The current Pamoja property was bought by the ministry in 1999, with the intention of bringing the missionaries, volunteers and work to a single location. We purchased three acres which had several (very run down) buildings on the top 1.5 acres. We have slowly been working to renovate every single one of those existing buildings to make them not only livable, but beautiful. We now have six family homes, five apartments, a studio, meeting room, storage, print shop, public office and office block. We have maximized this top piece of land to the best of our ability.
There’s no way around it. We’ve hit a point where our Arusha campus is FULL! We have fourteen full time missionaries (plus six kids) and two mid-term volunteers all living and working and playing right here at Pamoja. We purchased an adjacent 1.5 acres in 2014, but are still waiting for the title deed. There’s no particular problem, we are comfortable that the government processes will complete soon, but neither are we willing to put a shovel in the ground to start building until we have the deed.
Since we are not ready to build on the new land just yet, we have taken another look at the lower half of the original property. The bottom is considered flood plain, and rather sharply drops off from the edge of the upper campus. There were no buildings in the valley when we purchased the land. New construction, as opposed to renovating existing buildings, is a much more complicated process in Tanzania because of permit applications and blueprint approvals and the like. Although it won’t be the easiest building project ever, there is now a plan that allows us to build three houses down the side of the hill, making room for three new families to join us. The picture at the top of the post gives you an idea of what these houses will look like, and the 360 picture to the right shows the area.
One of the really positive things Pamoja offers our missionaries, volunteers, visitors and guests is a community. Not only do we live and work together, but we hang out and play games and watch movies and make pizzas. Pamoja alumni make wedding cake toppers for current missionaries, travel to visit each other, celebrate each other’s milestones, donate monthly, and return to our home for lion hugs and desserts. We live in community, and value this so much. This community life exists because we physically live together on the same base, and it is one of the main reasons for our ministry successes. As we grow, we intend to continue offering this community to everybody who walks through our gates. It’s part of the fabric of who Pamoja is, and we love being a part it!
How can you help? Let’s talk numbers!
The three new Valley Houses can be built for a total of $105,000 USD, or $35,000 USD each. They will be three bedroom, two bathroom houses that can become homes for three new missionary families.
Phase 1 is already started. We have hired three guys to dig the hole and build the new septic system. Jacob Mills has nicknamed this step “Yuck-wa-duct Construction”. 😀 😀 As soon as that is done, we need to start with the structural work on all three houses, all at once (because of the pillars and the hill, the three buildings are structurally one). We’ll do the pillars, walls, roof, and security grills. This phase will cost us $45,000 US. The good news is, we have $25,000 US in the bank right now, already earmarked for this project (YAY!). In order to finish Phase 1, we need $20,000 US more (that’s about $25,000 Canadian). Our goal is to have the remaining funds in hand to start construction on January 1, 2018.
Once we finish Phase 1, we’ll be able to do the interior construction and finishing of each house separately. That will include the interior walls, windows, plumbing, electrical, paint, toilets, and light fixtures.
Then new missionaries will be able to move in. Want names? Ask us. We’ll give you details on people like Felis, Lis, Megan, Constant, David…. These are real names of real people who really feel God calling them to come and join us in this ministry and who are in various stages of readiness. We need them. Will you make it possible?
Pamoja’s biggest limiting factor in how we can “disciple cultures through media” is how many missionaries and volunteers we have on the ground. Before they can come, they need somewhere to live. Would you consider giving towards this project? At the top right of the page you can make a donation from the USA.
To donate from Canada, click here.