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

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