Welcome to the Activity Report for April & May 2020.
God’s Way Ltd volunteers continue to chip away at various projects. It is currently a small team doing the physical activities in Wilkesdale Queensland, with five members volunteering full time, and two casual volunteers assisting for a day or two each work week. God’s Way Ltd also has overseas volunteers who contribute time to Environmental Branch projects, currently they are doing research for the seed database, and interstate volunteers (in Australia) who collect, sort and send seed via mail for the terrace project.
While the team is currently still small, the directors have faith that continuing to work in harmony with God’s Way and coming to fully embrace the company constitution ourselves, will benefit the organisation exponentially as time goes on. We believe that in future the company adherence with God’s Laws will attract many new volunteers to the organisation who are passionate about completing the many projects God’s Way Ltd would like to create, develop and implement. Thus the directors have been focusing on volunteer attitudes, and the desire for those involved in the organisation to bring their lives into harmony with the Organisations Constitution and God’s Way. These qualities are essential for the future success of the organisation and in order that projects run smoothly. With fewer volunteers to manage the directors and founding members have prioritised projects that will support the organisation in the future e.g. water management systems, environmental and construction projects.
During April and May God’s Way Ltd has been engaged in the following projects.
Updates for this period:
- Volunteers & Members Branch
- Environment Branch
- Construction Branch
- Water Management Branch
- Organisation Health & Safety
- Founding Member Activities
- Final Thoughts
Volunteers & Members Branch
April was a busy month of training and working on various projects. As a reminder some members and volunteers were asked to leave the organisation last month in order to work out what their heartfelt passions and desires are, to find direction in their lives and release the desire to remain dependent on others, for more information see details in the February & March Activity Report.
This month the acting data manager had some skills to transfer to the directors before they left the organisation so that their tasks could seamlessly continue. Also some basic tractor operation and maintenance skills were taught to volunteers who remain in the organisation.
God’s Way Ltd’s acting data manager (Kate Eckersall who operated under close direction from Jesus) trained a director in the Data Ingestion process, Seed Database Project and Web Share Project, including the basics of HTML & CSS coding languages. The training was conducted so that the directors can complete the technical edit on the God’s Way Ltd blog. As Kate is leaving the organisation for the time being, the directors will be taking over the role of data managers for God’s Way Ltd, (under close direction from Jesus). Thanks to Kate for writing the code that created the new image layouts on the God’s Way Ltd blog posts.
The role of data manager requires a methodical, deliberate & considered approach and it is important to have a desire to follow direction, be precise, thorough and have a feeling for efficient organisation. The directors will be developing these qualities and will also work on their skills in the area of creating file naming conventions (to be checked and confirmed by Jesus). Naming files in a consistent format allows God’s Way Ltd files to be stored and found easily and fit seamlessly into Jesus’ beautifully created and organised file system and data management setup that he created for God’s Way Ltd to use. Jesus does all the system updates & maintains both the hardware and software the organisation uses. The directors are grateful to Jesus for his skills and expertise in all areas of data management and technical engineering.
More information about the data projects can be found at these links:
- The Data Ingestion process
- The Web Share Project
- The Seed Database Project
- HTML, including an
- HTML resource (for readers interested in learning the basics of this coding language).
At this stage in the company’s growth, the majority of data created and stored are photographs, video files and information sharing submissions. Before being stored all photographs are screened. Any that are unusable e.g. blurry, out of focus, unattractively framed or that are non-relevant are culled and deleted so that every photo that is kept is usable and easily accessible. This ensures that there is a good quality photographic archive of all God’s Way Projects. Volunteers are taught that there is an on flow effect from those who capture data to those who ingest, sort, order and maintain the data. Data needs to be of good quality going in, in order for it to create a quality outputted product, as quoted by the data manager “garbage in, equals garbage out”.
Having the opportunity to understand this entire process and be trained in all aspects, from capturing data to producing and outputting data, is a valuable lesson as it helps those who collect data to think about what is involved (time, energy, skills) for those who do the jobs after them e.g. organising, filing and using the data for documentation and sharing purposes. Volunteers gain perspective on the importance of a seemingly simple task e.g. taking photographs and aids in the development in harmony with principles of, economy & function in activities and tasks that may not have been considered if volunteers did not understand the scope of their task or activity). As Jesus models, give the big picture overview and then go into the details creates greater understanding. Often motivation increases as volunteers see the benefits of the small thing they do in relation to a larger goal, this principle is helpful in all tasks and activities organisation wide.
God’s Way Ltd is grateful to Catherine Spence for the use of her tractor which is used on various organisation projects. The tractor is a handy machine that contributes to God’s Way Ltd projects, saving many hours of time moving and spreading matter including, hard woodchip mulch, soil, deco (decomposed granite), rocks and other materials. Tasks that otherwise have to be completed by hand. The tractor has aided in tank pad construction and has been used for manual handling tasks (to lift heavy objects and items) during past work periods.
This work period members and volunteers were trained in basic skills on how to operate the tractor. This included learning to both drive the tractor and basic maintenance. Machinery maintenance is an important part of using any machinery in God’s Way Ltd. It ensures that machines are reliable, in good working order and can be used at a moments notice.
The directors thank Tristan Miller for passing on the basic skills he has learned about tractor operation and maintenance to other volunteers. Thanks also go to Catherine who has a long history of tractor experience, the knowledge she contributed in regards to tractor operation during the training was appreciated. Tristan, has left the organisation (for the time being), but before he left he demonstrated to remaining volunteers how to complete the following tractor maintenance:
- Machinery Checks
- Visual checks for fluid leaks
- Checks for general machine wear and tear
- Checks for specific problems that may occur over time such as loose bolts, hose degradation etc. (e.g. hydraulic oil hoses cracking or bursting)
- How to add fluids to the machine e.g. fuel, oils and coolant
- How to clean air filters and radiator grills after use
- How to clean the machine after use
- How to operate and drive the machine safely
- How to trouble shoot issues that may arise when using the machine
As with gaining any new skills, it is one thing to be trained and know the theory of a skill and another to become a proficient and highly skilled operator. Training often provides a framework and principles to follow but gaining skill and proficiency requires the practical and physical application of knowledge and often takes time and patience. This work period a number of volunteers received training in the Information Sharing Branch projects and processes, and in tractor operation and maintenance, but they will not be proficient until they have used the theory and skills they have learned and had experiences in these tasks. It is then that their learning will be consolidated, refined and benefit the operator and the organisation. Often we learn a theory but lack experience. It is via experience, often making mistakes and then correcting them, that learning takes place. So with the gift of the training received it is now up to volunteers to practice their new skills and become proficient and then (hopefully) highly skilled operators.
In brief, the excavator has:
- been serviced
- had new hoses fitted where they were beginning to crack and perish
- had an isolation switch installed to stop the batteries running flat when the machine is not being used
The dozer is also back in action with new tracks that are running smoothly. The dozer blew a hydraulic oil hose during the second day back at work after being out of action for some months. Fortunately the hydraulic hose was able to be fixed promptly and didn’t impinge on continued earthworks on the terrace project.
God’s Way Ltd continues to work on the terrace project on the Function Learning Centre (288.124 acres) and has plans to terrace the Function Learning Centre Caretakers property (98.842 acres). There are approximately 260 acres (out of a total of 386.966 acres) of land to be terraced (possibly more). As there is no longer livestock on these properties the land has commenced a natural process of recovery. The terrace project aims to disturb the land only briefly, to create large flat areas for water to gather (reducing erosion and increasing moisture retention to aid in soil health and seed germination) and to introduce more diverse flora than what has survived the long history of farming on these properties. The directors and founding members believe it is better for the natural environment that the terracing is completed as fast as possible. This way less regrowth (part of the natural recovery process) gets damaged, the small amount of existing native fauna is disturbed only briefly and more area is prepared which will support and speed up natural recovery processes. A current frustration is that work is still somewhat slow. This is because the dozer, which is required for the large structural earthworks, is only in operation for four days a months, due to infrequent availability of the current dozer operator. Once the earthworks for each terrace are completed volunteers can focus on other aspects of the project such as the improvement of soil health, seeding the terraces and planning and planting a native seed bank, and can begin food production projects. The directors are hopeful that a more permanent dozer driver can be found sometime this year.
The terrace structure is working well. The terraces hold moisture and grass is growing abundantly from the seed that was naturally in the topsoil. It is noticeable how green and healthy the flora growing in the terraces is. In contrast the flora growing between the terraces or just adjacent to them does not get as much moisture and is less vibrant and less green.
The terraces that have already been constructed and seeded with native Australian flora species have had low germination rates, indicting that the soil health is still in a poor condition, lacking nutrients and structure. Jesus and the directors feel it may be a number of years before the soil is in a healthy enough condition to sustain abundant and diverse growth. Flora (grasses and other plants which would be classed as weeds) are growing in the terraces creating matter to feed insect life and cover the soil so that it is not exposed to weathering. In time organic matter will build up and the soil health and conditions will improve which will sustain future flora and fauna growth.
Due to the poor soil condition, the directors and founding members have decided to purchase various types of mulch e.g. hardwood, softwood, dump green waste, and use this along with microbes (some microbes are dormant within slow heated worm castings. God’s Way Ltd also uses ‘living microbes’ that come from private individuals worm farms and decomposed human manure mix) to kick start the regeneration process. The mulch is used as a means to encourage and activate and sustain the intelligent life (microbes, fungi, bacteria, insects etc) in the soil in order to replenish and enrich it. The more intelligent life (insect, microbial, fungi, bacteria etc.) that can be encouraged in the soil and surrounding areas the faster the soil health will improve. This is essential for the future success of the project; healthy soil and hydrated land (water) are the first step required to restore healthy eco-systems.
The benefits of using mulch has been trialed and tested by Jesus and Mary and other members on their private properties. The directors and founding members are keen to get as much mulch from various local sources as they can. Currently God’s Way Ltd has the opportunity to purchase local softwood, hardwood & ‘dump mulch’ (a combination of green waste and various other material from the local refuse station), and they are also looking into the possibility of how to shred cardboard to add to the mix. The hardwood mulch comes from off cuts from local saw mills who would otherwise burn this timber. The board is passionate about using local waste and preventing the burning off of scrapped timber but the recurring yearly trucking expense and cost of hiring a grinder to mulch the hardwood off cuts is high.
The God’s Way Ltd terrace project requires a large amount of mulch per year. If sufficient funds were available the directors and founding members would like to lay mulch on at least 14.82 acres (6 hectares) or preferably 24.7 to 37 acres (10 to 15 hectares) per year. To meet this goal, approximately 5,989 cubic metres of mulch is required to cover 14.8 acres (59,893.48m2) at 4 inches (100mm) thick. The estimated total cost for 5,989 m3 of hardwood mulch is $93,428 AUD .
Estimated mulch quantities required were calculated using an online mulch calculator, link here.
The founding members and directors brainstormed ways to purchase the local supply of mulch and sustain the environmental projects over the coming years. One answer would be if people chose to cooperatively support the project. When people work cooperatively towards a common goal a lot of positive things can rapidly happen and more can be achieved than when one or two people work towards the same goal.
Imagine for a moment if 1000 people donated $40 each per month to God’s Way Ltd, that is $40,000 per month and $480,000 per year, that would support the environmental projects entire running costs for a couple of years (even 1000 people donating $10 per year equates to $120,000 per year which would cover the running & maintenance costs of the 4 days per month currently spent on earthworks). If donations were recurring it would enable God’s Way Ltd to pay recurring project costs such as to employ a full time heavy machinery operator (to employ multiple operators would be ideal), purchasing mulch, pay recurring heavy machinery running & maintenance costs e.g. consumables such as fluids (fuel, oils, coolant), cover mulch grinding, trucking and delivery costs, which would contribute to the project being completed in a much faster time frame.
The founding members and directors have discussed the potential and benefit to have a mulch service in the local area (this could be replicated in any location world wide). Queensland Australia has one of the highest rates of land clearing in the world. Most of the matter (slash as it is called in Queensland) is burnt by farmers and property owners. The felling of timber destroys the habitat of native flora and fauna, and burning decimates said habitat creates smoke pollution, kills flora, fauna and the microbiology in the top layers of the soil.
An alternative to burning the matter would be for property owners themselves, or the collective effort of people who would like to acquire matter for their own properties or projects, to mulch any felled timber rather than burn it. The mulch could then be used to build and improve the soil on the property it is felled on, or other local properties nearby. This is a more environmentally responsible decision than burning. Mulching the felled matter could contribute to environmental regeneration rather than further environmental destruction.
The mulching service could be achieved by the regular hire of a contractor who has machinery that grinds the felled timber into mulch, or alternatively the purchase of machinery (individually or cooperatively owned) to mulch the felled timber. If individuals worked cooperatively they could share the expense of grinding & trucking the mulch (at cost prices) rather than needing to purchase mulch via other third party companies at higher prices.
Ideally the directors and founding members would like to see large scale land clearing stop altogether. But while it continues, mulching as much of the felled timber (byproduct) as possible to be used to rehabilitate the land is a more productive option than burning it. The organisation would like to see all land benefit from mulch not only the properties that the organisation itself owns.
God’s Way Ltd is interested to contact the owners of any properties who are clearing land in the local area in regards to grinding up felled timber into mulch. If you know of any properties who are clearing land and have felled hardwood timber (not pine trees), please contact the directors via the contact us page on the God’s Way Ltd website. God’s Way Ltd would be interested to either mulch the timber themselves (when funds are available), and/or are open to sharing costs with private individuals who would also like to use mulch for their own projects.
If you will be clearing land, we hope you will grind the timber yourself and leave it on the property on which it is felled, or give the option to others to use the felled timber for mulch rather than burning it. If you personally would like to mulch timber on properties that are close by you we wish you all the best in the project.
A cooperative mulching service would be an asset to all properties in the local area. The less burning off that occurs the better for the environment, creatures and humanity.
The directors and founding members would like to mulch 14.82 acres (6 hectares) to 37 acres (15 hectares) per year. To do this, between 5,989m3 and 15,000m3 of mulch is required per year (estimated quantity). Below are some tables with information showing mulching cost comparisons. The costs include the matter itself, any grinding costs, trucking expenses and other expenses such as float fees which is a fee for transporting the equipment to do the job at the mill site.
For a total of 7,500 m3 (metres cubed) of a mix of hardwood, softwood and dump mulch (2,500 m3 of each type) the total cost is estimated at $148,601 AUD.
Please note costs are estimated and are calculated as of May 2020, costs may increase in future.
|5,989 m3 (14.8 acres)||$93,428||$15.60|
|15,000 m3 (37 acres)||$234,000||$15.60|
|5,989 m3 (14.8 acres)||$68,873||$11.50|
|15,000 m3 (37 acres)||$172,500||$11.50|
|5,989 m3 (14.8 acres)||$33,750||$13.50|
|15,000 m3 (37 acres)||$202,500||$13.50|
Hardwood, dump mulch & softwood mix
|7,500 m3 Total (2,500 m3 of each type of mulch)||$148,601|
|Mulch mix cost for 14.8 acres
5,989 m3 Total (1,996.3 m3 of each type of mulch)
|Mulch mix cost for 37 acres
15,000 m3 Total (5,000 m3 of each type of mulch)
All costs are estimated in Australian dollars.
At the time of writing this activity report the local dump offered dump mulch free of charge, but trucking fees applied. The local council has not yet made a decision if they will continue to give dump mulch away in large quantities in 2021.
Currently God’s Way Ltd spends 4 days per month on the terrace project earthworks, this equates to 48 days per year of heavy machinery use which equals approximately 14.4 acres of terraced land each year. It takes approximately 4 days of earthworks to terrace 1.2 acres of land. If the organisation received more donated funds, for example to cover 10 days or more of earthworks per month the speed of completing the earthworks portion of the project increases. 10 days or more per month spent on earthworks, equates to 120 days per year and approximately 36 acres of terraced land per year prepared for the next stages of environmental recovery.
|48 days per year||120 days per year|
|14.4 acres (5.82 hectares) per year||36 acres (14.56 hectares) per year|
|4 days to terrace 1.2 acres||10 days to terrace 3 acres|
|288.124 acres (116.6 hectares)||98.842 acres (40 hectares)|
|Terrace 180 acres (72.84 Hectares)
(180 acres of a total 288.124 acres)
|Terrace 80 acres (32.37 Hectares)
(80 acres of a total of 99 acres)
|3 years, full time earthworks (5 days per week)|
|The area that is terraced each year will also be mulched and seeded, these processes come with their own costs.|
Please note that God’s Way Ltd does not own the heavy machinery used in projects. The organisation is grateful to Catherine Spence who generously gifts the use of the heavy machinery to various environmental projects. Catherine also pays for the heavy machinery spare parts and the majority of the maintenance costs. God’s Way Ltd would like to take over the running and maintenance costs of the heavy machinery in future, but currently the organisation does not receive enough regular donations to cover any project costs or contribute more than a few thousand dollars per year to looking after the heavy machinery.
Heavy machinery spare parts replacement costs are an ongoing expense, for example for the 2019-2020 financial year the dozer has undergone some large part replacements, this is understandable with the machine having worked 6000 hours. The total cost for machinery parts for the 2019-2020 financial year was: $147,399.00 AUD. The break down of this cost included:
- $80,000 AUD for dozer hydraulic ram replacement parts
- $50,000 AUD to replace dozer tracks
- The rest of the funds were spent on hoses, a new oil sump and other replacement parts and items.
Costs for machinery are often large one off sums, e.g. the dozer tracks will not need replacing again for another 5 years (6000 hours) or more, and the hydraulic rams, everything going well, should last for at least another 6000 hours or more also.
The excavator will need new tracks within the next 5 years and there are various parts of both the machines that will need to be replaced every few years depending on how worn they get. For example hoses need replacing as they wear out and the machine ages. In short, heavy machinery servicing, maintenance and parts are all on going costs
Though the recurring expenses involved in running heavy machinery are costly, being gifted the use of the machine, or owning the machinery is more economical than hiring it, and God’s Way Ltd volunteers receive the benefit of learning how to maintain, service and run the machinery.
The heavy machinery running costs are included in this post to be transparent about the expenses involved in running machinery for environmental projects.
|$1,600 AUD per month for bulldozer and excavator driver for 40 hours (based on 4 days of work per/month).
$19,200 AUD per year.
Note: Operator costs may increase in 2021 to $880 per 2 days or $1,760 p/4 days
|$1,600-2,400 AUD per month, average fuel cost for 40 hours (4 days work per/month) depending on fuel prices and how hard the machines work.
$19,200-$28,800 per year.
|Variable costs, including but not limited to mechanics visits, cleaning equipment etc.|
|$2,500 estimate, per/year, variable costs depending on what is consumed.
Consumables include oils, lubricants and fluids (oils, coolant) etc.
|$1,680 minimum to $5,000 or more per machine per year depending on the service required.
Total: $2,360 – $10,000 for excavator and dozer for basic servicing each year.
Cost is dependent on the type of service and if repairs are required.
|Variable costs depending on ware and tare on machinery, breakages, old age decay etc.|
|Consumables||$2,500 estimate||$3,500 estimate (possibly more as machinery is doing more hours)|
|Servicing||$1,680-$5,000||$1,680-$5,000 estimate (possibly more as machinery is doing more hours)|
|Total||$42,580-$57,700 + variable costs||$101,180-$128,500 + variable costs|
As part of the Seed Project Jesus suggested that the directors conduct some seed germination experiments. As mentioned in a previous Activity Report, the purpose of the germination experiments are to discover if current seed stocks are viable and to find the best, repeatable methods for seed germination. Volunteers are observing the experiments, noting the results and refining the experiments as new data is produced. Experiments are a good way to iron out issues in the methodology of an activity, task or project, before they are implemented on a large scale. Experiments enable the Founding Members and Directors to make more informed decisions about how to proceed with projects.
The photos below show the progress of the seed germination experiment that involved planting six seeds of the same species at different depths in soil which was collected from the terraces. Two seeds were left on top of the soil, two seeds gently pressed down into the soil and 2 seeds planted at three times the diameter of the seed. The purpose was to see if the seeds germinated at these different depths and discover the optimum depth to plant seed for the best rate of germination.
A second seed germination experiment was commenced to test further varieties of seed and how rapidly they germinate in different quality soil types. The experiment was to find the cause of why much of the native seed has not yet germinated in the terraces. The directors and founding members felt that this was due to the depleted, poor quality soil in the terraces and wanted to test their theory.
To test the theory about the seed being slow to germinate due to poor quality soil, the experiments consisted of the following soil combinations:
- Two trays of topsoil from the terraces
- Two trays of native potting mix soil
- One tray of 1/3rd topsoil from the terraces mixed with 2/3rds worm castings from a volunteer’s worm farm
- One tray with 2/3rds topsoil from the terraces mixed with 1/3rd worm castings from a volunteer’s worm farm
There were various varieties of seed sown to test their germination, these included: small, medium & large sized seed, native & exotic legumes, pioneer species such as wattles (acacia), a variety of native & exotic flowers, a variety of vegetables and larger tree and shrub varieties e.g. Melaleuca & Eucalyptus.
The results have been fascinating, but not surprising. The topsoil from the terraces is indeed depleted and so far has had no germination at all. The fastest and most productive seed germination occurred in the tray of 1/3rd topsoil from the terraces mixed with 2/3rds worm castings.
It was interesting to observe how few seeds germinated in the native potting mix (purchased from a local nursery) and the terrace topsoil in comparison to the soil mixed with worm castings.
This is an ongoing experiment and will be updated in photos over time.
Earlier this year the directors mentioned that they were interested in setting up relationships with seed collectors Australia wide in order to source as many different varieties of seed for God’s Way Ltd environmental projects, see the January Activity Report for more information.
Some seed collecting enthusiasts contacted the organisation and the directors are grateful for their efforts so far to collect, sort, preserve and deliver the seed to the organisation. The directors are looking forward to continued and growing relationships with seed collectors over the coming years and to planting the diverse range of fresh native Australian seed that has been gifted to the organisation. God’s Way Ltd would like one day to grow a huge diversity of Australian native flora species in the hope of creating a thriving, living seed bank that will grow and reproduce seed for future environmental projects on God’s Way Learning Centres and for other individuals who regenerate property Australia wide.
The Garden Design project has been completed for more information see the January 2020 Activity Report. A brief overview of the project: large holes were dug and filled with organic green waste & other mulch (matter) and/or top soil. The matter in the holes is now either decomposing and producing quality soil, or waiting to be planted with various native shrubs or food producing plants. When it rains water will be held in the soil and garden area rather than running off down the gully. There has been little to no rain over the past months in the Wilkesdale Queensland area, but in the future when it does rain, the holes will collect water so the remain moist all year round and do not require manual watering.
The directors are looking forward to observing the results of the garden design experiment over the coming years.
The Hostel Landscaping Project was completed in early May, including the site drainage work, pathways and landscaping, see the February & March 2020 Activity Report for further information and photos of the project’s progress.
The purpose of the drainage work was to protect and prevent water seepage into the hostel building that is on the downhill side of sloping land. The hostel building had some termite activity and the moist soil provided excellent habitat conditions for termites with the timber in the building providing a local food source.
The site was re-shaped to alter the slope so that water now drains away from the building and into a central location. The landscaping has been designed so that even during large rain events water will always drain via underground soak wells, underground piping, open pit drains and via surface drains. The surface drainage has been designed to funnel water to hydrate plants and any excess water will drain along an open pit drain away from the building.
Here is a list of tasks that were undertaken to complete the Hostel Landscaping Project:
- Many rocks were excavated from the ground during the hostel landscaping project, the rocks were re-used as path edging and retaining walls.
- The utilities (electrical wiring and water pipes) that connected to the hostel, laundry & adjacent bathroom have been re-routed and covered by solid protective coverings so they are accessible but safe. The utilities were originally installed in a haphazard manner around submerged rocks and at a depth dictated to by the underground rock formations, rather than being properly buried deep underground.
- Gardens were mulched & planted out with prostrate & small native Australian shrubs to attract birds and wildlife. The large rocks in the courtyard garden are examples of the size of the rocks that were hidden underground.
- The hostel awning has been completed, clear polycarbonate roof sheeting was installed so light would still be available inside of the hostel building. Gutters and plumbing from the hostel and awning roof was connected in such a way as to water the existing mango tree rather than being drained away into the nearby paddock. Various maintenance issues in the hostel itself were fixed such as unstable floorboards and roof leaks.
- There are some minor works yet to be completed at the hostel, but these have been delayed as there are less volunteers available and other jobs have taken priority at this stage.
Thank you to the Construction Branch for completion of the project, to Jesus for design, planning and consultation and to all volunteers who gifted their time and efforts to the project supervision, construction, rock excavation, planting native shrubbery etc. The area now looks lovely and is functional as it ensures water does not collect and pool around the hostel foundations.
The volunteers who worked on the project learned that when something is not designed well, was poorly planned and implemented it leads to time consuming & challenging ‘fix up jobs’ later on. Volunteers reflected that they do not often plan projects well themselves. Having worked on the Hostel Landscaping Project they now know the consequences and effects of not doing so (there will be issues in future that will either have to be fixed or remedied).
It takes hard work and good planning & design to create beautiful and functional constructions.
The caretakers residence renovation project is progressing slowly. With limited volunteers working on the job it will take some time to complete.
Some of the smaller but essential jobs that Construction Branch volunteers have worked on during the April & Mary work period include:
- Prepared and finished off surfaces e.g. readying the walls and floors for the flooring finish and paintwork, and prepared wet areas for the waterproofing membrane
- Worked to create a smooth finish on all the house floor surfaces ready for the flooring finish product to be applied. The preparation of the floors is important to get a smooth and beautiful final finished result
- Touched up on plaster work at the bottom of walls where sanding damage occurred. Smoothed out the floors
- Resin was used to fill the floor waste puddle flanges in the bathroom and laundry, then a rebate was routed in once the resin was dry
- Installed wet area plaster compound to the wall joint in the shower area
- Installed silicone corner coving, in stages, to the shower, and floor to wall junctions in the bathroom, laundry and toilet
- Applied connector sealant to the window surround and window frame
- Prepared for plumbing to be installed
- Installed bond-breaker bandage to all junctions in the shower and bathroom areas in preparation for the waterproofing membrane
- Applied three coats of water proofing membrane to all floor areas and five coats to the shower floor and walls to ensure that the rooms are fully waterproofed
Other jobs that were completed at the Learning Centre Caretakers property included:
- Pearl polycarb roof sheets installed to replace existing clear roof sheet over bathroom window. This will allow more light into the bathroom
- Painted verandah rafters
- Discussed and finalized workflow for floor finish application
- Installed shelves in storage containers
- Constructed internal ramp to connect shipping containers, installed interior and exterior flashing on containers to make them waterproof
- Volunteers completed mower training, cleaning & maintenance
- Grass mowed around the residence in preparation for earthworks necessary for path, solar hot water service & clothesline installation
- Tank pads prepared ready to accommodate two water tanks to store dam water. This will be used to water garden areas around Caretakers Residence
- Various other jobs
Over the past two months the Construction Branch tested the application of 3 types of waterproofing membrane products in various combinations with the flooring finish product that will be used on the Caretakers Residence floors. The immediate aim of the experiment was to find the best products to use in the Learning Centre Caretakers Renovation. However by finding out which products performed best and in which combinations the branch hopes to standardise products and method for future building projects. Neither the product manufacturers nor God’s Way Ltd volunteers knew which waterproofing product would be compatible with the flooring finish products, so testing was vital to provide real life answers.
Waterproofing products were applied to a test models created to mimic different application scenarios that exist in full scale shower, bathroom, toilet and laundry areas of the house.
The application method for the waterproofing membrane was also an experiment, with the aim being to provide the smoothest possible finish. Using the proposed method for floor and wall covering, the underlying waterproofing finish will ‘on show’ over the entire shower floor and walls. Poor application, poor workmanship and any defects will be easily visible, so sorting these out and testing the unknowns were factors to be observed at the experimental stage.
The waterproofing membrane experiments included:
- Creating silicone bond-breaker coving in all internal corners
- Bond-breaker tested bandage as part of the waterproofing system. Standard manufactured products were tested as well as an experimental Basalt material
- The completion of the 3 waterproofing manufacturer’s products being tested, to the required dry-film thickness
- The completion of the floor finish product
- Calculating the area that the waterproofing membrane covers, the quantities of product that will be needed & the number of coats that will be required to complete the job.
The experiments proved that the best product for water proofing the wet areas in the caretakers renovation is, Colormakers, Acrylmeric WB Epoxy Primer Membrane & the best bond-breaker bandage was basalt fabric. Both of which are compatible with the EPIC PolyCryl flooring finish product that will be used at the caretakers residence renovation.
Jesus encourages volunteers to experiment. God’s Way Ltd Branches are conducting experiments and tests on small scales prototypes in order to trial and test outcomes before going ahead with larger jobs. The benefits of small scale experiments is that volunteers have an experience on a small scale to test unknown factors, to learn the best way of how to tackle a project, gain personal skills and find out things that they may not have thought about or thought through. Small scale experiments equate to smaller scale mistakes; experiments create the opportunity to refine the project before going ahead on a large scale.
In the case of the waterproofing experiments volunteers:
- Learned about the products, their application process, their composition, their relative environmental impacts and their efficacy in a variety of settings
- Had the opportunity to make mistakes on a small scale
- Learned the importance of correct experiment design. Some initial attempts had different parameters and inputs so that each scenario’s data and results were incomparable
- Gained insight into personal bias affects what they do and what they are willing to try
For example, before experiments began one volunteer had already decided that they didn’t like one of the flooring products that was to be tested. They had never used the product, and didn’t know how it performed but had decided on principle that they didn’t like it. After experimenting this same volunteer now loves the product and looks at where it can be used in other projects as they now like it so much. The beauty of doing the experiment was that it exposed the personal bias and resistance to using the product due to certain unchallenged feelings and beliefs.
A number of volunteers were working on the flooring finish experiment together so it also highlighted interpersonal relationship dynamics, bias in all parties, and the attitude of the different volunteers to conducting experiments. All of these factors affected and influenced the experiment outcomes.
Experimenting is a very useful way to observe and learn many things about oneself, others and products, ideas, concepts, and of course to test hypotheses.
The Water Management Branch has been working on site preparation to build a 10 x 10 metre shed. The shed is to be built on top of a hill on the Function Learning Centre property. The Construction Branch has been preparing the footings, by setting up form work and preparing the site for local contractors to drill out the holes for the footings and pour concrete to hold footings in place. The shed will be built in June by local contractors.
More detailed information on the Water Management Branch 10 x 10 shed build will appear in the next work period activity report.
Every 3 months checks are carried out on the organisations first aid kits, fire extinguishers and other plant and equipment that requires safety checks. God’s Way Ltd cleans and performs general maintenance on the machinery and equipment it uses before and after each use. In addition if operators notice problems with plant and machinery these are fixed rapidly, so generally everything is kept in good order and top working condition.
This work period the quarterly first aid and safety check was required. Every vehicle God’s Way Ltd uses and the God’s Way & Divine Truth organisations offices all have first aid kits & fire extinguishers. The activity involves a volunteer visiting every first aid kit the organisation owns, checking the contents and replenishing anything that is out of date or has been used during the quarterly period. The fire extinguishers are checked if they are out of date and each one tipped up and down so the extinguishing product doesn’t settle in the bottom of the tank. Fire extinguishers also undergo a yearly check by a local contractor and are swapped for new ones when required, this is dictated by the expiry date on the fire extinguisher.
Jesus & Mary continue to spend the majority of their time on editing the audio and video material for the Divine Truth 2019 Assistance Groups, ‘Understanding Sin & Its Causes’ groups one and two. For more detailed information view the January Activity Report.
Even with being so busy working on Divine Truth core business projects, Jesus and Mary continue to lead God’s Way Ltd and mentor other members in all areas of the organisation. They meet regularly with volunteers to guide their spiritual progress and provide instruction to project managers. Jesus designs most projects and works closely with Environment and Construction project managers to ensure continual forward progress on projects and constant refinement of company priorities in harmony with the God’s Way Ltd constitution.
In God’s Way organisation there are continuous opportunities to implement the Truths and Values that Jesus teaches via Divine Truth about how to come to know and live God’s Way.
The directors aspire to know and live these Truths, the company fundamentals, Vision & business plan, this can only happen as the soul condition of those involved in the organisation grows in love and they come to understand God’s Way personally in their hearts; taking actions based on what one hears, is different to feeling and understanding what living God’s Way means in the soul, in a sincere, heartfelt way.
The board has had opportunities to practically implement these Truths & Values over the past few months such as working towards running the organisation in harmony with God’s Laws and looking at volunteer attitudes more closely in order that the organisation runs smoothly and in harmony with the Company Constitution (more information can be found in previous activity reports).
Each member of the board is in the process of developing their soul condition in order to automatically implement the business plan. They are growing their own personal desire to live God’s Way rather than rely on inspiration from external sources to do so. The transition takes time as each person has different experiences and emotional injuries (beliefs, feelings, desires out of harmony with God’s Way) to work through in order to understand what it truly means to live God’s Way in a passionate, heartfelt manner.
The board aspires to live and bring the organisation into harmony with God’s Way, and they encourage all members and volunteers involved in the organisation to do the same.
Until next time best wishes, the directors of God’s Way Ltd
Date of Submission: 24 May 2020
Date of Event: 1 April – 19 April 2020 & 29 April to 17 May
Post Contributors: Eloisa Lytton-Hitchins, Mary Luck, David Walsh
Location: Wilkesdale, Queensland, Australia