So how about an update?
Here you can see part of the farm in Sampedrana that has been cleared, the hodgepodge triangle-sort-of-shape of cleared, green, polka dot (avocado tree), and coffee. We own further up the mountain, we are just working on getting enough plants grown in our nurseries to then clear more and plant. This will take years to complete, as each acre roughly needs 2,000 plants, and the rough cost from seedling to going into the ground is $1 per plant, and we have well over 10 acres left to plant.
As I have written, our main need here other than continuing to develop the property is to improve the road conditions getting there, some widening, some leveling, but mostly improving the road itself for less slipping and sliding. We are going to have to invest at least $3,000 this year on this road to try to get it up to snuff. And one more thing will be building a house on the property and using it for a family to live and be daily caretakers, as well as just a base of operations to do cleaning, pulping, drying, etc.
The farm in Las Botijas was one we took over from another missionary when they left the country. There is one big homestead, and several other pieces of property, several of which have coffee growing on them. We were concerned about getting a proper caretaker for several years, but God had not opened any long term doors until August of 2017, when we moved Rony and his family from Sampedrana, where he had transplanted almost eight years ago to work with Don Escoto on his farm, but was going to lose his job because the farm was being divided and given to his children.
There is quite a bit to do here as well in terms of planting more coffee and other improvements on the multiple properties, and that is exciting, but even more exciting is that after a brief time working in Las Botijas, and not having a place to worship, just by worshipping as a family, Rony has turned into a pastor by opening doors to what is already 15 believers and six friends in the community. Seeing how we can help this burgeoning Church will be a bigger priority moving forward.
Finally you can see here below the property in Cantaranas. We have received funds to plant the hill of this property this year with fruit trees, which should provide more long term investment and return for the property such as we already get from the two avocado trees there. The valley Jonathan and the Church are still currently trying to use (you can see they have the greenhouse there) and we will see in the next twelve months about the long term housing on site about maybe developing that even more.
So you can be praying for the workers, and their families, for their safety, for good crops and harvests, and ways in which we can use those harvests more in our local areas, and abroad, to further the work of Christ. Finding buyers abroad especially for the coffee we produce would be a great way not only to help us locally more but have more ties that could help us improve what we produce, but also to reach our goal of being self sustaining and starting to really invest some of what is being done into the other areas of ministry as well. That could be helping hire more clinic staff, planting a new Milk Project, a new Church plant...the options, even limited just to what we are already doing and in areas where we already work, are numerous. May God guide us and direct us through it all!
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