Thursday, August 27, 2009

St. Paul's Youth Project - Painting the Clinic

The big project for the week was to paint the non-operational clinic at St. Paul’s in preparation for it to (hopefully) open up again one day. The clinic hasn’t been open for a couple of years. It was filthy and in a state of disrepair. I agreed to paint the clinic with the youth from St. Paul’s as a mission project for the church. (In Swaziland, “youth” has a different meaning than in the US. In Swaziland, a “youth” is anyone who is not married up until about 30.) We were supposed to start painting the clinic last week, but St. Paul’s was supposed to get someone in to patch up the cracks and holes in the walls and floor but of course that didn’t happen. One of the groundskeepers, Timothy, finally started patching up the walls last Friday and finally finished on Monday of this week. On Monday some of the youth came and helped us move everything out of the clinic and sweep the walls and floors in preparation to paint. We couldn’t believe how quickly they moved everything out. Oh to have that energy! Then on Wednesday, more of the youth came back. We put a base coat on all the walls and then followed it with light yellow. We only painted the walls and window sills. The roof and doors looked ok. The youth put the base coat on all of the walls and painted 4 ½ rooms out of six with the light yellow paint. They had fun while they worked; laughing, singing and joking with one another. They had so much fun that it took Jeri, Gary and I two hours yesterday afternoon to clean the paint off the floors and then all day today to scrape the paint off the places where it didn’t belong, finish painting the two rooms and to touch up places where they got yellow on the white ceiling. The finished product looks very good though. The youth were amazing. They were so eager to serve. It was great fun.

An example of the state the walls were in.

Let the painting begin:

What would mission be without PBJ sandwiches for lunch?

The painting team, closing prayer, and then the team with t-shirts we gave out to thank them for their help. They loved the t-shirts. We discovered that most of those who helped us paint were going to a youth convention in South Africa Wednesday evening. That must have been why they left so suddenly. Some of the youth that didn't paint asked they where they got their t-shirts and they told them they should have come to help paint. JAMS stands for Jesus As My Savior. They really liked that.

The cleaning begins! This part wore us out, but it was still worth it to have the youth help us paint the clinic.

The finished product.

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