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The Fire 11: 2nd Story Walls and Ceiling


MENU: Suriname Fire and Rebuilding Report

Listing of all Photo Links

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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 



Most of the work is now being done by our volunteers and school personnel, including Revs. Poettcker and Hamid, in order to save money. The one exception to that is the installation of ceramic tile on the floor which was done professionally. The Lord was very gracious to provide some of that professional help who did the work now on the promise that we would pay later without interest. This was their way of helping the school and has enabled us to get to this point. Those are part of the figures included in the remaining balance necessary to complete the school and pay off all short-term debt associated with it. (See Main Page for details.) Praise the Lord, though, the work does go on.


These two pictures show the bare second floor with wall, windows and roof, no flooring, no ceiling.

In 2003, Rev. Poettcker purchased a professional paint sprayer in order to do painting of the building. He had done a good bit of painting in his life prior to ministry which he is now using to save the school money by doing the work himself. It is important that all the while that he and Rev. Hamid are doing this construction work, they also maintained a full teaching load, along with their administrative and pastoral responsibilities.

The tradition of having the missionaries and pastors be involved with the people in the work was started years ago by Rev. Donnan as a way of leading by example. In many situations in countries such as Suriname, missionaries like some pastors tend to stand back and give orders and watch the work. There certainly can be situations where that is necessary. But too often missionaries convey this attitude to the locals that they are "above" such work and that becomes the model for which pastoral trainees strive. This is quite contrary to the example the Apostle Paul (and even our Lord Himself) set in their missionary work.

There is dignity in hard, sweaty work and we believe, where possible, missionaries and pastors need to convey their awareness of this dignity by doing it themselves in a meaningful way. Sometimes mere words are not enough, a role model is necessary. Pastor Hamid has picked up this same attitude and as a result has a great rapport with the people in his church, not only because he is "one of them", but also because he is willing and able to get his hands dirty to get a job done.

Pastor Poettcker preparing the paint sprayer for action.



The master at work.



Meanwhile, the work goes on outside to finish the porch with a block wall.



Pastors Poettcker and Hamid install radiant barrier.



Pastor Poettcker's construction experience was in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada--not exactly tropical climates. As a result, when we told him that he needed to install radiant barrier, he had no idea what it was. Pastor Donnan had learned about this when building his house in Florida during 2001-2002.

Radiant barrier is a rolled sheet of reflective foil-backed film designed to reflect thermal radiation. (For more information on how this works, consult the U.S. Dept. of Energy website at

Its use results in cutting down on the attic heat so that the insulation put above the ceiling does not have to work as hard. The use of easily shipped radiant barrier cut down the amount of bulky insulation resulting in the need of only one shipping container. Additionally, it should cut down our electrical costs for air conditioning by 20-30%. As far as we can tell, no one in Suriname uses the product.

All it took was a little experience in tacking it up to the boards holding the roofing. Very quickly the installers learned how much cooler it was under that thin sheet of reflective film in contrast to standing directly under the roof. Rudy Poettcker, who was skeptical earlier, was now sold on the product.




Walking along the ceiling joists, the installers (Pastor Poettcker below) stapled the radiant barrier with the reflective coating facing up not much more than an inch below the metal roofing.







After the radiant barrier was installed, a grid was made both to receive the 4'X8' foam insulation panels (used in refrigeration coolers and designed by Raul Montes, our board member from Ram Manufacturing). The foam panels were then simply laid in this grid.



Wood ceiling grid with foam panels inserted from above are now ready to receive the PVC ceiling panels.



Grant van Assen, from Neerlandia, Alberta, has now returned to spend a year or so assisting the school by building cabinets, while he is courting one of our teachers. Notice the completed PVC ceiling panels above, and the ceramic tiled floor below. Windows have also now been installed.



The cabinets are for the four bedrooms, kitchen and living room and is made of locally manufactured plywood.

God has been so good to bring us this far. We trust He will continue to see us through the construction and hope to be completed by the end of this school year, so that the new school year beginning August 2005 will enable our residents to be in the new building, along with the offices and classes on the second floor. We also hope that there will no longer be the distraction of construction that has been going on for over one and a half years.

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.



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