Evergreen’s Filipino Barn Raising
Before the age of commercial construction with cranes and hydraulic lifts, American communities came together to do barn raisings. Barns were essential for early farmers and yet required far more manpower than most could afford. So the members of the community would come together to quickly accomplish the primary framing, often on a single day.
Barn raisings are now mostly a thing of the past. However, the tradition still continues here and there, especially in small religious communities such as the Amish. I have been privileged to see the Danish version which is called a rejseguilde, literally a ‘raising celebration.’ I vividly remember the intense excitement as our Danish clan helped Dad build our barn at Misty Meadows. When the last truss was set, the traditional wreath and flag were hung and then we all celebrated with generous helpings of aebleskivers. While we did use a boom lift and other modern tools, the essence of the project was still the same: The members of the community coming together to build a structure that no one could build alone.
For the last three months, Evergreen has been participating in a cross-cultural version of barn raising. Gary and Melita Root direct a gospel-centered vocational training program near Manila with Action International. The original dormitory was literally devoured by termites necessitating the construction of a new one using brick and steel. (Take that, termites!) However, the total cost of this project is estimated to be nearly $400,000, far beyond the scope of normal financial support. Since sending a team to help with construction is clearly impractical, we have instead been combining our efforts to provide funding.
In January we announced our plan to send $10,000 immediately as well as making $20,000 available in matching funds for designated gifts through April – a potential total of $50,000. The response has been extremely encouraging. In the last three months, over 50 individuals or families have contributed a total of $16,365 to this project, in addition to their regular tithes and offerings! I wish I could give you all some aebleskivers.
I am confident we will reach our goal of $20,000 as several have told me of gifts they are planning. If you are hoping to take part in the dorm raising, please take action in the next week or two. Gifts may be made by cash or check (write checks to EBC) or directly from our giving page on our EBC website. Please note in the memo line or special instructions that the gift is for the Philippines building project.