September 8, 2008
Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras
We have started this news update several times over the past month, but never managed to push through to completion. It seems there has always been more urgent matters to attend.
Let us begin with the latest and greates... We have been struggling over the past few months with the decision regarding purchasing a new farm to provide for an expanded future for the Moses Project. While the benefits were obvious, the risk rested with making payments over the next four years while the economy in North America is in rough shape. The board of 3CM did not want to push forward with something exciting and then find that this was not actually God's design for us and be stuck with commitments that we could not meet.
Finally Tim Davidson (president of 3CM) wrote to the board members indicating that we really needed a miracle to provide us with a clear sense of God's direction. The form of miracle was to sell our existing property near La Majada by Thursday evening. This email went out on Wednesday.
I contacted the board members of APROCOLA to ask for their help in prayer and contacts of potential buyers. That day (Wednesday) finished and we knew that there were some people who might be interested, but had no direct contact with any potential buyers. By 2:30pm Thursday afternoon, I completed reinstalling a water pump in Santa Rosa and went out to the farm to wait for our miracle. During the day I had made occasional calls and sent out numerous text messages -- all to no effect. I sat on the front porch of the farm house waiting to show the property to whomever God might send. By 6pm it was getting dark and I slowly drove home planning how to proceed for the next 2 years, my spirit about as drab as the dusk outside our truck.
In agreement with members of the 3CM board, I hadn't eaten for a couple days, but chose to terminate my fast that evening. At supper, the significance of the timing finally dawned on my wife Triny. Her initial reaction was somewhat similar to my initial reaction -- that's crazy to expect to sell anything down here in less than 2 days. Her second reaction was "Well the day is not over yet!" Shortly afterwards she handed me our daughter and went to the bedroom saying she knew somebody with the resources and possibly the desire to buy the farm. She emerged a little bit later holding the phone and asking me to confirm the price. Then she asked if terms were available. She returned to sit down beside me and said that Victor (our neighbor) would phone me later that evening.
Suddenly she jumped up, "Oh, I forgot to tell him you have electricity and water at the farm!" Back to the phone she went and emerged again sortly thereafter to hand me the phone to close the deal. Yes, Victor told me that he had wanted to talk to me a week ago about buying the farm but had not had time to find me. Then and there he promised to purchase the farm and asked for one week to free up the cash for the downpayment. Since then, we have had two more individuals frustrated that we sold the property as they also wanted to buy it. Telling Luis (the farm caretaker) the story of Victor, he simply responded "We had no idea that people were actually interested in this place."
Personally, I am not a fan of asking God for miracles. I am, however, quite willing to acknowledge when they occur and this one still blows me away.
So, the future: we will finish the year on the property that we already have and then move the agricultural component over to the new farm over Christmas. We will continue to rent the residence in town for the Project Moses participants for 2009, but plan to start construction next month on the permanent residence out at the new farm so that the 2010 program year will be located on site at the farm.
Re the past: well the boys were very excited on Saturday when Honduras beat Canada in the World Cup Soccer qualification series. (Please understand, this is like winning a hockey game in the Olympics for these boys). This followed our own soccer success in achieving a tie against a community soccer team that has a lot of experience playing together compared to our limited sports time availability.
Fredy has been gone now for a month, and Juan (his brother) has been doing a great job with the boys in the interim. A couple weeks ago the boys killed and prepared 100 chickens for consumption and sale. The boys in their second year had fabricated a metal contraption in their welding class at ETAOO to facilitate the process. It was really cool to see how they could integrate their learning in one area to improve their performance in another. We now produce 100 chickens (for meat) every 3 weeks and have 30 egg laying chickens that will start producing about 140 eggs per week.
Last year two individuals stepped up for a "double dip" contribution. We're looking for some more sponsors who will repeat this action: you purchase chickens and vegetables from Project Moses and we deliver them to the local orphanages. In that way, both the project and the orphanages benefit... hence the "double dip".
We have had some discipline challenges with one of the boys who joined the program this year. I am really happy to report that after a month of being on the verge of expulsion, this youth is still with us and struggling along to learn to adapt and live by the rules. This is all the more of a challenge for him as I believe he receives very little support from his family and is obviously accustomed to having his way at home. We appreciate prayer for each of the boys as it is an adjustment for all of them and some struggle more than others with matters of academics or discipline.
At La Roca, Lourdes continues to invest in the lives of the younger children in the Osorio neighborhood. This week she is busy preparing for the big fiesta of the year -- Day of the Child. On Saturday we will have somewhere between 100 - 200 children from the neighborhood and surrounding area all excited and bouncing off the walls at the youth center. As is the tradition that we have established, we will have games, followed by a healthy lunch, followed by unhealthy amounts of sugar (donations of candy are the easiest thing to come by this time of year). While we try to emphasize healthy life choices at La Roca, piñata busting is a tradition that we simply don't mess with and when it is all done, the children are certain to feel like I did after making the rounds on Halloween as a kid...
I can see that the rain has finally done in the backboards for the basketball hoops on the sports court, so I expect that this is the next small project to undertake at La Roca. Any sponsors up for that?
As always, we encourage you contribute to the development of youth here in Honduras. Whether it be a $35 monthly sponsorship for a participant in The Moses Project, a major $30,000 -capital share in the building project at the farm, or sponsoring a particular need like the orphanage food program, we encourage you to put your blessings to use to change the future forever. Check out our Fundraising Campaign or Donate pages to get involved.
We always welcome your feedback, so feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.