Long Overdue Update

We’re happy to announce that we have not forgotten about our blog (or friends and family), although it may seem the case. We’ve been fairly occupied over the past month of two and have neglected all of thousands of people that follow our blog (that’s a joke). However, we truly do appreciate those of you that do check in on us. The craziness of our schedule coupled with lack of internet access (and that which is available being unreliable), general forgetfulness, and a non-functional camera brings us to our current situation where the blogs are few and far between. However, we are resolved to improve this situation and from this point on will dedicate ourselves more dutifully in the future. 

So, to catch everyone up. We’ve now received visits from the Eldridge side, the Reeder side, dear friend Anna Pyles, and our home church Apex. Mixed in there, some engineers from University of Dayton spent 10 weeks down here and came to visit some as well; greetings to Memo, Yo, and Milena. We had some memorable moments in our MicroMachine/Suzuki. We’re looking for great things from them in their respective futures. 

We’ve also been living strictly on rainwater through the catchment system designed into the house. It’s going really well thus far. Look for an involved post on that project in the coming month. We’ve also put in the fence around the yard (to protect us from the wily schemes of the neighborhood chicken gangs). For being nearly unfunctioningly dumb, chickens are surprisingly resourceful when it comes to accessing forbidden areas. And, that being said, even one nugget-sized chick can wreak an alarming amount of havoc on vegetable beds. At first, we would thoughtfully and carefully herd out the offending poultry, but at this point they’re immediately grabbed and slung over the nearest border. They’ve had their warning period. 

The poultry barrier has been erected in efforts to protect a demonstration garden that is currently in the works. We’re demonstrating various low-cost erosion control and soil improvement methods, mostly using permaculture and organic gardening methodology. So far, it’s getting a good amount of attention. The goal would be to see the yard as a demonstration area that’s available as a model and training area for local folks looking to start harvesting more food at home or improve their yields in small plots. I’m actually surprised at the amount of interest it has generated. Should this first harvest be successful, we’ll be looking at a potentially interesting program.

We’ve (and by we, I mean mostly Stacey and a 15 year-old neighbor, Iris) has also been working with the kiddies in a “Little School” on Sunday mornings for 18 weeks. They sing, they dance, they make crafts, they hear a Bible story, and they play for about an hour every week. The kids love it, and I really think it has been great for them. They always look forward to it and show up at the house about 2 hours before it starts. In addition, Stacey has continued a program for young women left by a “Salt and Light” team from Mississippi for the past 7 weeks. The program focuses on teaching Biblical principles that apply to social situations (self-worth, gossip, modesty, respect, abstinence, etc.) that seem to plague so many developing nations. These young women are really a group in crisis, with so many families starting with single 14,15,16 year old girls. Please be in prayer for these girls, the culture here is not an advocate for their success. 

Pastor Erik and I have also begun a group for the muchachos (young men) of the community on Wednesday nights. We got them together about a month ago and asked them if they knew what the Bible said about things in life. They said, “Um, no.” So, they picked seven topics ranging from soccer, to baptism, to dating about which they wanted to hear the Bibles opinion. In addition, we eat food and drink drinks, talk about life and have generated a list of community improvement projects we want to undertake. The goal is to take this (also at-risk) group of young guys and help them understand that they don’t have to be the community’s liability and that instead they can be the best thing going.  We’re starting by building a couple of bus stops here in town, so we’re off to a great start. They’re also learning choreography on Saturday nights to give them an alternative to the alcoholism that plagues their age-group. They’re a group with a ton of potential  as well.

An electricity project for the community is also picking up steam. It could make things around here really exciting and really interesting, very soon.

Well, we miss you all and hope you’re doing well. Feel free to shoot a line to  update things in your world. We’d love to know what’s happening with you. Take care.
Grace and peace.

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