Dear Family and Friends:
The cement truck groaned under the weight of the thick concrete in the mixer as it slowly made its way over the muddy road to the work site. Our Filipino team had gotten the road ready ahead of time by digging ditches to drain off the water and by fortifying it with more stone. However, Palawan has had torrential rains, and this made the road softer than usual. The cement trucks available on Palawan are small, carrying only six square yards of concrete at a time, so the drivers had to make two trips a day to pour all the floors. This may seem rough; however, when the foundation and walls were built last year, we had to mix all the cement by hand. This was a dramatic improvement!
Because of the small load that the trucks could carry, they needed to come two times a day, for four days, to finish the job. During the first trip, February 2017 the cement truck did well. On the second load, about half-way down the main drive, the truck sunk down to its axle. Everyone did what they could to push and dig out the stuck vehicle. Time was of the essence because the cement would slowly start setting up in the truck if it didn’t get moved soon. Thankfully, a front loader came and was able to dislodge the truck and pull it out.
The next day the truck got stuck again, on both trips! The second time as the front loader tried to pull the truck out, the bumper got ripped off! At this point, exasperated, they hauled in all the cement by buckets. On the third day of pouring, the truck got stuck even worse. The team ended up pouring the cement into the front loader, which took it to the mission house. The workers then shoveled the heavy mixture out by hand, into wheel barrels, and transported it to the pour site. The truck was to go for the second load of the day, but, as if matters couldn’t get worse, a tire popped. They were just a bit short on cement and would have to wait too long for the truck to return, so they just mixed the last batches by hand.
On the fourth and final day, the truck again got stuck. The ground was a little dryer, and they managed to pull him out with the front loader and make it all the way to the house. Whew! We are just so pleased and amazed by this committed group of construction missionaries. The work they have done will enable us to impact many lives for Jesus throughout Palawan. We are happy to say that, as of this writing, all the floors are finished! We are also very grateful for the group of men who committed to come from Wisconsin to help push this project along to completion! Travis Maloney, the lead contractor, Jeff Ziesmer, also a contractor, and his son, Alex Ziesmer have been here before. They were instrumental in getting the foundations and walls built a year ago. Joining them on this trip are Shane Grossenbacher, a light duty contractor, who is also very artistic and helped with meals; Matthew Stodola, a contractor and the comedian of the group, keeping things fun; and Dustin Rynberg, who has contributed greatly to the team and never says “no” to any task.
Now that the floors are poured, the men have some time left to paint, put in kitchen cabinets, and maybe even lay some tile on the floor. Wow! Praise God. We are just SO excited, and SO grateful for the team’s hard work. We are also thankful to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for laying such a burden on their hearts.
God is good, all the time!
Sincerely, Bill and Laura LaBore and Family
Project Manager Adventist World Aviation Foundation
Visit LaBore family’s page here.