Hello and welcome to the God’s Way Ltd August to December 2020 Activity Report.
Updates for this period:
- God’s Way Ltd AGM
- Volunteers & Members Branch
- Environment Branch
- Plant & Machinery Branch
- Construction Branch
- Water Management Systems
The directors extend their gratitude to all those who have contributed, donations, gifts, resources, time and skills to God’s Way organisation over the past financial year. The directors and members are passionate about God’s Way and are grateful to all those who share the desire to further God’s Way Ltd’s vision and objectives.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held in November 2020. The Director’s Report has been published and can be accessed here or it can be read and downloaded via the company reports & documents page in the menu bar of this blog via this link.
The board of directors remains the same for the next financial year:
- Mary Luck – managing director and chairperson
- Catherine Spence – director and treasurer
- Eloisa Lytton-Hitchins – director and secretary
The directors extended their thanks to members and volunteers who have consistently contributed to God’s Way Ltd projects over the past year.
Current God’s Way Ltd members
- Mary (Mary Luck)
- Jesus (AJ Miller)
- Catherine Spence
- David Walsh (Corny)
- Eloisa Lytton-Hitchins
Volunteers & Members Branch
God’s Way Ltd has created the opportunity for probation volunteers (individuals who have yet to complete the Volunteer Selection Programme) to spend time with members and work on various God’s Way Ltd projects.
Between August and December probation volunteers contributed to the Terrace Seeding Project. More information can be found in the next section of this post, under the Environment Branch Seed Project probation volunteer activities.
The members and directors hosted a thank you lunch for God’s Way and Divine Truth volunteers. It was an opportunity to extend gratitude to those who are or have been involved (and their partners and children) in the organisations projects, engage in truthful conversation, have some fun and spend time together in a social setting. The event was enjoyed by all who attended. Images are a combination from the thank you lunch and volunteers/probation volunteers working on God’s Way Ltd activities.
The terrace project continued between August and November. Aerial photos were taken of the terrace project in August which gives an overview of the project to date. Thank you to Jadda for donating the drone images to God’s Way Ltd.
Aerial photos of the terrace project, August 2020.
The images below show the next section of the Function Centre that will be terraced.
Water catchment areas
During August two water catchment areas were created (small ponds) at the Function Centre terrace project. These have been designed to catch, hold and slowly seep water through the landscape. One pond was constructed in a heavily eroded area and the second pond is a converted terrace, which was holding water for months at a time.
Images of the pond that was constructed above terrace one. The pond was completed in August 2020 and caught water in the first rain in October 2020.
Comparison of plant growth in the terraces and the vegetation between the terraces, August 2020.
It is noticeable in drier conditions that the plants growing in the terraces are greener, healthier and have more abundance of flowers and seed due to the terraces holding moisture (dew) and water from rain events.
In August 2020 new terraces were created.
Older terraces were mulched, re-ripped and re-seeded.
Terrace Project & gully line re-structure, September 2021.
In September 2020 an eroded gully line was cleaned out and re-structured using the excavator. The gully was modified, banks were created across the gully to slow down water and stop erosian, and large pits were dug to capture and hold water to benefit flora and fauna.
The pits were also designed as an experiment to bury invasive plant species such as lantana and prickly pear plants. The invasive species are buried at least one metre below ground level and covered with soil.
The pits will hold water and it is anticipated that the changed conditions, now being so moist, will suppress growth of the invasive plant species. The method will be monitored to observe if the invasive species are suppressed or not over time.
Introduced species experiment
Pits were constructed to bury introduced/invasive plant species, these will be monitored to see if any regrowth occurs over time.
Terrace Project, October 2020
Function Centre & Function Centre Caretakers properties after rain.
There was some rain in October 2020. Dams filled up and the terraces held water as they were designed to. Some terraces with clay bases held water for weeks to months after the rain. These terraces will be seeded with flora that can handle both dry and wet conditions.
Caretakers dam after rain
Re-structured gully line after rain
The terraces after a rain event
The terraces are working as designed and holding water on site well.
Terrace Project, November 2020
Terrace dried out after holding water for a month, November 2020
Insect varieties and quantity have increased at the terraces over the past two years, particularly since mulch was added and the plant life has increased.
In November God’s Way Ltd’s heavy machinery operator cut down his hours and will only be available intermittently from now on, as other priorities in his life allow. God’s Way Ltd hopes to attract a full time or more regular machinery operator in the near future.
Update on the Introduced Species Experiment, more information can be found in the June & July Activity Report 2020 at this Link
Introduced Species Experiment, August 2020
Introduced Species Experiment, September 2020
Introduced Species Experiment, October 2020
Introduced Species Experiment, December 2020
God’s Way Ltd trialled a new seeding method using deco (decomposed granite) which has minerals in the rock mixture and retains moisture. After a successful small-scale experiment germinating seed in deco the seeding method now includes:
- A layer of deco (decomposed granite) on the base of the terrace
- A layer of woodchip over the deco
- Rip the woodchip, deco & base of terrace
- The mulch and deco is raked into the rip lines which create soaks to hold moisture and the plant roots can use to survive
- Scrape a furrow along the edge of the rip lines
- Plant seed mix in furrow
A variety of seeds to be sown in God’s Way Ltd environmental projects.
Seeds are mixed ready for sowing in the terraces.
Deco (decomposed granite) experiments
Members observed that germination and growth rates of various plant species was more rapid when planted in deco (decomposed granite). Experiments are now under way using deco mixed with topsoil and mulch in the base of the terraces to see if the minerals aid seed germination and growth.
Wattle in flower at the terraces
Wattle in the terraces flowered prolifically this year and produced abundant quantities of seed. This indicated that there is plenty of moisture in the terraces for flora to reproduce.
Thank you to volunteers who have collected native Australian seed species in their local areas nation wide, God’s Way Ltd is most grateful for your efforts and for the seed that is being planted in the Terrace Project.
In October 2020, God’s Way Ltd was gifted the time, knowledge and expertise of a local botanist to document the Learning Centre flora. Lauren Pinwell spent days with Catherine Spence walking over the Environment Centre and Function Centre collecting specimens and identifying plant species native to Australia and the local area.
Species identified have included some endangered flora species such as the Tingoora Wattle Acacia tingoorensis or .
The species documentation project on God’s Way Ltd properties is an extensive one that will be continued over the coming years.
God’s Way Ltd Probation Volunteers joined members and volunteers and worked on various projects and activities between July & December 2020.
Temporary fences are painted while the ground was too wet to work on environmental projects.
Older terraces that had used outdated seeding methods were mulched and re-seeded with a larger variety of seed. The terraces will be observed to measure if the germination rates increase in these terraces.
Volunteers collected & sorted the seed from the flora in the terraces. The seed will be sown in existing and new terraces as they are created.
Volunteers seed the newly modified gully line with grasses and native plant species.
A terrace was created on the Function Caretakers property as the mulch depot, a place to store the newly ground mulch until terraces are completed and ready to use it.
A griding company was contracted to grind up flitches at a local mill and deliver them to the Function Centre Caretakers mulch depot. Flitches are a waste product of wood mills, these off cuts are usually burnt.
God’s Way Ltd Directors hope that the mill will allow the grinding project to occur every year. If the project does go ahead there will be a recurring cost each year, God’s Way Ltd will require enough donations to come in to fund the project.
If you would like to donate to the Mulch Project please visit the God’s Way Ltd Donate page at this link.
|5,989 m3 (14.8 acres)||$93,428||$15.60|
|15,000 m3 (37 acres)||$234,000||$15.60|
All costs are estimated in Australian dollars.
In Queensland Australia large amounts of land clearing occurs. Sadly the felled matter is mostly burnt rather than being added back into the eco-system or used for environmental recovery. If the matter was mulched and spread on top of the soil it would aid soil health including feeding microbes, fungi & other essential components for soil building.
The mulch makes a noticeable difference to environmental projects for example it:
- Creates cover for the soil keeping it cooler
- Retains moisture in the woodchip and soil
- Provides food, shelter and moisture for insect and microbial life (and other intelligent life e.g. micro-organisms, fungi, bacteria etc.)
- Slow releases nutrients into the soil
- Has all manner of benefits to a degraded environment
God’s Way Ltd has looked into grinding up the felled trees and matter (slash as it is commonly referred to) from local clearing activities and has found that it would be feasible to hire a grinder in order to produce woodchip. God’s Way Ltd is open to joint venture mulch projects between other individuals and or other organisations who are interested in a regular source of mulch for their own projects.
God’s Way Ltd does not currently have the funds to go ahead with projects like these on it’s own, but cooperatively with others and by sharing costs (individuals cover costs of grinding and transport to their own property) makes the project more economical. God’s Way Ltd would like to see less burning and more environmental recovery worldwide so organisations and individuals doing this on their own merit is a step towards positive environmental change.
God’s Way Ltd feels that cooperative efforts between locals could bring about positive change in the area.
If readers know of any properties that have cleared matter please contact us via the contact us page at this link.
If you would like to donate to the Mulch Project or any other God’s Way Ltd project please visit the God’s Way Ltd Donate page at this link.
Over the August to December work periods some heavy machinery repairs were made.
The dozer’s tilt blade function failed and needed to be repaired.
The excavator’s fuel filter was replaced. New safety switches were installed on the excavator so that emergency shutdown happens at the push of a button.
Over the past years God’s Way Ltd has been gifted the use of a small tip truck by Divine Truth Pty Ltd. The ‘yellow tipper’, as it commonly referred to within the organisation, has had various issues since it’s purchase one of which included a gearbox change which cost $13,000. Over the past months more issues have been found including a fuel pump problem which has caused the tipper to be unusable and made some projects harder and more complicated while the tipper has been out of action.
In order to trouble shoot the fuel pump issue a new fuel pump was ordered. This proved to be problematic from the beginning as the tipper is an older model and there are few spare parts available for it in Australia. It took four months (due to postal delays) for a new fuel pump to arrive and after it was installed the issue was still occurred.
Since then other issues have also been found and the following repairs were required:
- Fuel pump & seals fixed
- New hoses to the fuel pump
- Radiator refurbishment
- Toe ball to be attached
- Replace temperature gauge
- Reconditioned injector pump
- Replace injectors
The above list of repairs ended up costing $6,000 AUD. The repairs, and some modifications (a new tip tray) made to the tipper so far have cost more than the original purchase price of the tip truck.
Due to the unreliability of the yellow tipper, how hard it is to source spare parts and the inconvenience of the tipper being out of action for months at a time, God’s Way Ltd is investigating costs and options to purchase a brand new (or single used highly reliable) tip truck as the small tippers are so handy to use on God’s Way Ltd projects.
In August & September 2020 the Construction Branch continued the Caretakers Residence Renovation. The house has been designed to be as maintenance free as possible.
A few areas on the house did however require painting such as raw steelwork or steelwork that had previously been painted, (the steel work was painted in colours to match the new color scheme), this included:
- veranda posts
Gutters were plumbed in from both sides of the house to the water tank. The water collected off the roof in rain events becomes potable drinking water. Rain water and dam water are the only water sources available on the Function Centre caretakers property.
The first flush system (the system) is designed to keep the rain water clean. The system allows for the removal of leaves and other debris before it enters the pipework, this ensures that the water entering the tank is as clean as possible. A horizontal pipe that slopes gently downward towards an inspection cap adds additional filtration of dirt and any heavy material that may settle in the plumbing. The pipe will be periodically drained and cleaned.
Inside the caretakers residence the renovation continued. A coat of waterproofing material was applied in the caretakers residence wet areas.
Aerial view of caretakers property, August 2020
Aerial view of caretakers residence, August 2020
A general clean up happened at the Function Centre Caretakers property. Old fencing materials and rubbish from the caretakers residence renovation have been given away, will be reused or taken to the dump.
In October the Construction Branch conducted some preparation work on the Function Centre Caretaker’s Shed Extension Project. The shed extension is being created as a heavy machinery servicing and general maintenance shed.
Plans of the proposed shed extension were sent to a structural engineer who approved and signed off the plans. Information required by the local council has been gathered, submitted and paid for so that a building permit can be issued for the shed extension.
The shed extension posts/columns will share the same foundations as the adjoining pre-existing shed. Due to the shed being extended the load (weight) of both sheds has increased. Because of this the existing foundations will be removed, enlarged and re-established.
Two of the existing post foundations had a concrete slab poured over the top of them. The slab has been cut away and jack-hammered out in readiness for when the new shed gains Council approval and the project begins.
The Construction Branch worked on the Divine Truth studio renovation August through to October. Jesus gifts his time as the God’s Way Ltd systems manager which includes everything to do with data storage & maintenance. Jesus stores, backs up, maintains, updates, builds and configures hardware, software and everything else required to ensure data is safely looked after.
Divine Truth Pty Ltd made some technical upgrades including installation of larger servers to store more data. These upgrades also benefit God’s Way Ltd, more information can be read on Mary’s blog Update on Jesus & Mary 2020, at this link.
In order to house larger servers Jesus & Mary decided to make a small server room within their existing studio.
For the duration of the server room renovation Jesus & Mary moved their editing station and server storage into their small one bedroom house.
Jesus designed the server room and Corny constructed it.
The extra noise and heat being generated from the server fans needed to be controlled (constant air conditioning & sound proofing required) so it didn’t affect studio audio and video recordings and is not too loud for those working in the recording room.
A soundproof and fireproof separation wall was required.
Studio before renovation began.
Desks, floor & doors are taped and covered to keep area clean and as dust free as possible during renovation.
Server room construction begins, August 2020.
A dividing wall was built.
Dense sound proofing insulation was installed. It was checked for the smallest gaps so that no noise can travel through the walls.
The walls were sheeted with a magnesium oxide board (MGO board) on both sides of the wall. Magnesium oxide boad is fire proof (does not burn) and is very dense for noise control.
Fire resistant plasterboard was added on the inside wall and standard plasterboard on the outside wall.
All gaps in the walls were sealed, and all joints were plastered.
In September 2020, once the plaster work was sanded off and completed a shelving unit for storage was installed.
A large solid core door (2340mm high x 1020mm wide) was installed to seal off the server room. The door is made of the most dense material available to prevent sound moving from the server room through the door and into the studio audio/visual recording room. To create a full sound proof barrier specialised acoustic seals were installed around and under the door once the painting was completed
During October the Construction Branch painted the new server room at the Divine Truth studio.
Paint work included:
- All new works were painted with an undercoat
- Two top coats were applied to the walls and ceilings
- The new door and architraves were painted with undercoat and topcoat using a high gloss enamel paint
- New and existing storage shelves were painted with a two part polyurethane product (Epic polycryl) that dries extremely hard. Polycryl was chosen for the longevity of the shelves against heavy usage including mitigating damage of heavy items being pulled in and out off the shelves. The product ensures ongoing protection and maintains a new look over a longer period of time than paint.
The new server racks (to hold computer data storage) were installed and are ready to be fitted out with the computer equipment.
An electrician installed all the power runs that were required to get the server room operational.
Studio server room completed
In September 2020, the Construction Branch fixed the hostel roof which had been leaking. Finding the source of the leaks had been near to impossible. The original roof was made up of mostly second hand corrugated iron roofing sheets which had a large number of patched holes from previous uses. It was decided that the most economical solution to the leaks was to replace the roof sheeting with new full-length sheets.
The 10m x 10m Shed Build has been completed (more information can be found in
June & July 2020 Activity Report)
In August extra bracing was installed on the rear bays of the 10m x 10m kit shed, this upgraded the shed to withstand cyclonic conditions.
Though the geographical area (location) where the shed is built, 125km inland from the coast, is not currently regarded as a cyclone affected area, the shed has been designed to withstand major climatic changes. In the event that rapid, destructive environmental events do occur potable (drinkable) water will be a resource vital for continual sustained existence of humanity and flora and fauna. The shed has been strengthened to ensure the structure survives extreme weather events so it can serve its purpose to protect the catchment of potable water.
The water tanks were installed underneath the shed roof so they are protected from the elements and UV light. This is to ensure that there will be a water supply in all conditions and circumstances and the water tanks will last for many years.
Once the water tanks were positioned, upgraded cross bracing was added onto the side bays of the shed.
In August 2020, water tanks that were previously cleaned (more information can be found in the June & July 2020 Activity Report), were ready to be taken to their respective locations.
Four water tanks were installed to collect water off the 10m x 10m shed roof. The tanks will gravity feed water to other locations on the Function Centre and Function Centre Caretakers properties.
Now that the water tanks have been installed the opportunity to water the terraces exists. Plans are in place to pump dam water up to the 10m x 10m tanks and gravity feed the water down the hillside as required.
Water tank installation information
- Each water tank is made from high density Polyethylene and weighs approximately 450kg.
- A car trailer was hired to move the tanks. A temporary timber platform was built and inserted to raise the trailer floor level up to the height of the trailer wheel guards, this enabled the tanks to roll smoothly onto the trailer.
- Aluminium building planks were used to create a gentle slope for the tanks to roll on and off the trailer.
- When the water tanks were rolled off the trailer and into the required position on the tank pad, the tanks were then simply pushed over (lots of volunteer muscle was applied) to land on their base.
- Care is taken to ensure that the ground that the tanks land on is clear of obstacles and protrusions that could puncture the tanks.
- The tanks under the 10m x 10m shed were 3.6m high when turned on their side. These tanks were skidded to their precise location.
- Skids are made from long, strong but not very wide material that can be put under the tank acting a little like railway tracks.
- The skids keep the tank off the ground so it can be pushed sideways while creating as little friction as possible (the more friction the harder it is to push).
- Skids are also used to rotate the tanks on the spot if necessary. For example lining up the tops of the tanks so the water intake basket is in line with the roof gutter location.
- Steel skids and hardwood skids were trialled to slide the tanks into position.
- Volunteers found that hardwood skids rubbed down with a bar of soap were the most effective as skids.
- Which are two long lengths of hardwood timber with a layer of soap rubbed into the timber.
- The tank has direct contact with the timber and can be easily rotated
- To get the timbers under the tank, a lever was set up using a crowbar on top of a block of wood
- The crowbar was inserted underneath the tank to lift it up which made enough space to slide the timber skids under the tank.
- Once the timber was in place, two long ratchet straps (usually used for tying down loads on trucks) were positioned around the perimeter of the tank at about waist height, the ratchet tightening handles were positioned at opposite sides of the tank
- When the straps were done up tight, the ratchet handles then became handles to rotate the tank into the desired position.
With experience volunteers found that the placement of the tanks could be done quite accurately so when a tank was tipped over it landed almost exactly in the position required. Sometimes this was not feasible for example when tanks were placed under a roof they need to be skidded into position.
Skidding tanks into position
Two water tanks were installed in close proximity to the residence and gardens (at the highest point closest to the house) on the Function Centre Caretakers property to store and then gravity feed dam water to the garden areas around the house.
During September 2020, the water tanks that were installed under the 10m x 10m shed were re positioned (rotated) so that plumbing fittings are easily accessible and correctly positioned. The tanks have been reused from other locations and have pre-existing holes cut into them to attach valves and install overflow connections. The existing holes did not end up in the precise position required when first moved so the tanks were rotated so the existing holes are now in the best position for the tanks new use.
The method to rotate a 1/2 tonne tank was to use skids:
Information sharing is slow at this time. With only five members in the organisation information is shared as often as time allows alongside the daily practical implementation of projects. Data is being gathered and stored so that a record of the projects that are currently underway in the organisation are documented. As more volunteers come to have a heartfelt desire for the organisations objectives and principles more information will be able to be shared.
Jesus and Mary were busy with various projects over the August to December work period including:
- Overseeing and managing God’s Way Ltd projects
- Divine Truth Studio renovation
- Editing the Sin & it’s Causes Assistance Group audio and video
- Eco-tent/cabin refurbishment commenced. The cabin refurbishment will be an opportunity to test out various experimental techniques that may be used on God’s Way Ltd projects in the future
- Many other activities including Divine Truth, God’s Way Ltd and personal projects
- Built servers (designed, built hardware, coded software, tested, trouble shot issues)
- Server maintenance, backups, re programming tasks
- Updated all of God’s Way Ltd servers, which requires major upgrades & reconfigurations
- Designed, setup & programmed God’s Way Ltd members a workstation with a virtual machine
- Advised God’s Way Ltd members on technical equipment purchases for personal projects
Jesus was busy with the following activities, as well as those mentioned above:
Jesus developed RSI in his shoulders and wrists due to the repetitive nature of the audio and video editing work. Due to this injury he could only complete 3-4 hours of editing in one stretch. This means he also worked on other technical upgrades and projects between editing to break up the repetitive task.
For updates written by Jesus & Mary visit the following links on Mary’s blog.
Jesus server setup and hardware builds
Eco-tent/cabin before refurbishment commenced.
Eco-tent/cabin one refurbishment
Eco-tent/cabin two refurbishment
The August to December 2020, work periods have been filled with activities. Members have noticed that even with a very small team, when they diligently chip away at projects much can be accomplished over time.
Until the next update, best wishes from the directors of God’s Way Ltd.
Date of Submission: 15 December 2020
Date of Event: 1 August – 9 August 2020, 20 August to 6 September, 16 September – 4 October & 14 October – 1 November
Post Contributors: Eloisa Lytton-Hitchins, Mary Luck, David Walsh, Catherine Spence
Location: Wilkesdale, Queensland, Australia