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Portland Team Launches Jierh School Construction
By Rod and Sherry Boyd

Team Photo Journal

Portland CC at JirehIt is a dream come true! From the very beginning in 1997, the Jehovah Jireh Good Shepherd School has been cramped into small, make-shift classrooms, each year trying to accommodate growth.  The old house where the school started with 35 students was demolished. The area under the house was excavated. And construction permits were delayed! The school has rented a small apartment building next to the school to help to house the nearly 400 students. The school desperately needs the new four story building that will provide 18 classrooms/labs, restrooms, library and administration facilities! The capacity of the school will nearly double to 700!

Portland CC at JirehWhen the 21-member Portland team arrived, about two-thirds of the foundation and column work had been finished. The team began work on the perimeter retaining wall. These walls were comprised of 8” concrete block. Each cell had vertical rebar and was filled with concrete. Three-quarters of the retaining walls were finished in the first four days!

One of the greatest challenges was working around the remaining foundation and column work. After four days we realized that we needed to allow the Panamanian “metal” crew to do their work without us. So the team moved to the Monte de Sion Good Shepherd School. The team demonstrated their flexibility in the move. The same team had laid all of the block for first story of the school in March 2003 (See Portland CC Builds New Mt. Zion School).

Portland CC at JirehAlthough the team spent just three days at the Monte de Sion School, they were able to finish blocking three classrooms and block the stairwell and begin the courtyard banister wall. Returning to the Monte de Sion School was a highlight for the team. They were able to see all of the classrooms that they had built four years earlier being used. The director of the school shared the emotional story of a vision that one of the parents had received of a group of Americans working on the second story. The team was convinced that it was God’s plan for them to return.

The team spent their last three days of work at the Jireh School. When they returned all of the columns and beams were in place. The team finished the remaining retaining walls and blocked most of the interior walls to bond beam height. As they worked on the first story, the Panamanian crew placed the c-channel and decking for the second story, as well as the columns that would hold the third story beams.

Portland CC at JirehThe team enjoyed visiting the Panama Canal and an overnight outing to the interior of the country. At the farewell service, the team presented quilts to the school director, pastor’s wife and others. Pastor Bob Ward preached an encouraging message to the large congregation. Meanwhile, many of the men of the church were working on building—preparing the second story flooring system. The cement trucks were arriving the next morning to pour the floor. Two teams were arriving in just a couple of days to continue the work.

Portland CC at JirehWe say thank you to team leaders David and Debbie Martin and the members of the Portland Christian Center building team and congregation. Thank you for your investment in the children and youth of Panama. Thank you for being so flexible! Thank you for blessing not one, but two schools! Thank you for personally sponsoring several LACC children.

Please pray for the Jehovah Jireh Good Shepherd School. Additional teams and funding is needed to complete the school by March 2008. If you are able to help, please send your offerings to:

Assemblies of God World Missions
Project 7795, Jireh School
1445 Boonville Ave.
Springfield, MO 65802

Team Photo Journal