October 2017 Update

Dear friends and family,

Thank you for encouraging us to continue serving through your emails, prayers, and giving. We’ve had quite a diverse range of work going on this month! LOTS to pray about!

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The families growing gardens in Puran are progressing! This month we held our 3rd workshop there to motivate the gardeners to continue improving their production. Job also gave a message and urged those who had not placed their faith in Christ to respond to His call. The example of Pontius Pilate shows us that outwardly we can wash our hands, but we know that if we aren’t with Him that means we’re against Him. If we don’t take a decision for Jesus in our lives, we are really taking the decision to be against Him. The seed has been planted in over 30 homes represented during our visits to Puran. We continue to be patient, waiting for God to make it grow. Each time we visit Puran, Villa Cruz Grande, and Bajos de Puran it’s difficult to ignore the physical needs that the people there have. With so much physical and economic need many may not be conscious of their spiritual need. For us, it is difficult to understand the rejection towards God that people have. At least half of those we visit belong to a church that promotes the prosperity gospel. The other half doesn’t profess any sort of faith. We ask you to pray for these families. We long for them to know the Jesus that we know and that they experience the same conviction to be saved by His grace, as we ourselves have been saved.
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This month in the AWANA ministry a regional leadership conference was held here in Siguatepeque. This was a great motivation for all the leaders and helpers. Teaching was given and challenges made to keep discipling kids for Christ!
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The last Saturday of every month the youth group gathers at a small soccer arena to enjoy playing their favorite sport. We always have a devotion from one of the leaders first and this month Job felt led to give a message on Daniel. He pointed out Daniel’s solid faith and leadership to others as he stood for His God, all whilst living within this broken world. A great example for all of us as we learn how to walk with God and resist temptations, to not be contaminated by the world we live in.
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They’re growing!!! This Spanish cedar, one of the 100’s of trees planted on the Colbath’s farm, has shown an incredible development of 4 feet in just the past 5 months since planting! The wood from this tree is prized for its natural resistance to rot and termites, both very important qualities in the humid tropics! Not all the trees have this same rapid development, but thankfully until now all the trees are growing well.
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Pic: Wounded ram after dogs attacked. Unfortunately we have some sad news to share. In the early morning hours this past Sunday the sheep flock suffered an attack from the neighbors’ dogs. Six sheep died after being attacked by 4 dogs. Job has talked with the neighbor to see how he could pay for the loss, which is equivalent to $500. Unfortunately, until now we still have not received the promised payment.
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The regional team for the Samaritan’s Purse program “Operation Christmas Child” invited Job to a training workshop on evangelism and discipleship for kids. This will be a great tool for our ministries in AWANA and Youth Group as well.
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Just recently Job has joined the missions committee at our local church and this month helped with the planning and logistics of a special “Missions Day.” With the purpose of encouraging the local church to support both local and international missions work, the team planned a morning full of prayer for missionaries, information on how one can become involved in the missions ministry and donating finances to support the missions from our network of Central American churches.
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Last week a friend of Job who works with Living Water International (LWI) asked him to meet with a short-term group that had come to plan well repair work in our region. Job helped them locate several wells that need repair within the area where they can travel. At the end of their day together the LWI trainer invited Job to a well pump repair training to be held next week, November 7-11 at their home base in Texas. Job is very excited for this training as it will provide much needed technical knowledge for his future volunteer work with both Water Ambassadors Canada and Living Water International.

Join us!

Great news! The remaining $125/month has been pledged! THANK YOU to all those who have pledged monthly support and faithfully give each month! We believe that your willingness to support our ministry is just one way God works through His people. Know that we appreciate your part very much!!

What we didn’t know is… we are still in need of monthly support. This past month we’ve been searching for a house to rent that will accommodate our growing family. Unfortunately, we did not plan our housing budget well, and after over a month of rental house searching, the house we’ve finally decided to rent costs $175 over what we had originally budgeted for housing. This is causing a HUGE drawback to the funds we have available for ministry work! Please be praying about this with us and consider if God wants you to support this ministry. We are praying for 7 supporters that could each provide $25/month. We long to serve long-term here in Honduras, and we believe God may be calling you to be a part of that! For giving information please visit our support page: https://godmakesitgrow.wordpress.com/support/

Praises:

  • Praise God we learned this month that the chest pain that Job has been experiencing the past couple years is not pericarditis! He had been seeing a cardiologist who, after much testing, diagnosed the pain as acute pericarditis. After learning from a couple friends at church that doctor is not recommended, we visited a different cardiologist to get a second opinion. This doctor, also after much testing, said Job’s heart is perfectly healthy and that the pain is more than likely just muscle pains in the chest. Please pray for Job’s full recovery!
  • Praise God for providing a house to rent! Pray for protection and wisdom in how we should increase the security of the house. We will probably need to install an alarm and find a large guard dog.
  • Praise God for providing the well repair training that we believe will allow Job to serve even more in the water project ministries! Pray for his time at the training in Texas next week, Nov 7-11.

Prayers:

  • Please pray for the seeds we’re planting at Puran. Pray for the planting, watering, and especially for the harvesting.
  • Continue to pray for a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy.
  • Pray with us for a youth pastor for our local youth group. The current youth pastor, who has served there for around 15 years, is leaving to serve as lead pastor at another church, beginning in January.

God bless,

Adria & Job

 

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September 2017 Update

Dear friends and family,

Thank you for interceding on behalf of this ministry! We appreciate how you care and have been a part of our lives and the lives of those we meet. Please read on to see what’s been keeping us busy this past month.

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Pic: Orfa, showing her most recent harvest. We are so thankful for the increase in production that our friends in Puran have had. In the same way, our relationships with them have grown in great ways and now we are getting a better understanding of their beliefs. Unfortunately, the majority seem to be immersed in the prosperity gospel. Our greatest desire now is to confront this doctrine with the light of God’s Word. This month Job will be visiting the homes and having Bible studies to bring a Christ-centered doctrine to our friends in Puran. Job continues to share the gospel there to those who don’t profess any relationship with Jesus.
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Pic: The kids at Puran enjoy watching the gardens grow!
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Pic: 2017 Awana Camp. Over this past year the Awana ministry has grown exponentially. This month the camp held at the seminary campus was a great example of that. Over 130 kids participated during the 2 days and 1 night. The camp included various outdoor games, but most of all, was filled with the Word of God. Also, several parents heard God’s Word as they came to visit their kids at camp. We have planted the seed and we are expecting God to make it grow!
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Pic: A water game at Awana camp. The kids have to fill the cup of the person behind them and see which line can fill up a bucket first!
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Pic: This week Job had the opportunity to promote Chocolate de Veras at another venue in Tegucigalpa. Various representatives of forestry authorities from all across Latin America were attending a conference to commit to strategies in fighting the effects of climate change. Several businesses were invited to take the opportunity to sell products made in Honduras. Also, our work establishing the farm at the Colbath’s continues to advance. The 700 mahogany trees in the nursery should be ready to plant in about 2 months. As we work with the animals the cows are being tamed down, the pigs are fattening up, and the sheep have been dewormed and given vitamins. We can see how God has been helping us so that each and every element at the farm serves its purpose.
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Pic: The Central American church denomination celebrating National “Day of the Bible” with a joint service at the seminary. In Honduras, we are privileged to serve in a country that celebrates the Word of God! The 4th Sunday of September was set apart by the government of Honduras many years ago to honor and thank the Lord for His Word. This day is a reminder of how grateful we should be to have access to the Bible, especially when there are so many countries and cultures around the world who do not.
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Thank you for praying for us as we prepare for parenthood. This upcoming life transition becomes more “real” in our minds with each month that passes. Our latest Dr. visit revealed… we’re having a GIRL!

Join us!

One of our long-time supporting churches is struggling financially and is not able to support us for the time being. However, with our growing ministry and growing family, our budget continues to grow! We are currently short of our budget by $125 per month. We are praying for 5 more individuals or families that would be able to supply $25/month to help provide for monthly expenses.

Praises:

  • Praise God for a wonderful, Word-filled weekend at the Awana Camp! If you’ve been praying for our shortage of Awana leaders, thank you! The problem was solved as several teens from youth group have stepped up to lead the small groups of the younger kids.
  • Praise God for the healing of Job’s hand!
  • Praise God for His written Word! Thank Him for giving us this light for our paths!

Prayers:

  • Please pray for Job’s conversations at Puran as he confronts the prosperity gospel with God’s Word.
  • Continue to pray for a healthy pregnancy. After Adria had a battle with food poisoning we both suffered a nasty head cold this month.
  • Pray for the contacts Job has made over the past few months for Chocolate de Veras. Pray that these would help the business to flourish in providing jobs and income for the Colbath’s children’s home.
  • Pray for Job’s work in Kingdom Growers, the business as ministry organization that helps market the coffee of small and medium coffee growers. Currently, Job is serving as head of the auditing body for the organization, which reviews all of the accounting, technical and ministerial activities. After doing some internal auditing, they have found several different aspects that need to be improved for an upright and transparent operation of the business as a ministry. We ask your prayers for Job, that as the leader of the auditing body, he can set an example and together they can make the necessary recommendations for the business to avoid fines and surcharges due to administration errors.

God’s blessings to you all,

Adria & Job

August 2017 Update

Dear friends and family,

In 1 Thessalonians 1, Paul writes to the church of the Thessalonians: “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers…”

Well, we want YOU to know, we give thanks to God for you all, constantly mentioning you in our prayers. We thank God for your willingness to be a part of this ministry and that’s why we say “thank you” with our emails and updates each month, to remind you of our thankfulness.

As you read about this past month, may you see how God is speaking through your encouragement, working through your prayers, and using your financial gifts to glorify Him!

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Pic: Harvesting carrots at Sara’s house in Puran. Several of the families that have been gardening with us since last year are gaining experience and sharing their successes with others. Many that started small are expanding the space they’ve dedicated for their garden after seeing the fruit of their labor. With the large number of families involved we have begun visiting each family every other week. Please pray for fruit from our labor!
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Pic: 700 mahogany trees in the nursery, with Mombasa grass in the background. Thank you for praying for our work at the Colbath farm! We’ve made a lot of progress in tree-planting these past couple months. Currently we’ve planted 200 cedar, 150 acacia, and 100 mahogany, with 700 more mahogany currently growing in the nursery. In total, we are planning to plant 1,500 trees. Every 7 years a harvest will be taken, until a final crop of 200 mature mahogany trees (at around 20 years) are left for the last harvest. At that point, each tree will be valued at about $1,000 each. Also, currently the Colbath’s have 2 cows, which were wild to begin with, constantly breaking through fences and creating more work. For now, while the trees are young we are keeping the cows in a stable, taming them down, and feeding them grass from a section we planted to Mombasa grass. This particular variety is well known among beef farmers in Brazil and many farmers here are beginning to plant it as well. It’s a high protein variety that grows quickly, has fast regrowth, and has good drought resistance. Along with the cows we are also raising 1 hog and 23 sheep. Each year the children’s home consumes 1 cow, 2 hogs, and several lambs.
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Pic: At Pulhapanzak Waterfall with Karen. Thank you for praying for our friend Karen’s travels and visit here! All went well and we had a great time of fellowship after not having seen each other for over 2 years!! Being a teacher, she had the opportunity to serve an afternoon with the Cobath’s tutoring ministry for rural grade school kids. She also helped us out with various tasks in our ministry here at the farm and in Puran.
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Pic: Youth Group JASS Concert in Siguatepeque. This month the youth group was invited to a concert held here in Siguatepeque by a group called JASS (Active Youth Serving the Lord). The concert united all the youth groups from churches that belong to the Association of Evangelical Churches of Central America, the Central American denomination that our church belongs to. In total, around 400 youth from Siguatepeque and nearby communities attended the concert. JASS encouraged the youth to live in unity, serving the Lord. The group from our church was left encouraged to get involved in serving God through the outreach ministries that the church offers to the public.
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Pic: This month I celebrated my 29th birthday! Living so far from my family definitely isn’t easy by any means. I deeply miss getting together with family. Thankfully, the majority of Job’s close relatives live in Siguatepeque, which makes celebrations like this so much more fun! I’ve been blessed becoming a part of his family and I don’t take it for granted!

Join us!

THANK YOU to our 3 new monthly supporters! One of our long-time supporting churches is struggling financially and is not able to support us for the time being. However, with our growing ministry and growing family, our budget continues to grow! We are short of our budget by $125 per month. We are praying for 5 more individuals or families that would be able to supply $25/month to help provide for monthly expenses.

Praise:

  • Praise God for the crops being harvested at Puran! Continue to pray for the spiritual harvest there!
  • Praise God for all of Karen’s safe travels and her encouraging visit here!
  • Praise God that so many youth gathered together at the JASS concert and were encouraged to use their lives to serve their Savior!

Prayer:

  • Please pray for healing of Job’s hand. A couple weeks ago, early on a Sunday morning while he was cutting grass for the cows, he cut his hand with the machete and took quite a chunk of skin off. Thankfully it was not deep enough to hit a vein. Also, thankfully it hasn’t gotten infected and is slowly healing. Pray for complete healing and regeneration.
  • Continue to pray for the healthy growth of our baby. We’re hoping to find out the gender next month!
  • Pray for a healthy establishment of the hardwood trees at the Colbath farm. With good establishment and maintenance, these trees will provide an abundance of funds for the children’s home, especially for the kids who have special needs.

With much thanks and love,

Adria & Job

July 2017 Update

Dear friends and family,

THANK YOU for blessing our lives through your encouragement and prayers! Please take time to check out this past month’s review, in pictures . . .

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Pic: At Puran, Isaac gives Job a back massage with his school buses. The work at Puran continues to grow! We are visiting 36 families each week and several families are producing better quality vegetables and in greater quantity. The rains we’ve been getting have definitely helped lighten the work load, especially for those that have to take a 2-mile hike to bring water to their gardens.
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Pic: Adria, translating for craft time at VBS. July 9-15 a short-term team from Houston, TX came to serve alongside our church family. This group of 40 people divided up into 4 teams: medical work, construction, evangelism, and VBS. Job and I helped mainly with the transportation and translating.
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Pic: Snakes for sale at the market in Siguatepeque. Sunday afternoon I was just planning to make a quick stop at the farmer’s market to pick up some popcorn. It became quite an event after I spotted a man selling dried snakes. Apparently, some believe they are useful for curing certain skin conditions.
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Pic: Job, representing Chocolate de Veras at the “Festival de Aroma a Café y Cacao.” This month Job headed to Tegucigalpa to promote Chocolate de Veras at the national “Festival of Coffee and Chocolate Aroma” which was well attended by people from all over Honduras; owners of restaurant chains, hotel owners, shops, students and the general public. Mark had asked Job, along with Arnold (one of the teenagers at the children’s home who is involved in the chocolate bar production), to set up a booth to promote Chocolate de Veras. The festival was a great advertising opportunity and a chance to meet people who may be interested in marketing the chocolate in other parts of the country. Fortunately, several people have shown interest, and there is much conversation that will hopefully lead us to establish a mutual benefit contract in the buying and selling of Chocolate de Veras. We need to have a higher sales volume in order to provide enough profit to help support the children’s home.
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Pic: Adria, giving a missions presentation to the youth at Oansa. If you’re familiar with Awana, you know the workbooks include lessons about missions. So for the group time I was asked to tell about how God called me to do missions work and talk about what missionaries do. I thought it was a great opportunity for the kids to see how God can use any part of His creation, even agriculture, to call us to serve Him in our occupations. I encouraged them to use their God-given passions however He leads.
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It truly was “Christmas in July” for these kids as Coni (Job’s mom), myself, and several other women from church delivered Samaritan’s Purse shoeboxes at a small, public school. Before receiving their gifts, they (surprisingly) sat quiet and still to listen to Coni give the gospel message, explaining that the most important gift we can ever receive is from God, and the most important decision we will ever make is whether we will reject it or receive it.
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Our tag line from 1 Corinthians 3 now has a whole new meaning for us… We are expecting! Surprise!! We’ve seen this past year how God makes vegetables grow, He’s made our ministry grow, and now we get to watch as He makes our family grow! Our parents and siblings are very happy and excited for us as we transition into this thing called parenthood. The baby is due to arrive January 31st.

 

Join us!

We are currently short of our budget by $200 per month. One of our long-time supporting churches is struggling financially and is not able to support us for the time being. However, with our growing ministry and growing family our budget continues to grow! We are praying for 8 individuals or families that would be able to supply $25/month to help provide for monthly expenses.

 

Praise:

  • John Colbath continues to improve after his spine surgery! He hasn’t yet begun physical therapy, but if his improvement continues it is very likely he will be returning to the university this coming semester!
  • If you remember from March, a retired missionary couple asked Job for help in selling their house here in Honduras, so they can purchase a house in the U.S. Praise God with us, it finally sold this month!
  • Several hearts were touched through the work done by the team from Houston and testimonies were shared of those who accepted their Savior and others who re-committed their lives to Him!

 

Prayer:

  • Please keep our little one’s growth in your prayers. Also, pray for God’s guidance as we choose a doctor for prenatal care and delivery.
  • One of our good friends from Oklahoma, Karen Salmon, will be visiting us August 3-11. Please keep her travels and visit here in your prayers.
  • Continue to pray for our conversations at Puran, that God would use us to proclaim His truth, especially concerning assurance of salvation.

 

Love to you all,

Adria & Job

 

June 2017 Update

Dear friends and family,

We are excited to share with you what God has been doing here! Thanks for taking time to read our updates and pray!

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Pic: At Puran, Jeffrey used shoestrings and plastic twine to create quite an elaborate trellis for his cucumbers. In our desire to know the spiritual needs of the people we are visiting in Puran, Villa Cruz Grande, and Bajos de Puran, we have started to ask direct questions regarding their convictions on assurance of salvation. We’ve been introducing this question into our conversations: “If at this moment, God calls you to His presence, where would you go?” Unfortunately, the conviction of all those that we have asked this question thus far has been without the support of biblical doctrine. Most (including those who have told us that they have God in their hearts) believe that if they do not pray in the morning and die sometime later during the day… unfortunately they would go to hell. Or if they do not pray in the evening and die while they’re sleeping, the same applies. According to our friends: “That is the importance of prayer in the morning and at night, so death does not surprise us in sin.” With respect to our own convictions, we believe that salvation is not lost, because it is not something that depends on us. Instead, we believe that our salvation depends on having believed in Jesus as our Savior, and therefore, having our names written in the book of life. After all, with the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, all our sins were forgiven, even those we have not yet committed. (However, this is no excuse to sin so that “grace abounds.”) After listening to several individuals, we want to have deeper conversations as we visit these families. It is so important that those who profess faith in Christ have absolute assurance of their salvation based on Christ’s sacrifice for them, not on the last act they commit before they die (whether a sin or a good deed) or the last time they asked God forgiveness before they die (whether in the morning or in the evening).
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Pic: FAO class visiting elementary school gardens. Last month with the FAO course I (Job) visited 3 different elementary schools that are growing gardens. My interest has been to learn what works and what doesn’t as we consider helping the school in Puran (as well as other schools in the area) begin a school garden. What I’ve learned to be the main requirement for this to work is for both parents and teachers to commit to the garden for two objectives: to contribute to school food production and to include gardening lessons in school classes. Unfortunately, the government school feeding program is only providing school lunches for 25% of schools in Honduras. Therefore, school gardens could truly play a large role in the nutrition of students nationwide. However, the difficult part is gaining the total commitment of parents and teachers. Otherwise the garden will not be successful in fulfilling its functions: nutritional school lunches for the students and teachers using the garden as a teaching tool in the classroom.
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Our contribution to the Colbath’s ministry is not limited to the establishment of the farm and the personnel management, but I (Job) am also helping them with their chocolate business, “Chocolate de Veras.” Mark began the handmade chocolate business to provide income for their children’s home as well as to provide work for people with special needs. One of the strengths God has given me is to sell. The legal processes of establishing a business in Honduras are very complicated and even more so if you don’t speak Spanish very fluently. So Mark has asked me to be the legal representative of “Chocolate De Veras.” At this moment, I am immersed in the legalization of the business with the government to reach a greater number of stores. Currently the sales are only in our local region where the chocolate has been well accepted. Recently I’ve been working on the approval of the barcodes of several different flavors: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, coffee with milk, sweet coconut and crunchy peanut.
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Pic: Kingdom Growers Silviculture Class. This month, Kingdom Growers, the ministry to coffee farmers, asked me (Job) to give a silviculture class on how to properly cultivate timber trees to take care of them from forest pests and diseases. I also guided them in the necessary process to follow in order to certify their plantations in the Honduras forestry catalog. This allows the farmer to later use their entire plantation, something that cannot be done without this important legal process to follow, which avoids the felling of forest plantations. Through this training I encouraged growers to plant timber trees to prevent soil erosion and benefit their crops. Another benefit stems from the shade these trees can provide for coffee plantations. Coffee trees require shade for a long life. Without shade, a coffee plantation could produce for around 7 years versus a plantation that has a shade canopy, which typically produces for 20 years before needing to be cut and re-planted. Also, according to figures from the ICF (Honduran Institute of Forestry Conservation) it is estimated one can expect to receive around $1,500 to $4,000 per tree (depending on which timber tree was planted) after 30 years of growth. This can provide the farmers a substantial source of income in addition to their annual income from the coffee.

Praise:

  • For each opportunity we have to speak His truth as we visit more and more families each week at Puran and the surrounding communities!
  •  For the different ways that God has prepared us and the opportunities we have to serve alongside the Colbath family!
  • Answer to prayer as Adria is back to normal after experiencing 3 allergic reactions during these past couple months!

 

Prayer:

  • This month we had quite a scare as the Colbath’s oldest son, John, had an accident while using a slackline, and severely broke his neck. It happened on June 25th, a week ago Sunday. After seeing the x-rays here, they were encouraged to make the trip ASAP to the States and have the surgery done there. After some help getting a proper neck brace, he miraculously made the trip with Mark to Austin, TX (2 flights) that Tuesday and his spinal cord was not damaged!! Mark drove him immediately to a hospital and the following day he had surgery, including 2 fusions in his cervical spine. He will begin physical therapy in a week. Please pray for complete healing, no more damage, and total restoration of his strength and mobility. John will be in his 3rd year of college and is studying to become a doctor.
  • Keep Felix (Jeffrey’s dad) in your prayers. He acquired a bacterial infection while at work that required surgery to remove. Pray for his full recovery and a better job where he won’t be exposed to this bacteria.
  • Pray for my travels to/from Tegucigalpa this month for the last session in the FAO class.

 

We are so thankful for each one of you and your involvement in this ministry! Let us all lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves don’t break in and steal! (Matthew 6:20)

In Christ,

Job & Adria

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!

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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.