Cameroon Orphanage
Launches Carpentry Training

by Dale Fisher

"Let's start a carpentry training program for orphans at Harvest Children's Home (HCH) in Cameroon" was the resolution that Ngala (shown right), an HCH staff member and I made during my last December visit. Now that training has begun.

Our goal was not only to train boys to perform basic carpentry skills but to allow them to achieve self-confidence and self-esteem by building a wooden bench or stool on their own.

God first provided numerous hand tools through what I call a "miracle garage sale." Marti and I headed out "garage sale-ing," one Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m., looking specifically for hand carpentry tools; with morning about to become afternoon, our hopes of finding hand tools had greatly diminished. But then Marti noticed the garage door of the house adjacent to the one we were shopping at swing open. She immediately called to me, "Dale come over here!" To our amazement, homeowners began to bring out boxes of good-quality hand carpentry tools! They offered to sell 15 pounds of wood files and rasps, 5 measuring tapes, 7 carpenter squares, a number of chisels, and so on. After checking my list that I'd tucked into my pocket, I promptly grabbed many planes, files, squares, hand drills, and more. After about ten minutes, I'd bought almost all the needed tools that were on my list, at a bargain price. Since we needed at least three of each tool type, Marti and I were delighted with this great find! Thank you God!

Preparing for my Cameroon flight, I packed the majority of carpentry tools into my check-through baggage and weighed the damage. After removing about 20 excess pounds of tools (which a friend will deliver there when he goes in October), I was ready to depart. The clerk at LAX airport asked me if I wanted a "Fragile" sticker put on my bag, but I declined saying, "The tools are heavy and made of steel, but they're certainly not fragile."

All the tools arrived safely in Cameroon. Ngala was really excited to receive them, since he is HCH's carpentry instructor. An adequate amount of money was donated for this carpentry training project; there was enough money to not only purchase the tools that I brought and those that will arrive in October, but enough to also buy needed wooden boards that the orphans would use to build ten new benches for their orphanage.

Although I was eager on my first day to watch as many as six boys who were eager to learn carpentry skills, I was occupied with my training of pastors. After next evening's dinner, Ngala showed me the wonderful work the boys had done on their first day as carpenters. They'd built four chicken feeding troughs. Nathaniel (in the center of this photo) holds one that he made to feed chickens.

Today I was speaking with the orphanage director who's also our main TLM leader in Cameroon. He reported that his new carpentry apprentices have already completed four wooden benches and a few stools (shown below).

How delighted I am to be able to help orphans such as the boys in the next three photos gain self-esteem, learn valuable carpentry skills, while help provide the orphanage with needed furniture. I give a big "Thanks!" to those of you who partnered with us for this ongoing vocational training.

Orphan boys appreciate seeing and handling wooden boards on a cutting table. Nathaniel holds his finished stool while another boy (center) eagerly surfaces a board with a plane.

Boys of varying ages delight in crafting their first piece of furniture.

With their second wooden bench constructed, the boys identify with their new creation and look forward to their next carpentry project.

Jehovah Jireh is an appropriate name for God: It means "God provides." Boy, did Jehovah Jireh ever provide for the HCH orphanage! He provided the idea, the tools, the funds, the lumber, the teacher, and the self-esteem and skills of His young carpenters.


. . . and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, . . . .
1 Thessalonians 4:11

† Dale: Church Growth Accelerated by TLM Movement

† Dale: Cameroon Orphanage Initiates Carpentry Training

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