a safe and effective well that will be a blessing to the ministry and the community that desperately needs a clean water source.  I will send an update once they have finished.

Father to the Fatherless

For the past few months, I (Jeff) have been busy prepping for an exciting project – my first team lead – called Father to the Fatherless.  Our blogging has not been consistent enough and so I feel like there is too much to share as God has been doing some amazing things through this already.

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The Ministry – Father 2 the Fatherless (F2F) is a ministry started by a Ugandan man named Mathias along with his American wife Jolene.  Mathias grew up as a street child and was rescued out of it by missionaries.  Now, they wants to bring hope to children the same way that Mathias did and envision a place of children’s homes, a primary school, a ministry center.  Learn more about the ministry here: www.father2thefatherless.org

Land shot

The Project – F2F has a little over 80 acres of land near Mityana Uganda that I was able to visit this spring.  The above picture shows a good view of the land – scattered trees, a lot of grass, and some pretty good sloping hillsides. F2F needs professionals to show them how to use their land well so that they can see their vision come to reality.  You can see details on the ministry and the project on EMI’s recruiting web page here.

The Team – for the past few months, that recruiting page has spurred a number of e-mails and dialogues with people from all over.  While the team is still coming under formation, it looks like we will gave a group of 9 including 4 volunteers from the US, 2 interns, a long term volunteer engineer, and my co-leader, a staff architect.  If you see this and are (or know of) and electrical engineer, Master Planner, or Landscape Architect, please drop me a line!  We have a really exciting group of people and it has been energizing to see the way that the Lord is stirring the hearts of the various people of the team.

Well

The Well – The land of F2F has a hand dug well (shown above) on it which is the current source of water for the village around it.  People come from a kilometer or more to get water from this pit using 5 gallon jugs which they haul back to their homes for laundry, bathing, and drinking.  F2F knew that a well was a critical need both for their ministry as well as the community. F2F has been raising the $9000 that they need to drill the well.  We were excited to learn that they were able to raise the full funds for this project!  One of our partner churches Cornerstone E-Free in Saint Louis contributed significantly as part of their Vacation Bible School as they learned about “Living Water”.  We were thrilled to be a part of seeing this 3 way partnership come together.  Now they will be putting in the well before our team arrives so that we will have the data to do our master planning.  Pray for the Lord’s guidance in the well placement so that they can get the water that they need so that F2F can provide Living Water to the community!

More details will be forthcoming, but it is an incredible blessing to be a part of seeing this ministry’s vision come to reality.