November 2015 Update – Guest Post by Job Gámez

Greetings!

I am very excited because this month of November has been full of activities, events and above all, full of the grace of God in my life.

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Let me tell you that Larry is a man full of ministries, which make known to the communities of Honduras, the love of God. One of these ministries is working with Agua Viva, an organization of the United States that is dedicated to developing water projects in communities that lack this vital liquid. Therefore, in the first week of November, Larry, along with the directors of Agua Viva, organized a water project for a short-term mission team. We assisted with the construction of the water project for three communities: El Tigre, El Tule and El Chilamate. The team consisted of 10 American volunteers, 2 Honduran volunteers, Larry, Jennifer (a missionary friend), Adria and the three engineers who designed the water project.
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The fascinating thing about this group in particular, was not only advancing, as much as possible, in the construction of the water project (piping, distribution tank, among other structures) but also in getting to know each person in the communities who will benefit from the water project that Agua Viva financed, in order to present the Gospel to each of them.
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We were living for five days in the community of El Tigre. In the morning the men went to work with the men of the community in the ditch to place the pipe of the water project. Each Agua Viva volunteer had 4 companions. The strategy to work divided up among the locals was set so that every volunteer had a chance to get to know the people that were benefiting from the water project. In the same way, the local people of El Tigre, El Tule and El Chilamate had the chance to understand that the love of God had acted in the heart of each volunteer to set aside time and resources to help others and in this way, the people of the communities could realize the love God has for them.
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This time of physical work lasted four days and was filled with challenges and jokes that united in friendship the locals and the Agua Viva volunteers. One of the challenges was to manually dig the ditch at a temperature of approximately 95°F.
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But there was always a moment to joke and take a picture.
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It didn’t matter if you didn’t have strength to continue with the pick axe, there was always something to do, like further tightening the friendship with your work group.
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The language barrier was no problem, because God’s love is universal. Although we often communicated in signs, the friendship continued to grow every day.
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At the end of the workday, everyone returned tired, but the women volunteers in the group always awaited the workers with a cheer to lift their spirits!
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In the afternoon, after returning from work, the Agua Viva volunteers planned a time of teaching for children in the community, as well as one for the adults. The children’s time was always filled with Bible songs. The rain and the new songs did not keep them from learning about Jesus. A poster with the lyrics of the songs and everyone gathering on the front porch of a house solved these small issues.
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After the Bible teaching for the children, it was time to play! What if it was raining? Sometimes, yes, it was! But that was no problem.
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The problem was that we all wanted to play!
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After learning about Jesus and having a little play time, we always ended with a prayer in thanksgiving for the time we had spent together.
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Once the children’s time was finished, their parents had a chance to hear testimonies from the group of volunteers of Agua Viva, as well as preaching from Larry.
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Adria gave her testimony.
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Jennifer also gave her testimony.
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As well as volunteers from the Agua Viva group (with the help of a translator).
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We always finished with a message from Larry and an invitation to accept Jesus.
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One of the days in the afternoon, after work, the entire group of volunteers of Agua Viva was invited by the locals of the 3 communities (El tigre, El Tule and El Chilamate) to visit the water source where the water is being drawn from for the project. Getting to the source involved a 1 hour hike.
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Upon arrival at the water source we had a time of thanksgiving, by both the volunteers and the locals.
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It was a good time to continue sharing. Before returning to El Tigre (the community where we slept each night) we had the chance to go swimming in the favorite swimming hole of the locals.
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This project is a blessing of God for these three communities. One of the peculiarities of this project is that the people were committed to working together. It didn’t matter the differences, whether cultural or religious. Even the women of the community took shifts to wash our clothes and cook us food.
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Age didn’t matter either.
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Even the children were involved by participating in games and crafts developed for them.
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By involving everyone in the community, from the youngest to the oldest, as well as each person on the volunteer team, we can all say, “EBEN EZER!” (“Thus far the Lord has helped us!”). We made friendships, shared the Gospel, and the One who was glorified was God.
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At the end, we all ended up forming friendships and giving thanks to God for the time we shared together.
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Upon returning to Las Mangas, Adria did not return alone. I returned with her and am now part of the discipleship team. I’m helping Adria in the agriculture ministry at campus.

 

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During these past few weeks, our work has been focused on developing garden terraces. Terracing is essential here, in order to prevent nutrients in the soil from eroding by the heavy rains and steep inclines that characterize this region where our ministry is located. Working on terraces, not only gives better mobility for the farmer on his land, but it also gives better weed control, and keeps the nutrients available for their crops which they have on their land. The challenge will not only be a successful harvest with this technique of terraces, but also that farmers opt for it. Our hope is that in choosing to use this technique we can show an improvement in harvests. Likewise, knowing that there is a large market for the pataste vegetable, another project in our ministry is to develop an area for growing this favored vegetable during the off season in our region. This plant is not only economically profitable but it grows incredibly well in this region of the tropical rain forest. This way, when farmers absorb the advantages of this crop and implement this option into their farming system, not only will it improve their income for their families, but they will also understand that there are healthy food options in addition to the traditional crops (beans and corn) grown in the area. By developing crops and techniques that farmers here can use to improve their life condition we can help them long-term.

As I mentioned in the beginning, this month was filled with activities and events and I should mention our Thanksgiving celebration. God is, has been, and will always be our largest Thanksgiving motive. Without Him no ministry would have a reason to serve. He is the One who sustains us. We are of Him. We live by Him and the truth is that we owe everything to Him. In this Thanksgiving Larry and his family, Adria, and myself went to Urraco, the last community of the Cangrejal River valley. We spent the day together, sharing with the family of Jason Furrow (fellow missionary friends).

It was a day full of gratitude to God for everything he does in the lives of His children and for the supporters who make possible the vision and mission of each of us, as missionaries. In this Thanksgiving we thank God for your lives and for your support (spiritual, moral and economic) that we receive.

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May God continue to bless you! Happy Thanksgiving!

Prayers:

  • Adria’s health, as she has been experiencing more frequent migraines this past month.
  • My health to improve as I lose weight and reduce my cholesterol.
  • That God would use our farming techniques to be fruitful and that farmers in our region would adopt them and be blessed.

Gratitude:

  • I am finally part of the agriculture team at Campus Adullam!
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