Outreach team makes building blocks of ministry in Ghana

By February 29, 2008

Ghana (MNN) — There's a unique tool that is generating a lot of interest in the mission field.

Oasis Training Center's Ambrose Brennan says a partner developed a manual block-making press that makes interlocking block, eliminating the need for mortar. 

The team just held a training session at the Center for an intercultural church leader delegation.  We're always praying that through the center, we won't just reach Ghana, but touch the world. And we're seeing that sometimes we don't know how that will happen. This block machine seems to be an answer to a lot of people's prayers. It doesn't take any electricity, and as long as you have the sand, the water, and the cement, you can make block anywhere." 

Why the sudden interest in the blocks? OITC has been intimately involved with the upgrades and expansion of the Prampram Health Clinic. It's a facility that services roughly 10,000 residents. Set in a rural area, chickens and goats frequent the space. So it was decided a wall needed to be built.

A wall encompassing the clinic space would set the budget back several months. However, that's when OITC came into contact with the new building technique using the interlocking blocks. 59,000 blocks will be needed to build a 2,360 foot retaining wall. OITC is asking for financial help with the wall, which will cost roughly 50-cents a block.   

But the implications of this interlocking, non-mortar block go far beyond retaining walls. Quick construction that doesn't require the use of electricity means small buildings can be put together nearly ten times faster than before.

What makes this breakthrough exciting, Brennan says, is that the new block supports church planting. "You can build a church with this machine. So often in the villages, they either lack the electricity or just don't have the money. It's only going to be used for those doing missionary work, to help build churches, and to help with ministries here in Ghana and wherever else it goes." Click here if you want to get involved.

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