Blessings in Christ,
This isn't our family's first rodeo when it comes to painting. When I heard how much the bid was to paint the church, I told our pastor that our family could paint the church and all it would cost the church is the materials. Everyone asked, "Are you a painter?" Here in Burkina, people most often know one trade only- and it goes against the local thinking for someone to know several...Especially "tubabu" (white people).
After several more conversations, I continued to offer our man-power, and the pastor realized that we were serious. We learned that what they call "painting" the exterior of the church, is actually a top stucco coat applied by a hand-cranked hopper. We decided to let the local painter do the outside, while the Wheaton Family Painters would do the interior of the church building.
We learned lots as both materials and tools are very different from what we are used to. Throw in 100+ degrees, lots of hauled in water, working with lime, high humidity, "interesting" ladders and 2 1/2 days... and voila!
The end product is a beautiful and finished church building. What a blessing to see the smiles of church members as we worship together Sunday morning. The pastor has had a vision of a completed church for many years- they began with door-to-door evangelism and now, nine years later, have a finished church that is a gathering place for the village. People come to be healed, to ask questions, to celebrate and to learn the Truth of Jesus Christ- this is how the Kingdom is growing in Bounouna.
(Praying for students about to take very important testing at school.)
As I look back at the project, I believe that painting churches or pastors houses would be one great way for short term teams to bless village churches. Many of them have never been painted or are in desperate need of a new coat. Let us know if you are interested in visiting and perhaps doing some hands-on work to bless our Burkinabe brothers and sisters in Christ. Check out our short term page and send us an email.
Blessings in Christ,
Aaron & Kristi
Married for 21 years, with 3 children. Serving the King of Kings in Burkina Faso, West Africa.