Dale's blog

A Big Bump in the Road: an Urgent Need for Funds to Pay off the Camp Lot!

Four years ago one of my fellow missionaries here in Colombia asked me to join him in a project to enlarge our Christian camp. I was reluctant at first, unsure that I could raise the funds needed for the project. But God blessed our efforts, and we were able to pay off our part of the camp lot and have now built the first of what we hope will be ten cabins. In fact, I am sitting in that cabin as I write this. The building has been slow and we have not been able to easily fund the cabin construction and the infrastructure needed for the expansion. But we have made immense progress.

Infrastructure at the Camp

One of the big expenses of this first cabin is developing the infrastructure that will serve for all of the rest of the project. As the first cabin nears completion, the infrastructure is moving along as well. We could not afford the sewage system at this time so we put in a septic tank for now. This will work for the first cabin or maybe too, but it will buy us time to be able to raise the funds for further developing the infrastructure. We have also temporarily brought water in from the shallow well on the current camp property.

Cabin Completion and Counseling Office

This week I have been in Villavicencio as the workers tie up the loose ends on the first cabin. They have been installing the banister around the back porch and fixing leaks and other minor problems that have cropped up. The electrical engineer decided to go ahead and have the electricity installed, for my convenience, even though we have not been able raise the funds to pay of the last of the money we owe him. Together with Gordon Clifford, of Christian Mission Press, I have been staying at the cabin and using it as a base to head into town and work at the school.

Evangelism and a Hotel Room Invasion

Over the years we have always attempted to spread the Gospel here in Colombia as much as possible. As church members have moved to new areas we often attempt to visit them and assess the possibility of using them to start a new church in that area. When one of our church family members moved to Leticia, we made plans to visit them and check out the possibilities. Together with a small group of church leaders I traveled to Leticia at the end of August for this purpose.

Camp Cabin Progress

I have just returned from Villavicencio where I spent two weeks overseeing the construction of the first cabin. I am here to pick up the next work crew that will be working to completely paint the cabin, inside and out. They will arrive here in Bogotá tonight and we will spend the weekend with the deaf church. Then on Sunday afternoon we will head down to Villavicencio to begin working on the cabin.

Camp Cat

Pets have always been around since I can remember. My dad always had a hunting dog and my mother had parakeets and a cat (good combination, right?). We had a dachshund for a watch dog and to kill rats when our kids were growing up in Colombia. We had a menagerie of monkeys, parrots, and armadillos while living in Colombia. When in high school Susy dragged home a stray kitten that had been dumped, while she “found someone to take him.” As you can imagine, he lived a long happy life as a welfare cat in our home. So the Meade household has always been a pet place.

A Keyboard for Cabuyaro

Cabuyaro is a small fishing village surrounded by ranches and farms and is a port on the Meta River, in southeastern Colombia. Mark Stringer lived there for a years in the early 70’s and started a church. That church is still there and going strong. It has built a nice building and is guided by an elderly preacher and a younger one, as well as by the elders of the church. During the late 70‘s and all through the 80’s I visited the church at least once each month, preaching and training leaders there.

A Special Camp Project for Summer

As we begin developing the addition to the camp, we are faced with some necessary but rather mundane tasks; such as mowing nearly two acres of grass. The original part of the camp is about 3/4 of an acre and we mow it with a small push mower. But that is too small to do the additional ground that we are now developing. At the present time, it is cut with a weed whacker. But that is a slow and laborious process. The real solution to mowing two and a half acres of ground is a wide cut riding lawn mower.

Toad in the Toilet

A few weeks ago I stayed out at our church camp in Villavicencio. I was sleeping in a tent in the back yard as the dorm rooms were filled with our work crew guests. I was using one of the bathrooms at the back of the building. That is the one nearest the septic tank and sewer lines. And it was the closed one to my tent, which was set up in the back yard.

Camp Projects and Progress Report

After a month of inactivity, so that I could help Martin Sanders with two work crews he had here in the country, we restarted construction on the first cabin at the church camp expansion project. The workers began putting stucco on the remaining walls and laying tile on the floors. One bathroom still needs to be tiled and some of the doors and windows need to be installed. We are hoping to complete the first cabin this month, or at very least, have it ready to paint when the work crew arrives on the 29th of July.

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