Raising The Roof

It’s been a truly mammoth week of working hard and playing hard. And though we are exhausted and (to be honest) feeling a little bit uninspired in front of the computer at this moment, the results of all of our labor have been well worth the effort. If this week’s prayer letter feels a little light, we’ll rest up and bring you a more robust report next week. For now, we’ll mostly let pictures tell the story.

Where to begin? Perhaps we should start with the most exciting news of all. This week our library got its new concrete roof! After five late-night days putting together the mold and the maze of reinforcing iron for the roof and beams, we set the date for the big pour for Saturday morning.

A grimy, sweaty Clifton shifting 50kg bags of cement.

8:00am rolled around and the building site was a hive of activity with more than 40 men working at one stage. Two concrete machines were brought in, each was set up with their own teams of laborers who worked with incredible resolve and a wonderfully happy spirit in the incredibly hot sun (111°F  /  44°C).

The two mixing stations set up at the site.

The jungle of supports from underneath holding up the roof mold.

This guy put’s Clifton’s photo at the start to shame…

…and he does it with an even bigger smile on his face!

Taking a break from loading gravel to observe the work going on.

Up on the roof, bucket-load after bucket-load of concrete was met by two-man teams ready to cart it where needed. Another team would spread the materials before the vibration team would ensure that all air bubbles were removed from the mix. It was hard work, possibly equal amounts of sweat and water went into the concrete.

The scene up on the roof.

Dumping one of the first of what may have been thousands of loads of concrete.

The end in sight.

Earlier on in the week Rick, Sunny and the workshop men were hard at work on the tin roof. Thursday morning saw them rising early to start work at 6:00am so as to avoid the heat. They were able to get incredible amounts done and we are super excited to see the new roof really taking shape!

Guttering is not as straightforward as you might think.

Sunny & Rick installing the last gutter as the library roof work continues next door.

The end is in sight. We think it looks amazing! Great work team!


About the Author:

Clifton is the grandson of Maxton D. Strong the founder of The GSAM. In 2004 at 19 years old he moved out from Australia to India with his parents to continue on his grandfathers work. Today he is working as the Deputy Director of the orphanage and the Chairman of the Maxton Strong School. He is married to Priscilla, a former child of the mission and together they have 3 sons.


  1. Shubhashree Mukherjee July 21, 2017 at 10:36 am - Reply

    I am a student of architecture from Kolkata, As for my final year thesis topic I would like to take up take up designing of an orphanage. I would like to enquir if there are any upcoming construction projects by The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission

    • Clifton July 24, 2017 at 9:42 am - Reply

      Hello, thanks so much for getting in contact with us. It is always an encouragement when people, just like you, see what we are doing and get in contact with us wanting to be a part of it. Unfortunately for you we have two full time architecture and design firms that work with us in the designs of our buildings and we are not looking for any further assistance. I would suggest that you perhaps consider contacting http://www.bangaloreorphanage.com -I believe they are looking to purchase land and construct a new orphanage in the next 4-7 years. All the best! 🙂

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