Friday, April 13, 2007

Spring Brings New Staff and New Projects

After a Winter of completing projects, raising awareness for eMi Canada and office administration, the arrival of Spring (or at least the promise of it here in Calgary) has brought a season of new beginnings and exciting projects for 2007.

New Staff. The most exciting new beginning is the arrival of Kevin Wiens to the staff of eMi Canada. Kevin is a seasoned Civil Engineer and a veteran volunteer of three eMi projects. He brings experience in both design and management, having worked 11½ years for a multi-office, multi-disciplined engineering/urban planning firm in Fort St. John, B.C. Kevin, his wife Michele and their two daughters arrived in Calgary on April 1st and already, he is immersed in preparation work for his first project as an eMi team leader. Kevin will be leading a team to Haiti to design new orphanage facilities on a new property for God’s Littlest Angels. Tom Bastian, Director of eMi Guatemala, will be assisting Kevin as he learns the ropes of project leading…eMi style.

Project Approvals. One of my administrative duties has been the role of approving potential projects. Since January I have processed the application for God’s Littlest Angels and now a second project, a new Missionary Kids school in Central Asia, is falling into place and will become my next project. This K-12 school currently educates children from almost 100 families from 34 different missionary agencies.

Central Asia…My Next Project! The school is currently housed in an older building which has been declared not earthquake safe and the property on which it sits is not adequate for expansion. Our project will be to master plan their new property, design a full-facility school for 250-300 children, design for road, power and water/waste water needs, and plan for future boarding facilities and staff housing. Please visit here to see the project description:

A Busy and Bustling Office. Besides Kevin's and Greg’s trips to Haiti and Central Asia, Steve our Director, will be leading a team to Uganda to design a senior’s care and hospice facility. Beyond the busy preparations for a record three trips in one project cycle for the eMi Canada office, in May we will welcome back Patrick Cochrane, our part-time staffer for the summer months. Along with Patrick we will also welcome four interns. Hailing from the University of British Columbia (Engineering), University of Illinois at Chicago (Architecture), Royal Military College of Canada (Engineering) and the University of Guelph (Engineering), our four interns will be traveling on the three project trips during late-May until mid-June and then assisting with the follow-up work. So in two short months eMi Canada grows from two to eight!

Lots To Be Thankful For, Lots to Pray About. Even as we grow, we continue to pray for wisdom and perseverance. At some point this year we anticipate being granted our own charitable status by the government. As much appreciated as YWAM Alberta has been as our umbrella organization, we would like to release them from that and become independent. Of course with independence come greatly increased responsibility (sounds like me talking to my kids) and a whole new level of administrative work and accountability. However, we look forward to it and are continuing to become prepared for such a time.

Thank you all for your continued prayers, encouragement and support.