I want to start off with a wonderful quote I found from J. C. Ryle. He said, “Let us arm ourselves with a thorough knowledge of the Word of God. Let us read our Bibles more diligently than ever, and become familiar with every part of them. Let the Word dwell in us richly. Let us beware of anything which would make us give less time and less heart to the perusal of its sacred pages. The Bible is the sword of the Spirit – let it never be laid aside. The Bible is the true lantern for a dark and cloudy time – let us beware of traveling without its light.” ~ J.C. Ryle He has essentially summed up our desire for the people of Nicaragua and our desire for you. I want to start off this Month’s update by challenging you to get into the Word of God and study to show yourself approved. Teach your children, let them know what is important to you. The truth is, they already know what has your heart. Maybe it is time to change what they know has captured your heart to the Sword of the Lord. We will be praying for you as you dive into God’s Holy Word.
Bible Clubs are going well. We are plugging along memorizing verses each week. We are hoping to push the parents a little more in this area. Here is a video of one of the precious children at Trapiche saying the memory verses. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-BcEGyE3G0.
The family sponsorship is going well. We are up to 53 families sponsored. I have been doing home visits and encouraging people to lead productive lives as they serve Christ. We have been trying to get people working toward growing crops and raising chickens or baking bread to sell. The idea is for them to provide for themselves as we give them things to help them while they learn. We have been successful teaching some to raise chickens and sell eggs and now are beginning to start up a few chicken and rabbit farms to supply them with meat.
We have purchased 10 female and 2 male rabbits. We hope to have enough rabbit meat in 8 weeks to give each of the 53 families 2 lbs each. We are having classes on how to raise and care for the rabbits, but it is a struggle and a lot of hard work. Our first kits (baby rabbits) are due at the end of the month. My friend Nestor is also helping out more than I can ever repay. He has 83 Laying hens and is now getting 45-60 eggs a day. We are putting a dozen a month in the food baskets for the 53 sponsored families. We can increase that amount if we need to give them more. The Black Soldier Fly Larvae bins that we built are cutting the cost of the chicken feed somewhat, but we can’t seem to get the production up to full capacity. Please pray about this project. It is the key to keeping the food cost down. Today, I went into the village asking people to help us raise the Soldier fly Larvae so that we could also raise meat chickens. We now have 2 locations where we raise meat chickens.
Nestor is getting enough eggs to pay for the food and supply the feeding program with eggs. We are so thankful for the success of this project.
Jacinto’s farm has had a great crop this year. We were able to grow food for the lunches at the Bible clubs and also we had 200 lbs. of beans to put in the food baskets. The Okra is over head tall and working me to death. I am so thankful to have Nestor’s help. He goes over there and picks it 2x a week. We are putting okra and sweet potatoes in the food during the Children’s Bible Study and they are loving it. It is very good for them and they are so excited when we have the sweet potatoes. He has planted Yuca and butter beans. The butter beans are almost finished. They didn’t do as well as I planned. We have to work harder on training. They let them dry on the plant instead of picking them green. When you do that, it causes them to quit bearing. Hopefully, we will do better next year. We were able to put 10 quarts in the Refrigerator freezer. We are hoping to get a freezer sometime next month. We have the money put aside, I just can’t seem to bring myself to pay the expensive price.
At Jacinto’s farm, there is a terrible problem with water. Last year we build a cistern and it works wonderful. This year we planted way more crops and we still are using more water that the cistern will hold when it is dry. We started building a mammoth cistern in the bottom of a small valley behind his house. The blocks in the picture weigh about 120 lbs each. They are quarried stones. Each one had to be carried down the hill. Jacinto is in bed, unable to walk, as I type this. Please keep him in your prayers. We are on budget with the cistern and hope to have it done by the end of the month.
Please pray as we prepare to plant a church in Trapiche. There is no church in walking distance. Nestor has a true burden for these people and we plan to help him get a church plant started.
We have a Gass Family Mission Facebook page. Please follow us as we update often and do short post about day to day events.
April and I want to thank everyone for helping us realize our calling. We recognize that God is using you to equip us and provide for the ministry here in Nicaragua. We thank you and desire your prayers as we serve our King!