New Campus Bridge Under Construction!

Many of you may remember the news of our suspension bridge (on SIFAT’s campus in Lineville, AL) collapsing this past July during our Learn & Serve Summer Experience. We continue to thank God for his protection of our participants and his provision for our organization after the event. We now have reason to celebrate — a new bridge is under way! A new suspension bridge is being built on our Galilee Campus. The bridge will span Mad Indian Creek connecting our campus once again. This bridge is not only functional, it will also serve as an example of a monumental bridge project SIFAT implemented in Quesimpuco, Bolivia in 2008.

This bridge, in Quesimpuco, Bolivia, is the inspiration for the new suspension bridge on SIFAT’s Lineville, Alabama campus.

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We have exciting news to share – the bridge project in Quesimpuco, Bolivia, has been completed! Bolivar Sanga, the SIFAT engineer overseeing this project, called right before the SIFAT staff sat down for Thanksgiving lunch on Wednesday, Nov. 26. He e-mailed some photos of the bridge to us, and we wanted to share these with you.

Thank you for your prayers and support during this project. By partnering with Bridges to Prosperity, we learned new appropriate technology to build this bridge with the community at a much lower cost than anticipated. Auburn UMC raised the money for supplies and sent multiple mission teams to help with the project. Mt. Bethel UMC’s first SIFAT team to Bolivia also served with this project.

Here are some of the photos for you to enjoy:

Attaching the decking to the bridge
The bridge is about 400 feet long.
It is 100 feet above the river.
All the materials not available at the site had to be transported by hand from Quesimpuco down the mountain to the site. Cable, cement, sand and wood were carried on people’s backs for hours.
This year, people will be able to safely cross the Chayanta River to reach the village of Quesimpuco, where they can attend church, receive medical treatment and go to school. They will be connected with the rest of the world, even during the rainy season!

Bolivar Sanga, our engineer overseeing the Quesimpuco bridge project, arrived in Bolivia this morning. He will be working with communities in the Quesimpuco area to get preliminary work on the bridge site ready for the first team coming in May. A road to the site must be cut, so materials can get to the site.

SIFAT and Auburn UMC are partnering to build a bridge in Quesimpuco to connect two mountains during the rainy season. For more information on the bridge project, download the January Journal.

Bridges to Prosperity, a nonprofit organization specializing in footbridges, is teaching us the technology to build our bridge. By empowering the community and making them part of the process, more bridges can be built throughout Bolivia.

An update on the bridge project will be in the March Journal, which is being sent to press tomorrow.

Please continue to pray for Bolivar and Benjo as they work with the people of the Quesimpuco area and bring them together to build a much-needed bridge for this area.