Just like home improvements are needed, there are always needs in apartment living as well. Brian has taken on the task to "improve" a couple of needed items as requested by the apartment dwellers.
First off, there are several small children that live up the stairs and in the apartments. When we first came here, there were several small children as well, but there was no one equipped with the time and/or the talent to put together something to make the stairwell more safe. There has been talk of a gate of some sort for a long time at the top of the stairs. Well, this week, the dream came to fruition. Here is the view from the bottom of the stairs......
.....and here is a close-up view of the gate itself. Brian had to take it off its hinges for me to get a good photo. He put it up against the white siding where the design looked much clearer. He welded and cut apart the pieces of the steel to make the gate's design. No pattern or outline was on hand--he just was able to compute, figure, and refigure in his mind! I was truly impressed!
Not only did he design the gate, but he put in a spring hinge that bounces the gate open when unlocked and keeps it from hitting the steel railing on the other side and making a racket. This project was really thought through well!
Another apartment improvement is due to the summer weather that is here, and the heat of the sun beating in the apartment doors in the afternoons/evenings. It can get pretty toasty up here....the doors get too hot to even touch! Brian put up a mesh, black, malla that helps lessen the intensity of the sunlight, but it still allows the light to come through. It has helped immensely!
I tried to take a picture of how he attached the malla on the top and bottom of the building. He purchased these little hanging clip-like contraptions that are able to keep the malla held in place, but they still look clean cut and presentable--not tacky in the slightest! He also modified some drywall corner bead to give a connecting point to the clip-like contraptions off the metal rafters. (He was definitely consulted for my technical lingo!)
While this is only a temporary dwelling for us--as are most apartments for most people--we have read in the Bible about another temporary dwelling......our bodies. "Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day...." (2 Cor. 4:16b). The passage goes on to talk about "fixing our eyes on the unseen because what is seen is temporary" (paraphrase). While our apartment improvements are definitely visible, they pale in comparison to the changes we have been able to experience in our marriage, our hearts, and our lives while we have been privileged to serve here in Chile.
Please pray for us. We are on the verge of making some big life decisions, and we need all the prayer support we can get! God will undoubtedly guide and direct as He sees best, but we want to be found faithful as His servants when our lives are over. We KNOW that involves the decisions that we will make in the future, but it also involves the decisions we are making RIGHT NOW.
Thank you, in advance, for the prayers and support! We couldn't and woudn't be here if it weren't for a multitude of faithful followers that have gone before us, with us, and will go behind us!