May 2017 Update

Dear friends and family,

I (Adria) have been sick for the better part of this past month. Sometimes we learn the hard way. I learned I’m allergic to mango peels! Who knew? By God’s grace I was still able to join in the work. Read on for this month’s summary!

Jeffrey
If you remember Jeffrey, he has been growing their family’s garden ever since we started visiting Puran last year. However, for the past couple months (during the dry, hot season here in Honduras) he’s been so busy that the garden has been placed on the back burner since he can’t be home to keep it watered. He has high school in town during the week, training to work with the Red Cross on Saturdays, and occasionally plays soccer with the reserve professional league. He’s hoping to start working again in the garden soon, especially now that the summer rains have started. María and her husband Felix are Jeffrey’s parents. María has often commented on Jeffrey’s enthusiasm for growing their garden and how she’s noticed their cabbage has better flavor than what she buys at the market. María is a believer but Felix is not, yet. Felix works at a local chicken farm and we rarely see him. María’s prayer request is for the finances to purchase their own house, as they currently live in a family member’s house, along with 4 of María’s siblings and their families. This is a common situation for families here that don’t have the means to rent or buy their own property.
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This month we held the 2nd gardening workshop for the families at Puran. We awarded 7 ladies for their prize-winning vegetables to encourage each family to continue improving, progressing, and excelling in their home garden. We also gave a portion of rice, lard, corn flour, and sugar to each family currently active and producing in their home garden. Job also gave a reflection on the parable of the sower. Over time, as we visit Puran each week, Job has acquired the title, “el hombre de las semillas,” or “the man of the seeds.” So Job explained that we are like that farmer in the parable, sowing seeds. But more importantly, the land represents our hearts. Without Christ, the land cannot produce a crop. So, to be the “good soil” of the parable, we first need to give our hearts to Christ, the Sower. Second, we need to allow Him to work in our “soil.” To produce fruit for God, we have to surrender our hearts to Jesus.
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THANK YOU for your part in blessing these families!
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About once a month our missionary ladies Bible study gets together for lunch with as many of us nearby that can make it. Last month we got together with our friend, Ellen Zell, who lives in a much hotter region of the country. I had wanted to visit their place for quite awhile now, as she and her husband are also doing some work in agriculture, mainly testing aquaponics as a viable option for small farmers in their region. She also showed me their setup to farm black soldier flies. These flies are truly beneficial insects as they are completely harmless to humans. They don’t bite or sting and they are not vectors of human diseases. The larvae are used to compost kitchen waste in a fraction of the time that worms can compost waste. Then these larvae can be fed to chickens and fish as a high protein feed. I am currently using vermiculture (worm composting) to compost our kitchen waste, but now I’m looking into this option of farming black soldier flies, which may prove to be an even better system. I thank God for the connections He brings through knowing other missionaries and sharing our experiences to help grow and enrich our ministries.
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Pic: June bugs on our window screen. (I could have gotten a picture of just as many or more inside the house, if they just would have congregated for a group photo!) It never fails to frustrate amaze me how bugs and insects of all sorts are a part of everyday life here. This month we were “plagued” with June bugs and termites. These are just normal, seasonal phenomena that occur at certain times each year here. The June bugs come towards the end of April-beginning of May, while the termites come with the first rains of the summer rain season, typically in May. June bugs come, die, and leave their stink, attracting ants to come carry away the remains. Termites swarm, fly around in a ridiculous manner, then leave their wings behind. Hundreds of them. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time this month finding and sweeping termite wings all over the house.
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Pic: I’m assuming this is a “brown anole lizard” I found on our back porch.
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Pic: At the market, lower 2 baskets are full of cashew fruit.

I guess insects are not the only “new-to-me” peculiarities of life here. I often find myself snapping pics of lizards, cashew fruit, and just about any unfamiliar find.

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At Awana we are still looking for more leaders and helpers. We recently invited the parents for a family day that involved a soccer tournament to raise funds. There is also a group of ladies in the church that have adapted the program to use in public schools. They visit an elementary school every Friday for a couple hours and teach Awana lessons there. Please keep these ministries in your prayers!
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Pic: Unloading 425 bags (35 lbs each) of “gallinaza” (chicken manure) – at just $1 each! Here at the farm we are lambing once again and have had several twins! We are also getting started on digging holes to plant the hardwood trees. The chicken manure is being mixed into the soil to prepare for planting.

Praise:

  • The youth group is growing as more are bringing along friends! Pray that the message would fall on open ears, minds, and hearts (good soil)!
  • Our work at the Colbath’s farm is progressing and we hope to have the hardwood trees planted sometime this summer!
  • God is bringing about connections with other ministries using agriculture, for His glory!

Prayer:

  • This month I (Adria) experienced 2 allergic reactions as well as a throat infection. The first allergic reaction began after eating a mango. After doing some research, I learned that mango peels contain the same chemical as poison ivy, so if you happen to have this allergy, stay away from mango peels! Please pray that God would heal me completely, there is so much work to be done.
  • Remember to pray for Jeffrey’s family, for the finances to purchase their own house.
  • Continue to pray for more helpers/leaders for Awana (Oansa).

THANK YOU for remembering these requests in your prayers! Let us all cast our burdens on the LORD, for He is waiting for us to draw near. 

With love,

Adria and Job

April 2017 Update

Dear friends and family,

As I mentioned in last month’s update, as time goes on we’re getting to know the families at Puran. After spending the past 6 months visiting these families each week, we’ve started to grow deeper our relationships with them. I promised last month I would share more in-depth about each family. Over the next several months we would like to share more of their stories with you, so you know how to better pray for them.

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Daileen & Franklin (the couple in the picture above) have 2 kids. Their oldest, Cynthia, is plagued with constant ear infections and they spend a good portion of their wages on medicine for her every month. About a year ago they began to have financial trouble. Sometime this month people who were hired by a bank to promote loans, came to their community, offering small loans at very low interest rates. Daileen and Franklin needed money to pay debts and Franklin needed a new cell phone for work, so they decided to apply for the loan. They paid 500 lempiras (over $20) to fill out the paperwork and apply. Then they waited, and waited, and waited for the phone call to see if they were eligible for the loan. Finally, after about a month of waiting, they were given the loan. At first when Daileen was telling us what had happened, we all thought they had been swindled. But one day while making our rounds, visiting the families at Puran, we prayed with her and later that same day they received a call that they would receive the loan! Please continue to pray for this family, that God would provide them the way to get out of debt. Many families here lose their homes due to accumulated debt. Concerning their garden, Daileen has told us many times these past few months how thankful she was that they had vegetables from their garden to eat while they were short on money. Praise the Lord for His provision!
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Eva (pictured above) and her husband (Armando) are a couple we have mentioned several times in our updates. They have 2 healthy boys, Francisco and Armandito. This couple is very active serving God, in several ways in their local church. Eva teaches for a kid’s discipleship group and helps out with the feeding program the church started for the elementary school (which feeds lunch to over 100 kids, 4 days a week). Armando is helping build the dining hall, a project the church has taken on so the kids have a place to eat lunch.
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Eva and Daileen have become close friends over the years as they grow in their faith. They share many trials and joys together. Their husbands, who both happen to work as security guards with the same company, have come to faith after them. Armando (Eva’s husband) has grown in his faith so much, while Franklin (Daileen’s husband) has had a much slower growing process. Eva says she oftentimes encourages Daileen to pray for her husband, as she looks back and remembers how much Armando has grown and what a difference it has made in their family. Also, Eva and Armando had applied for the same loan as Daileen and Franklin, and were waiting anxiously just the same, until they received the loan. Pray for these 2 ladies, that God would use His word and His people to speak into their lives and continue growing them stronger in Him.
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Armando (pictured above with his youngest – Armandito) has testified to us how God has transformed his life over the years. He used to be an alcoholic and says there was no peace in their household. Simply put, He told us he changed because he was tired of seeing his wife cry and later began to attend church with her. He’s told us on more than one occasion how wonderful it is to have peace in the house. He says God has taught him so much about faith and perseverance, especially through gardening. He likes to use the garden as an example to teach his kids. Please pray for God’s will concerning Armando’s future work and ministry. He is praying that God opens doors in the future when his kids have graduated, to leave his full-time job as a security guard and do ministry while working at home in agriculture and small jobs, like welding and construction.
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Elba is another gardener we have mentioned a few times before. She is basically living as a single mother and a single grandmother, as she raises both her kids and her grandkids. Her husband works in El Salvador and only returns home every 3 months, for a short week, before returning to work. Elba has shared with us about her situation, that her husband lost their house due to his problem with alcoholism. She experienced a deep bitterness towards him, but then God prompted her to ask her husband’s forgiveness for any time she had been disrespectful to him… even when she felt he was the one who needed to be asking for forgiveness. What a challenge! But that’s what God calls all of us to do! Remember towards the end of Matthew 5, when Jesus talks about loving our enemies? He reminds us that anyone can love the “lovable” but He calls Christians to love the “unlovable”… because He loved us when we were “unlovable!” Please keep Elba and her family in your prayers, as we haven’t yet heard her clearly profess that her faith is in the Lord.
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Herminia is a believer and has 3 healthy kids, however, her husband is also an alcoholic. On top of this, she suffers from neurocysticercosis, a parasitic disease usually acquired by consuming undercooked pork. Doctors discovered this when she had her first child. She has had to take medicine daily now for the past 14 years. Even still, she thanks God for every new year of life He has given her. Please pray for her health, as she deals with seizures due to this illness, as well as healing from a recent gallbladder surgery. Herminia is also the president of (what I would call the Honduran version) her local parent-teacher association for the elementary school at Puran. She wants to use her connections with her school’s association as well as other area schools to help us connect with them and start school gardens. Pray for God’s guidance in each step if this is His will.

Testimonies like this encourage us to continue 2 things: 1. Ministering in word and deed to the family of God and 2. Proclaiming in word and deed God’s Word to bring more into God’s family. I will share more testimonies next month. We would like you, as part of this ministry, to experience the joy of how God is opening the way for real relationships with these families and the commitment for all of us to pray for them.

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Pic: Lunch with Calin (from Balfate, Honduras) & Christine (from Georgia). It’s been a blessing getting to know others our age who also are cross-cultural couples working in ministry. We had visited Calin & Christine last year where they work in northern Honduras. This year they came down to see us in Siguatepeque with Samantha, their first addition to their family.
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This month the youth group has been joining Samaritan’s Purse and Kingdom Growers (the ministry to coffee farmers) in distributing shoeboxes to mothers and kids in rural communities. The youth led a time of worship, played games with the kids (photo below), and Job shared a gospel message at the end of their time together. Pray for these kids and their local church, that the seeds planted would be well watered and come to bear much fruit!

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Pic: A choir made up of different churches in the Central American denomination. We were up especially early on Easter morning for a joint sunrise service at 5am with all the churches within our denomination in Siguatepeque. Whenever we have these joint services I always enjoy the choir. I miss worshiping in my native language, but more and more I’m loving worshipping in Spanish. ¡Resucitó!
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Job has received the opportunity to participate in a course offered by the FAO (the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization). The course is called School Feeding: Development of Sustainable Programs from the Brazilian Case. Job says this is an opportunity to understand better the challenges of bringing nutritious food for students. It’s an opportunity to know what nutrition the kids and the families as a whole need to be healthy. Also, it has served as a chance to network with other organizations that are combating this issue of student hunger, and make relationships to work together. The group presenting the course is showing how they’ve found what has worked well in Brazil through a project they started to feed students with the local agriculture supplies. Now they are sharing their experience in 6 different countries, besides Brazil and Honduras: Paraguay, Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. Pray for Job’s safety as he travels about once a month to the capital (Tegucigalpa) for the course. Pray that God would use what he learns there to further use our resources in Puran.

Praise:

  • Thank God for His living and active Word… the greatest gift we have to share with others!
  • For each day’s provisions!
  • For the family of God, as we support and encourage each other!
  • For God’s unconditional love, given to us in Jesus!

Prayer:

  • For each of the families’ requests at Puran.
  • We are in the beginning stages of planning and preparing to help schools start gardens. Hopefully we can meet this month with the teachers at the school in Puran to see what the first steps would be in helping their school start a garden.
  • Continue to pray for Awana leaders. We had a meeting last week and are planning to invite various speakers to give the devotional each week. This will help lift that responsibility from the leaders and allow them to focus on the individual time they have with the kids.
  • Finances for some repairs needed on our pickup.

 

 

March 2017 Update

Dear friends and family,

Thank you for joining us in prayer this past month. We thank God for listening to our pleas and continue to praise Him through both the joys and the trials. Read on to see how He has been working in and through us.

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Pic: Dave and Melvin (Job’s friend) checking wells to fix around Comayagua. This month Job has been using his contacts to help Dave survey several communities, searching for the wells that need to be repaired. The government does not have any database to save the locations of these public wells, so even this step is left up to WAC (Water Ambassadors Canada). For now, the short-term team from Canada that was planning to come this month is postponing their trip. There were just 2 planning to come and 1 of them has a serious infection. Please pray that his infection would be fully healed soon, so that they can reschedule the trip.
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Pic: At Puran, Eva gifts us “flor de izote,” a type of flower used in cooking. Many people here sauté this with onions and mix it into scrambled eggs. So far, the flowers that I’ve tried in food here I don’t really like. But I’ll still give this a try. The pickup you see behind them is a huge answer to our prayers. So thank you for praying with us! We’ve been praying for a second vehicle and on a very unsuspecting day, we found it! It’s a 99 Nissan, double cab, diesel, 4×4, just the type of vehicle we were searching for. Thank you to all of you who faithfully support our ministry with finances month after month. God is using your willingness to, quite literally, move this ministry forward!
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As we make our rounds visiting the families in Puran, Job just can’t resist the opportunity to join in the street soccer games. If you know Job, he has a way with kids and youth. He can grab their attention, hold their attention, and catch them off guard with his actions and words. Pray that God would use our actions and words in Puran to shine His brilliant light through the darkness there. Whether it be drug/alcohol addictions, abuse, neglect, bitterness, hatred, deception, pain, anxiety, or laziness. Pray that God’s truth be made known and bring all hearts to Him.
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Pic: Holding Maria’s newborn boy, David. As time goes by, week after week, we’ve had the privilege of becoming a part of these families’ lives. We attended the wedding of Mirian and now here I am holding María’s baby boy. We’ve been encouraged by testimonies and long to hear the testimonies of those who have yet to come to their Savior. I have so much to say here. But I’ll share more in-depth next month. Just please be praying for patience as we visit many families who are not yet followers of Jesus.
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Oansa (Awana) is off and running, with still more kids and more leaders joining. We’ve had a couple more leaders join but are still needing a few more, as the small groups are larger than they should be and it can be a bit overwhelming for the leader. I love the Bible teaching in Oansa and hope that the leaders would not lose focus and get lost amongst the paperwork for each kid as they memorize verses and accomplish the lesson challenges of their workbooks. Please keep praying about this, that more leaders would join to divide the kids up into smaller groups.
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The youth group is also gaining momentum and this month they enjoyed a retreat and several water games at a water park in Otoro. Please join us in praying for these teens as they learn how deeply God loves them and grow to know Him more through this stage of their lives.
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The finale, a bumpy slide into the river… just in case you hadn’t yet been completely soaked.
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We are planning another gardening workshop for May. We will focus on reviewing basic gardening tips, teaching the new families, rewarding those who are excelling in their gardens, as well as showing what the Bible has to say about planting, watering, and harvesting. These workshops take time, energy, and money! If you would like to support our ministry and be a part of sowing and watering here in Honduras, visit our support page.

Praise:

  • For the pickup God has provided us to keep moving this ministry forward!
  • For more families that are joining the home gardens project in Puran and 2 other surrounding communities, Villa Cruz Grande and Bajos de Puran!
  • For the protection of some ministry partners of ours, Mark and Paula Colbath, during a recent auto accident!

Prayer:

  • Please continue to pray for more leaders and helpers to join in the Oansa (Awana) ministry.
  • Pray for Paula, one of the grandmothers at Puran, as she battles lung problems due to cooking over a wood-burning stove her entire life.
  • Pray for Job as he helps a retired missionary couple sell their house here in Honduras, so they can purchase a house in the U.S.

February 2017 Update

Dear friends and family,

We continue to have lots to do and lots to pray about! Read our following update for more details!

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Thank you for praying for Job and Dave’s trip to Nicaragua! It was a success as they brought all the needed equipment (tubing and pumps) for the WAC well repair project. The STM team will be coming the first week of April. After serving here for 10 years, Dave and his family are leaving Honduras in May, so he is training Job to take his place in leading these well repair mission teams from Canada.
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Thought our supporters in Beatrice would appreciate this photo. While Job and Dave were in Nicaragua picking up the equipment, Job saw this water pump piece made by Dempster Industries in Beatrice, NE.
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The local church where we serve, Iglesia Evangélica Centroamericana Eben-Ezer, has several different ministries that use social projects. One of these ministries is called “Cultivadores del Reino” or “Kingdom Growers” in English. This ministry works with small-scale coffee farmers that live in the Siguatepeque area to train them in efficient production while building relationships with them and presenting the gospel. Earlier this year Job was asked to serve in this ministry and is now serving as the president of the “junta de vigilancia.” Basically it is a board of members that serves as a team of accountability, to make sure each activity and commitment within the ministry is faithfully fulfilled. Job is also involved in trainings offered by the ministry as well as transportation of the crop to the processor, as some coffee producers do not have a vehicle to transport their harvest to the purchaser.
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Here at the Colbath’s, the last ewe to give birth finally had her lamb, and surprised us all with an Oreo! The Colbath’s have decided to go ahead and invest in better fencing, for both the sheep and the cows, so that project has taken priority over the tree nursery this month.
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Janeth – using what she has to make a fence around her small garden
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Before starting the tire gardens, we assumed old tires could be found free at tire shops. To our surprise, after visiting several shops in the area, we discovered old, used tires are not free! We pay the equivalent of about 21 cents per tire.
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Sara – a new gardener, using what little space she has to get started
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Tania – also has VERY little space to work with, but wants to see what she can do with it
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The terrain of the area is steep and full of boulders and rocky, clay soil.
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Some of the ladies (like Doris here) don’t spend as much time watering and taking care of their gardens as others.
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Others, like Elba, are more committed and are reaping the rewards of the hard work they have sown. Job is convinced Elba will claim the prize for the largest beets we’ve seen yet from the gardens. We will be using lessons from the garden like this for future workshops and other teaching and sharing events we have at Puran. The lesson from this will be “you reap what you sow,” and this not only applies to vegetable gardens, but also to the seeds we sow into God’s work. The gardens are providing lots of teaching points for the Christian life!
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Oansa (Awana) started back last Saturday, the 25th. We had 85 kids come on the first day and so far there’s about 20 leaders and helpers. Job is serving as the Club Chispas (sparks club) director and I’m serving as the program secretary.
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This fella wouldn’t remove himself from our washing machine. I’m just glad he didn’t die in the wash like the guy before him. 😦 Note to all frogs: Don’t hide inside washing machines!! Dead frogs aren’t pretty.

Praise:

  • Job and Dave returned from Nicaragua with the well repair equipment needed in April!
  • The ministry at Puran continues to grow as families share about their gardens with their neighbors!
  • For the 85 kids and youth that came to the first Oansa session!
  • For our growing involvement and collaboration with other ministries!

Pray:

  • Please continue to pray for our vehicle search. We have looked at a few trucks and are now trying to decide which one would be best for our ministry. Pray for God’s guidance so we can make a purchase soon!
  • Pray for the seeds we plant during our conversations as we visit with the families in Puran each week.
  • Pray for more leaders and helpers to join in the Oansa ministry.

Thank you for praying with us, for giving your resources to this ministry, and for supporting us through your email notes. We love you all and are praying for you!

Adria & Job

January 2017 Update

Dear friends and family,
 
We hope and pray that your new year is off to a good start! Ours has been a busy one, full of opportunities to share God’s love and His Word in people’s lives.
 
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Earlier this month we held a workshop for the home garden families at Puran. The local church let us use their space and equipment so that it could be within walking distance for everyone. We are planning to have more of these in the future, as needed. On that day alone we had 7 new families ask for help to start their home gardens. We are also praying about asking the local elementary school if they would be interested in having a school garden. We are hoping that could open a door for us to give gardening classes there, as well as share what the Bible has to say about planting and harvesting.
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Pic: Paola with her beets. Several families have already harvested their first produce, including cucumbers, onions, carrots, beets, radishes, and cilantro.
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Job has a way of making people laugh. 🙂 Unfortunately, Paola is like many grandmothers here in Honduras, taking care of her grandkids and great-grandkids. Many times young parents leave their kids with the grandparents, and leave to go work and send money back home to care for the kids. Sadly, they seldom will send the money or even return to visit their kids, leaving the grandparents to feed their hungry, forgotten kids.
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Although some families don’t have much space for their garden, they are learning how to make use of the space that they do have.
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Pic: Elba, showing off her tomato plants. I had to congratulate Elba as she is one of the first of the families to have tomatoes setting fruit. She was listening to our advice at the workshop and gave her tomato plants enough space to keep them from getting too crowded.
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While visiting Elba I can’t help but take time to smell her roses. The last time we were there Elba broke out in tears as she shared with us how God used flowers as a type of therapy in her life when she was healing from a brain hemorrhage. She believes her stroke was a result of an enormous amount of stress she faced when she and her husband went into debt paying doctors to diagnose a health issue her mom was dealing with (which turned out to be chagas disease). She said the brain hemorrhage left her brain “disconnected” and all she could do was take care of her flowers. She couldn’t recognize people or even talk to her family and friends. Eventually though, she said just simply talking to her flowers and taking care of them she was able to heal and now just suffers from memory loss.
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Herminia, a Christian and a member of the local church at Puran, has been involved in the gardening project since we first began working in Puran. However, she doesn’t have much space to work with at her house. Thankfully, a neighbor nearby who is also a believer and part of the gardening project offered to let Herminia use space on their property to grow a garden. During our last visit there she shared with us that her husband is not a believer. We were able to encourage Herminia with 1 Corinthians 7:16, that God may use her life as a testimony to bring her husband to his Savior.
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Pic: A young one, using a machete to cut up firewood. It always catches my attention the tools I see in the hands of children here. We joined with other church members one day and helped pour a concrete floor for a family.
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(sorry about the fuzzy pic) The first step was to move the beds to one corner of the 2-room house to make space. The chickens had the luxury of staying in their tubs to finish laying their eggs.
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Then the men began leveling the floor with this big iron tool that I could hardly lift.
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Several piles of cement were mixed up.
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Then an assembly line was made to pass it down.
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Finally it was poured out, bucket by bucket, and finished with a trowel.
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Why do many service projects here prioritize concrete floors? Mainly for health concerns. In houses with dirt floors, the kids (especially babies), suffer from many illnesses they pick up while playing and crawling on the floor. Also, there are several insects, such as the blood-sucking bug which transmits Chagas disease, that prefer to inhabit adobe houses. Concrete floors play a large role in the cleanliness of the house and the overall health of the family.
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Pic: Visiting the caves in Taulabé with Bekah. Thank you to those who prayed for Bekah’s visit to Honduras. She had a good learning experience and even wants to return someday! You can read about her time here on her blog: The Narrow Road.
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Job has begun working alongside another missionary (Dave) for Water Ambassadors Canada (WAC). Job is using his connections in southern Honduras, which has a very hot, dry climate, to help prepare for WAC short-term mission teams that come to repair wells. The next team is planning to come in April.
Praise:
  • The interest and determination we are seeing at Puran from the families involved in the home gardening project!
  • Bekah’s positive experience while here in Honduras!
  • Several opportunities to share God’s Word in conversations this month!
  • The freedom God has given us through His grace and truth!
Pray:
  • Pray for the families at Puran, as they each struggle with their own battles. 
  • Please pray with us as we search for another vehicle. We have decided that living a ways from town, along with our varied activities each week, demands that we have 2 vehicles on hand. 
  • Pray for Job’s health, as he deals with a heart condition (chronic pericarditis) as well as an autoimmune disorder (vitiligo). 
  • Pray for Job and Dave as they make a trip to Nicaragua, February 21st-23rd, to pick up the supplies (pipes and pumps) for the well repair mission project. Pray for a safe and successful trip, especially as they pass the equipment through customs.
 
Thank you for your continual prayers, encouragement, and gifts. Your generous support inspires our hearts as we follow Jesus together!
John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Love to you all,
Adria & Job

December 2016 Update

Dear friends & family, 

We hope your Christmas celebrations have been blessed times of remembering the humble birth of our Savior, Redeemer, and King of kings! We’ve seen and heard a lot of fireworks, as usual this time of year, but this year during the message on Christmas Eve God gave me a special reminder: Just as Christ’s entry into the world was a humble one, He reigns in and through us when our hearts are humble. 

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December 10th was our last youth group night for the year. Job and I planned a gift opening game for them that proved to be quite challenging. The winner eventually opened the final box and found a pop bottle with 100 lempiras (about $5). Youth group will start back up again on January 14th.
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About mid-November, fireworks stands become a common sight, and you begin to hear fireworks blasting off night and day. Especially on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, the air in town is completely filled with smoke from all the celebrating.
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Nativity scenes are also common here in Latin America. However, traditionally, baby Jesus isn’t placed in the manger until Christmas Eve.
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We are trying to determine the best solutions for long term gardening and plan to use organic pesticides and fungicides, such as this “caldo sulfocálcico.” We learned about using this mixture of hydrated lime and sulfur while visiting the Inga Foundation last year.
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At Puran, planning the next step with Janeth: transplanting.
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This boy loves sharing mandarin oranges with us when we visit.
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Teaching how to make a watering bottle by putting holes in a pop bottle cap.
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Cristofer, pictured here, has taken on the responsibility of their garden since day 1!
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Pests like whitefly and cabbage worms have invaded the tire gardens, so pest control has become an issue. For now we are using pesticides from the local ag store, but eventually we would like to teach how to make the organic “caldo” pesticide, which is a much more economical option.
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Escarleth is another kid who has taken on the role of maintaining her family’s garden. It excites me to think of how this experience at her young stage in life could affect her for the rest of her life. I was about her age when I started growing my first garden.
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Armando (and wife Eva) have their small garden growing quite nicely. They are active members of the local church, and have been promoting the gardens since our first visit to Puran. They are a generous couple, and nearly every time we visit Eva sends us home with some form of bananas or plantains. One day, without Job or I saying a word to them, Armando volunteered himself to visit the families near him involved in the gardening project and help them with their pest control issues since he has a sprayer and most other families do not. We feel that Armando and Eva’s involvement with the gardens could be key to seeing the families continue when they face challenges.
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Pic: At the city dump, gathered around to hear God’s Word. Our visits to Puran have become more frequent as the number of families involved there continues to grow. At the same time, our visits to the city dump have become scarce. However, we are still convicted that God wants us to be involved with those families somehow. This year, for Christmas, several friends made donations of clothes, shoes, and food for the families that we’re working with. Mark and Paula even donated brownies they made with their special Chocolate de Veras brownie mix. Job and I were overwhelmed with all the donations we received. We were planning to buy the food out of our own pocket even though it would be a large expense, but friends ended up donating the money to purchase all of the food as well. Job started with a message from Exodus about God’s merciful and gracious character, reminding us all that even though we don’t deserve God’s mercy, He still pours it out on us.
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That particular day some of the parents brought their young children with them to receive the gifts. Usually the kids this age stay home (oftentimes alone to fend for themselves) and the older kids go to work with their parents at the dump.
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A stench and thick smoke fill the air at the city dump.
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The ladies at Puran were so grateful for their gifts.
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The new shoes were a very special treat.
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Job and I, along with one of Job’s friends from college, headed to southern Honduras a couple weeks ago for a friend’s wedding. On our return home we were randomly stopped at a checkpoint and while the police searched our vehicle I noticed one of the officers acting very strange, talking very slowly and using odd hand gestures. As it turns out, he was completely drunk. I am appalled and saddened the more I learn of the effects corruption can have on a country. Unfortunately, that man will probably keep his job, as long as no one reports his behavior or if he has a higher-up contact. Also, more than likely there isn’t an organization actively supervising the police to stop this misconduct, so there aren’t procedures to prevent this from continuing on. Unfortunately, looking at the big picture, corruption is evident at every level, so misdeeds like this go on unnoticed and without much concern. 
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As I write, a new friend of ours, Bekah Henderson, is learning to make tamales with Coni, Job’s mom. Bekah is a member of one of our supporting churches in Beatrice, Nebraska and is studying elementary education and youth ministry at the University of Sioux Falls. She just arrived on Friday and will be volunteering at the ministry, La Providencia (see their site here). We are excited to be hosting her stay while she’s here for about 3 1/2 weeks.

Pray:

  • For the youth group, that those who are not walking in God’s path for their lives would not have peace in their choices. That they would understand the new life God has planned for them.
  • For the gardening workshop we are planning for the families in Puran this week. That God would open hearts and minds to receive His word and His purpose for their lives as we share the gospel there.
  • For Bekah, as she adjusts to the culture and different challenges during her time in Honduras. Pray for her health, safety, and God’s work in and through her as she teaches at La Providencia.

Praise:

  • For Armando and Eva’s enthusiasm to see their neighbors growing gardens.
  • For all the unexpected blessings we were privileged to pass on as an act of God’s love and mercy towards us.
  • For God’s indescribable love that came down to us through His son.

God bless you as you take part in this ministry!

And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you.

1 Thessalonians 3:12

Love,

Adria & Job

November 2016 Update

Dear friends and family,

THANK YOU for keeping this ministry in your prayers. As we become more involved here the work grows larger every day and we appreciate your partnership with us, both financially and prayerfully!

The work in Puran, a very poor community, is growing each time we visit.  We originally started working with 8 families of the local church in Puran. Now 7 more families, who are not a part of the local church, are wanting to join. They’ve seen our genuine interest in the lives of the other families. In a country where so often a “helping” hand involves handouts from charities or handouts with political motives, it’s important for us to be upfront with people about why we’re here, to share the love and hope we have in Jesus. So now we are visiting 15 families who are all starting their own home gardens and almost half of those families are not believers. Pray that as we visit them each week and build trust to help them in physical ways, that they will learn to trust us as we lead them to the Truth.

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Many of you who are in the loop on the coffee project are patiently awaiting a taste-testing sample of Resurrection Coffee. Well, I have some sad news and some good news. First, the sad news… the hand-roasted coffee we were planning to sell is no longer available. The group of women who used to hand-roast the coffee has disbanded and are no longer working together, nor hand-roasting the coffee, instead it is all roasted mechanically. The good news… we just recently learned of another coffee cooperative that sells quality coffee at affordable prices. We are still working out all the details, but we wanted to let all you coffee aficionados know, we haven’t forgotten about you!

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The work is growing on the farm as well! We now have 11 lambs (including 2 pairs of twins) and are waiting for 2 more ewes to give birth. We also have 2 rabbits to start rabbit raising. We will use their manure for the vermicompost and sell the rabbits for meat. We are also starting a nursery of 500 cacao plants to supply the Colbath’s chocolate business, Chocolate De Veras.

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This month I (Adria) took the opportunity to attend a 3-day retreat for missionary women in Honduras. And I am SO glad that I did! It was wonderful! Each year a team of ladies from the Women of Purpose (WOP) team in West Virginia travels down here to Honduras to host what has become Sisterhood Revive. I attended the retreat my first year in Honduras, in 2014, and I remember it being an important connecting place with other missionaries. This year I had a great time of refreshment visiting with other missionary gals there, through corporate worship, small groups, reflection exercises, teaching, testimonies, and crafts to spend some time relaxing. Before we left for home, we were all gifted the book, The Broken Way, by Ann Voskamp.

Pray:

  • Pray for Niryan, one of the youth who recently accepted Christ during a youth group meeting. He has not been coming to youth group for the past few weeks. Please pray for his safety and for the Holy Spirit’s work in his life. Pray that he would continue coming to Saturday night group.
  • Pray for the work at Puran, that we could build trust with the people there.
  • Pray for God’s guidance and wisdom as Job and I develop the Colbath’s farm.

Praise:

  • For 7 more families who are joining the gardening project at Puran.
  • For a time of revival, refreshment, and connections at the Revive retreat.
  • The blessing of celebrating Thanksgiving day with close missionary friends of ours in Siguatepeque.

THANK YOU for coming along side us, for praying for us and those we work with, for encouraging us, and for sacrificing financially to see this ministry continue. We love you and we pray for you daily!

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
1 Chronicles 16:8
Love,
Adria & Job