Our excavator continued to battle with the rocks this week as he back-filled around the walls and began excavating around the construction. Not only did this take a toll on his generally positive attitude and good humor, but it also added to our costs. We expect that we will run over-budget with this phase of the project. To compensate, we are looking for areas where we can cut out future expenses. We are looking at items like counters, cabinets, entry door, and the driveway. Each of these areas have cost-cutting potential.
While the heavy equipment was at work this week, I did smaller, more tedious tasks like removing the roofing and siding materials off the steeple and the cardboard that was attached to a couple ceilings. I hope that when the guys come to hang drywall, attach the siding and re-roof the existing structure that they will not have to spend much time doing prep work. Everything should be ready for them to do what they do best. Not only will this speed up their work, it should also save us some money.
Nancy and I also chose siding, roofing, windows, etc. Since she leaves for a seven week trip to Africa and Asia in a few days, it is important for her to offer her opinion about these decisions now.
As Nancy packs for her trip where she will train dozens of children workers, an investment that will improve hundreds, maybe thousands, of lives, I think about the decision we made to have me invest in this building project for this period of time. I believe that our choices matter. Some activities are more strategic. Some activities have more “Kingdom” value. If I was not working on this house, I would be traveling this fall. Instead of pealing off roofing shingles and dusty pieces of cardboard, I would be teaching and consulting with African leaders hungry for encouragement. Ironically, as I’ve considered these things, my annual read-through-the-Bible program has me in Ezra and Nehemiah. God instructed these godly men from long ago to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. God was glorified by their obedience and their work was a demonstration of his love for his people and his power to save. My the same be said of my efforts!