Greetings. A few of the younger children and I are in town for a day or so to pick up our oldest son Moses and his wife Anna. We are very excited about having them with us for several days. I will try to share a progress report on a few of the projects we have going on.
Residency Permits We all have our new cards now, after a six week wait in Managua, which is good for another year. We appreciate the help of pastor Alfredo and his church (Centro de Fe, Esperanza, y Amor) in extending a legal covering for us for another year.
Children’s Home The river had gone down enough that a few people got some sand brought to us, but that night it rained a lot and for the next few weeks kept raining enough to keep the river up way to high to think about finding sand. So the project sits and waits until the sand is exposed again. The legal part (permission) is still ongoing as well. We will be working with Verbo Ministries for the home, as an extension of the home they have here in Puerto Cabezas.
Medical Mary and Eva just came back from their jungle medical course they took in the states. They have been back in the village for a week, and in that week they treated over 80 people. We praise God for making it possible for them to go get this training. It is helping them so much. The transaction of the medical building is still ongoing, so we continue to work out of our house until we have something else.
Farming Project The experiment farm has kinda taken the back burner for a while, because our time is all consumed with other more pressing things. We have been able to buy about 200 bags of rice from our village this season, which along with everybody else’s rice sets and waits for the rice huller to start up. The machine is in the village, but we haven’t got it set up yet, with us being hung up in Managua with our residency permits for six weeks. Hopefully we can get it going in the next few weeks.
We will be having several teams here from the states in the next couple month, which we are excited about. Not only about the work that will be getting done, but also about seeing some of our friends and getting to fellowship with them. There are so many things to see after and to do that we are hoping to turn some responsibility over to a few of the local people we have been working with and training to do it. I am so thankful for all of you who continue to pray for and support this work. So far it has been mostly physical work on the ground, but now that we are better able to communicate, we are able to minister more and more to the Spiritual needs as well. God is good! Eli Lee Here is a short story that Sarah wrote
“No I won’t have a store again”!
Solomon sat talking with his wife after the death of their young son.
They had worked so hard getting their small store up and running. They had saved enough money to start with a few things like flour, sugar, salt, and a few small spices and stuff people wanted. Now all the money they had been saving to continue to grow their small venta (store) was used up in funeral expenses. But a bigger fear gnawed at Solomon. There were a few people in the village that were upset at him for the way he was running his venta. He refused to give them more stuff on debt, because of the ones they hadn’t paid yet. His son had become very sick and now passed away. “They cast a spell over my son and now he’s gone”, Solomon reasoned. “Never again will I have a store or I will lose more of my children”.
When we first came there were two small ventas (stores) in KrinKrin, the Catholic Mission and then another family. But more time than not there was hardly anything in in the stores. With the cost of a boat fare down river, the cost to stay in Waspan while they shopped for stuff for their venta and then the cost for shipping their cargo back up river. With all that it was so hard to keep a store running.
Shortly after we came we began bringing 100 lbs. of flour, sugar, rice, salt and some of the basic needs of the people. We sell these to the small ventas (stores) at cost, also allowing some to go on debt as long as they are faithful in paying after they sell it in small portions to the people. We have been hoping to help the store owners to get on their feet as well as teach them how a successful business is run.
For flour, sugar and such this has worked real well. But as the people are getting more money, working on building projects and such that we have going, they are beginning to have enough money to buy some underwear for their children, cook pots, plates and spoons, brooms and such. Many times what they will have us do is instead of paying them when they work, is send a list with Dad when he goes down river to bring stuff up for them. At first that had worked real well, but as time keeps going on there are more and more people sending for stuff. This last trip alone six of us spent three days shopping, and when we came back up I spent three full days sorting things out on separate piles.
Yes it’s getting to be to much. It seems all my time is consumed in doing mostly just this. I have really enjoyed it and I love helping the people like this when I can. But my goal is to get someone else to take this over. Our family has really been praying about this, because our goal is to get the people to be able to do these things themselves with time.
A few months ago Solomon after thinking about it decided to start up his little venta again. After selling a cow and some lumber he saved enough money to get started. He has been very willing to listen to the advice we have given and been very good at keeping his debts paid. And now we are hoping to start working more with him, helping him to build up his business. We are hoping to get him to stock at least a few of the main items that the people send for most, such as dishes, brooms and such, as well as other food items.
Doing this will mean stretching forth some money on our part until he can get on his feet. We have been talking with him teaching him how on the essentials needs like rice, beans, flour and such, you only add a little price for your time, but things that aren’t such necessities the price can be put up more. And so you can make a living, as well as keeping the needs at prices people can afford. He is very happy and willing to learn more.
We believe that Solomon is one of those people who will step up to help us help the people, as well as himself, if we can stretch some money out to help him. $2500.00 would let us get him a nice supply and variety of things the community needs, and would cut back on most of the time we are spending shopping for things for the people. But right now we don’t have the money to invest in those things, so it will have to wait. God’s timing is always right. Love, Sarah