The Carmen Project began in 2012, when a man called Alayho ask me if we could help them build a church in a small community of El Bosque. There was a small congregation meeting on someone’s front porch, and in the process of trying to purchase land for their church. CCC was finishing the Nehemiah Project and in the process of starting Medio Queso Project. All of us remember MQ, what a blessing for those people there and a blessing for us who got to work and participate on building that church.
This small group of believers continued on, worship and prayer but most of all HOPE kept their dream alive until 2017 when they purchased a lot, for their church in a community called Carmen. (about 2 miles from the village of El Bosque). Their Pastor had now finished his seminary training, being better equipped for his teaching the flock.
CCC got involved in 2018 when Alayho again approached CCC for help. We visited their humble church (see photos) with the bamboo rafters and used tin roof, no walls, just a curtain. The orange, white, thin and tore curtain (reminded me of the curtain in the temple when Jesus died for us). HOPE remained. We began building relationships, looking into their hopes and goals, where we found Jesus at the center of all their activities. They are making payments on the lot, a crude building and dreams of a building where they didn’t have to move the benches when it rained to keep away from the leaks.
FINALLY, 2019, plans are being drawn, teams are developing, funds are beginning to come, and years of HOPE has become a reality. No way to explain the emotions and feelings of a DREAM come true, with groups of North Americans aiding in their dream, The building begins. Materials are on site for the first team in January 2020.
The Miracle continues, December 2019; I was leaving the site after dropping off a load of materials, coming down the road was a backhoe. I believe every member of every team has dreamed of a machine such as this to do the dreaded job of digging the footer. But the existing roof was there. How is it possible to dig under a roof 10 feet high with a backhoe? Miracle continues; this backhoe has an extended beam, which allows it to reach out with more length, plus, the operator was an expert with the machine. He agreed to do it the next day. A hole two-foot-wide and two + feet deep, around three sides of the building. To make an emotional outcome shorter, He finished in four hours at the cost of $86. The teams knew this was weeks of hard shovel work. OH! Wait, the Miracle continues. With the first group here, we had all the steel ready for the walls in the footer. In comes the church families, men, women, children, loading buckets, shoveling gravel and sand, pushing wheelbarrows of concrete for the footer. For sure God’s people are on a Mission.
With the North American teams laying block, building concrete columns, connecting steel re-bar, and pouring concrete beams, the Dream continues. I’m sure God was as proud of all the workers as I was; including those of the congregation who drop in sometimes to bring watermelon or pineapple and sometimes good physical labor. In just two months, look at the results. Three walls ready for the roof of steel and new tin.
2021 Plan: This will be the most difficult part. Drawings are being made for the truss and purlin roof structure. With the walls at 12 feet, the work will not only be a bit, well maybe a big bit more dangerous for the welding needed above the concrete floor. Local welders will have to be acquired along with our team members who can weld and climb the heights needed. There are two options on tin for the roof, #1 the heaver gauge pre-painted, or the thinner 28 gauge non-painted. Cost will be the deciding factor. Other work will include sidewalks, patio area, roof over the entrance doors, possible stucco work and the never-ending duty of feeding the workers.
The bamboo and old tin roof structure will be taken down by locals. There is no way I, or anyone on teams could or would want that chore. (If I read this congregation correctly, with the roof gone, they’ll be sitting on benches with umbrellas on Sunday morning).
The last picture in the series that comes with this letter is Pastor Nimrod and Missionary John Ott at the pulpit, holding the collection baskets and a hammer. That is our way of asking for your donation, for the continuation of Carmen Church Project 2021. This phase is also the most expensive. Before the last team got here, we had $14 in Carmen account. Now we have $614. We need that number to grow significantly in able to get needed materials before the North American teams arrive. Why not another Miracle? We’ve seen Miracle after Miracle already on this project. Join us in prayer and giving, and most of all, keeping HOPE alive.
If you receive this letter, rather a team leader, CCC board member, friend, or a Christian friend of a friend. We ask you to give as your heart leads you. That means in prayer and passing this Project on to your church, family, and friends; so as we at CCC can keep their HOPE alive.
January 2023, Casi Cielo will begin a Kitchen facility building, for the people at the Carmen Church. We would be honored to have you join us on this project. We would love to have you join us with your talents of construction, giving, and prayer for those who will be coming to work. The experience of participating with a mission trip is something you'll always remember.
Contact today for additional information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sincerity with Hope: John & Bessie Ott – Missionaries in Costa Rica.