Friday, February 17, 2012

Asikuma Library & School Update ~ Sampson's work

You may remember us talking about a guy named Sampson who lives in Asikuma and has been helping out our construction projects from the beginning. He is an extremely hard worker. Today I wanted to update you on the awesome amount of progress that Sampson has made on the tasks Jake & Chris left with him since January. Here’s an excerpt from Jake’s recent trip detailing where things left off…..

It is so hard to explain but it was like God was telling me to start looking for ways to empower more people within the community. Then it was like He opened my eyes to what the school buildings in Asikuma actually look like. We are closely moving towards having this beautiful looking library connected to an unfinished school building that you would not want lifetime criminals having to stay in - let alone 675 students going to school in. I also noticed that no matter how much progress we were making on the library there was no way we were going to be able to complete the whole project before we left.

While all of this is going through my mind God draws my attention to a Ghanaian construction guy named Sampson who had been working alongside our crew. Sampson had a work ethic and a diligence to his work that I have never seen by a worker in Asikuma. It was like God was telling me to find a way to empower Sampson and God would use him to accomplish great things.

As God was speaking to me I walked over to Sampson and pulled him out of the library where he was plastering the wall. I asked him to look at the entire school building and I asked him if he would be capable of plastering, painting, and finishing all of the school building not just the library. He looked at me and said of course. I asked him how much cement and paint it would take and what it would cost. He gave me a rough number and then I walked away and Sampson went back to work.

I knew what God was challenging me with so I shared my thoughts with Chris. I told him that I was thinking about leaving roughly $750.00 with Sampson to finish the entire school building. I told Chris that if Sampson could get the job done and be faithful with the resources it would open up a real door for us to accomplish even more in Asikuma. This would also give Chris the confidence of helping the community start a particular project and then leaving it in Sampson’s hands to finish.

After it seemed like Chris and I were on the same page we asked for Sampson to join us at dinner and that we would like to meet with him. Following dinner that evening Chris and I along with Nana (chief of the village) sat with Sampson and I explained the guidelines of our plans. We handed him 1,000.00 cedis which is equivalent to about $750.00 and told him he was fully responsible to finish the school building and library. He could use the money to buy supplies, hire staff, and other items that he may need to finish the project. The more efficient he could be with the money would ultimately mean more profit for Sampson for his time. We also let him know that if he was faithful with this project that this is something we could do again for future projects in Asikuma.

I am pretty sure Sampson left tonight thinking that he had won the lottery. We are excited to see his work and we will be receiving weekly updates of the progress that he is making.

Our friend, Ken, who lives in Asikuma (the one who sent us the picture of Yaa and Adjoa earlier this week) has also been sending us updates of Sampson’s progress. To begin, here was Sampson hard at work plastering the inside of the library during the January trip:

And here was the look of the outside of the library as the team left back on January 4th:

About one week later we received our first update from Ken on January 13th:

Hello Jake, hope you fine. I went to the library/school as I told you I would and took the pictures. The main block is beautifully plastered all over and it is now left with the inside of the library and 3 sides outside it. A side is already plastered. Think just after that, they may start the painting.

With that update we received a couple of pictures of the plastered (re-surfacing) of the outer walls. Basically the plastering covers over the cement blocks so you see a smooth surface and can no longer see the outline of the blocks. Here is a before-plastering picture of the school I had taken during our August trip. I couldn't crop to get zoomed in on the building, but if you look really close you can see all the cement blocks, especially on the corners of the building.

Here are the pictures Ken sent of the outside walls plastered – hard to make out in the pictures but you can see the smoother surfaces because the cement block outlines no longer show through.

Plastered wall:

These buildings are very long, so you can see this was no small task!

On February 6th we received a picture update of the library’s outside walls completely plastered:

Feb 8th was our next update:

The painting started today and the guys are doing a really good and impressive job:).

Sampson at work:

And we just received another update earlier this week on February 15th:

Latest pictures after the whole painting is done. Taken this afternoon of the 15/02/2012.
To God be the glory and thanks to K.C.I.

The school classrooms:

And finished pictures of the library!!!!!

So here is a picture progression of the library:

Wowza! Sampson definitely followed through and accomplished the job that Jake and Chris had given him. It’s such a great feeling when things turn out the way you intended! Next up we will need to finish out the shelving and stocking of books inside the library. Jake also has high hopes to be able to install electricity in the school (for lighting) as well as doors for all the classrooms. And he has another big idea for the school yard. More to come!


Mindy said...

Thanks be to God for Sampson, a diligent servant! It looks just beautiful!!

Lori said...


Sara said...

Jake and you have come to LWF in Knoxville. My husband is a master electrician and could work with Jake on his ideas for the school and library. After hearing about the others that returned from that trip saying they couldn't contribute to the construction part of the trip, my husband shared with me that maybe he should go because he could help. Talk about God's timing in your adoption post. Wow on the whole them needing electrician. You or Jake can contact me at and I will get you in contact with my husband.