Reformed Seminary, College, Free Sermons, Scholarly Resources, and Overseas Missions Opportunities

Sola Scriptura | Reformation Christian Ministries



The Fire 2: Cleanup and Rebuilding


MENU: Suriname Fire and Rebuilding Report

Listing of all Photo Links

Many photographs are linked to larger representations.
Click on the photos to enlarge them. Click the Back Button to return.

1. The Fire: Before and After March 2003 

2. Cleanup and Rebuilding April-May 2003 

3. New School Year Preps June-July 2003 

4. Rebuilding Begins
July-August 2003 

5. The Walls Go Up September-November 2003 

 6. First Floor Shell November-December 2003 

7. Interior Work First Floor January-April 2004 

8. School Construction
January-April 2004 

9. The Second Story
May-August 2004 

10. Fine-Tuning First Floor September-October 2004 

11. Second Story
September-January 2005 

12. Panorama Comparisons

January 2005

13. More School Scenes March 2005 

14. Final, Graduation
2005 April-August 2005 

15. The Finished Project September 2005 




The government's department of environment provided trucks and equipment to clean up the fire damage.  After all the above ground debris was removed, the same department came and removed the cement and stone floor and foundations from the old building. God was truly gracious as this cost us very little.


The school provided volunteers for the cleanup process.

By April 22, the building was cleared away.


Since the fire took place on a Saturday, the services of First Presbyterian Church, which were held in the building and pastored by Rev. Asgar Hamid (a former student of the school and now administrator), were held in the largest of the classrooms. During the school day, classes that had been meeting in the building that was destroyed were held under trees during dry weather and under the walk-way roof overhangs outside the other classes. Administration was moved to the house of Rev. Asgar Hamid, which was on the existing compound, but not damaged by the fire. Rev. and Mrs. Poettcker got an apartment a half mile away from the school, which was shared by other teachers and assistants from the school. God has clearly provided, but it was a frustrating ordeal and continuously unsettled.

Asgar Hamid teaching a class next to his house and near one of the high school buildings.

Rudy Poettcker teaches a class under a palm tree at the end of the volley ball court during the heat of the late morning. 100 heat in the shade.

Rudy Poettcker in his office in the living room of Asgar Hamid's house next to the school.


The process of rebuilding began even though the insurance settlement for the building had not taken place. At the moment, the final figures for the building had not been set because many things required extensive research on cost comparisons, however, the building itself began on July 14, 2003. Prior to that, a flurry of plans were sent back and forth between Suriname and the U.S. in collaboration with building. It would be some while before there would be enough money to complete the first stage of building (the first floor and cement floor of the second story, but we have proceeded on faith that this would resolve itself in time. The contractors with whom we were working were Christians, and were unusually helpful in the planning and rebuilding process, even to loaning the school a construction container for use as an administrative office while the building was being built.

Efforts begin to reroute the water piping for the school.

Perry, the Suriname contractor on the left, collaborates with Rudy Poettcker (center) and Asgar Hamid (right) on the second-floor balcony of Asgar Hamid's house overlooking the school property.

We had been in discussions, at the time of the fire, with the same contractor about building a second-story addition to the existing building (the one that burned). Engineering tests indicated that the columns for the then existing building were sufficiently footed and reinforced to carry a second story. The fire verified the fallacy of this, and saved us incredible agony in possible damages from building further on the then existing foundations. As a result, the new building was designed to be built out of cement block instead of wood, and also was designed to be a bit bigger. The insurance settlement for the old building did not fully cover the cost of rebuilding it. However, there was no sense in rebuilding it without including the new building plans, so the new building was planned to be a two story multi-purpose complex which would house both the school, some classrooms, its administration office, as well as the church meeting place all on the first floor.



To continue, click here to go to the next stage of the building process. While you are waiting for the new page, please pray for God to provide the finances needed to complete the rebuilding process.

Reformation Christian Ministries - Reformed International College - Reformed Theological Seminary.