During the recent visit of Rev. Samuel Ndanga-Toué, the president (bishop) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Central African Republic (EEL-RCA), he shared of the many church buildings which have been constructed by congregations, but which lack a roof. The cost of a roof is prohibitive for church members. At the moment there are a number of churches with walls but no roof. Here is an excerpt from an email from former missionary Jim Noss, who visited CAR in September:
Church roofs…this is a wonderful way to support the local congregations! When they build, it must be out of permanent type materials for the walls, either cement blocks, stones, or burned brick, laid in cement mortar. The roof is then something that is provided through the church [EEL-RCA]. The lumber is available in many cases locally, but the aluminum roofing and special washers, screws, and nails are imported from Cameroon.
Even as I traveled there, I noticed two large churches, ready for the roofs. And there are many more.
During one recent gathering to celebrate the completion of the church’s roof, as is usually the case, there is a special word of thanks to the overseas partners who made the roof possible.
The cost of a roof depends on the size of the congregation and its distance from Cameroon, from where materials are transported. $8,000 is a typical figure. The synod’s CAR Team invites our congregations to consider contributions for church roofs for our companion synod in CAR.