The day after the roof of our Spiritual and Community Center was poured, Cherlie and I went up to Gatineau again to help supervise the masons as they set the first layer of blocks for the walls of the second floor. It was another exciting and productive day for us.

The first step in laying the blocks involved having the head carpenter remove the planks on the sides of the roof that was poured the previous day. This framing is always removed a day or two after the concrete is poured, with the plywood underneath the roof remaining in place for another 2 weeks or so.

The next thing that needed to be done was to have workers carry the blocks from the yard, up the ladder to the roof and place them around the roof for the masons to use for the walls. The blocks were all made right on the construction site, using an iron mold. Each sack of cement gave 30 blocks and we had them make 1500 blocks in all.

The masons started out by laying blocks around the edges of the building, leaving spaces for the doors.

Of course, Cherlie and I were there to help measure, interpret the architectural designs and supervise!

As I stood up on the roof, looking at the ground below, I noticed that there was a lot of paper and litter left from the activities of the previous day. I also noticed that a little friend of ours had been hanging around the construction site nearly every day watching the activities. Frantzley is 11 years old and we took care of him in the clinic when he was less than a year old, treating him for a severely infected rash on his face. He lives in Gatineau and we see him frequently, always with a shy smile on his face. So, I made a deal with him to clean up all the litter on the site that day, with the promise of a small “tip”. Clean he did, so we suggested that he help out the workmen when they ask him to do something and he can learn about construction and masonry in the process. He was thrilled with that idea as well as the fact that Cherlie promised him a new pair of tennis shoes to wear!

An “old” friend helping the workmen and us!
An “old” friend helping the workmen and us!

After placing blocks around the edges, we began work on the hallway and two doorways leading into the offices. This involved a lot of measuring of distances and angles and was quite a challenge. At the end, I think we got it all right!

It was a fun day as music from a neighbor blasted across the yard and everyone’s spirit was lifted by a sense of accomplishment. We appreciate the efforts of all the workmen, including our new little helper (who may someday grow up to be a big masonry boss himself), the foreman of the team, Boss Galate and Tom Lee, the architect who drew up the beautiful plans that we’re trying to follow! Thanks for all the prayers and donations that have made this construction project possible. We are looking forward to expanding our spiritual ministry and our community outreach with this beautiful new building!

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