While travelling in Massachusetts a few weeks ago, on holiday, we came across this monument on the back streets of Williamstown, Mass -- home of Williams College. The inscription says that a group of students, sheltering from rain under a haystack in 1806 , gave birth to the American foreign mission movement. Those students went on to form the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission (ABCFM) an interdenominational body largely made up of Congregational churches.
The notion of college students (young adults) spurring on the recovery of commitment to taking the 'good news' to people who have not yet had access to the story of Jesus, has been a recurring theme in Christian history. A century later the Student Volunteer Movement also made similar commitments.
One of the leaders of ABCFM in the mid 1800s was Rufus Anderson one of the early proponents of an indigenous methodology:
The end of the mission was to be "a scriptural, self propagating Christianity" not dependent upon foreign personnel.
An interesting little discovery just wandering through the Berkshire Mountains...
green building methods in Niger
Had an interesting visit this morning to a building site here in Niamey, Niger. Our FM team here is building a worship/ministry centre that fits into the local architecture and building methods with 21st century applications. These bricks are 'rammed earth' technology, a method used for hundreds of years here in the sahel region of West Africa.
Red laterite soil (think adobe bricks) mixed with 5% cement and just enough water to make the mix clump in your hand. Then placed in a compressor where the mix is 'rammed' in a mold, one brick at a time. Bricks are dried under plastic for a week (retains humidity) then dried in the sun for two weeks. The bricks (10"x12") have a notch design so no mortar is required when laid.
Costs are less than conventional blocks and don't retain heat -- today the temp is over 40C! The Nigerien architect was very happy to work with us in applying this method to our project. 20,000 blocks required for this 2 story building.
Posted at 06:53 AM in photos, Social justice commentary, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)