In 1997 two brothers started a small assembly in Magoma, in Eastern Province, following an encouraging response to Gospel outreach in the surrounding villages. The assembly started with 12 people gathering under a large tree, and after 2 years numbers had grown to 40. Magoma today has about 120 in fellowship with about 250 who attend the Gospel services. The mud brick structure where they meet is too small with many having to sit outside, so in 2019 they embarked on an ambitious project to construct a new hall measuring 12 x 28 metres.
Raising money to construct such a large building in a village where most are relatively poor was well nigh impossible so they decided to approach the chief to acquire a field that could be used as an assembly field where all earnings would go towards the ‘building fund’. In 2019/20 SAZ listed the 10 acre field as a seed growing field and provided seed and other support. The farmers clubbed together to share oxen and ploughs and in the first year they raised enough money to start making bricks and buying cement. The next year, 2021, they used the income to start constructing the hall as well as providing financial support for their orphans and widows.
After months of hard labour, the building has now reached roof level, but to construct a roof for such a large building will cost more they can raise in a year from the assembly farm. The elders asked if we could help out financially. However, on inspecting the building we discovered it did not have adequate foundations and as a result major cracks were appearing on the walls. It was obvious the structure was incapable of holding a large roof, but knocking it down would be a great disappointment as well as an immense loss of time and money. The option therefore was to seek advice on how the structure could be saved.
An architect has recommended that a steel ring-beam be built around the building at roof level along with steel pillars to hold the roof. This is the only way the structure could support a roof. The estimated cost for the ring-beam and the roof is over £21,000. Although the Magoma farmers are expecting a good harvest this year, the money will not be enough to meet these costs, and these don’t include the floor, windows, plastering and so on. However, if we can raise the money for the ring-beam and the roof, they should then be able to meet in the new building. Other work can be done once they raise funds from future harvests.
We look to the Lord for His provision.