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!
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.
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.
THANK YOU for your part in blessing these families!
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.
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.
Pic: I’m assuming this is a “brown anole lizard” I found on our back porch.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Adria and Job