Wednesday, July 20, 2016

INFOP Day of the Student

It has already been a year since we celebrated Day of the Student at the agricultural school!  Normally all the students have to wear blue uniforms but for this day they get to relax and hopefully have fun.

I (Matt) started the morning off with a talk/devotional/sermonette on 1 Corinthians 9:24-25:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, 
but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  
Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. 
They do it to receive a perishable wreath, 
but we an imperishable.

My message was basically that all of life is a race and so it is very important to know what your final goal is or you may miss it!  We can be distracted by lots of little goals but the most important is to turn our lives over to Jesus Christ, to run for Jesus and to His glory!

We don't have pictures of all the games and activities but below are shots of some of the fun!

Ellen is off to the side explaining "lawn golf" or "ladder golf"

This was a super noisy game as they all shouted and cheered almost continuously!

There were also some of the traditional games like the egg on the spoon relay.

That's the director standing in the middle of Tug of War in the white shirt.  I really appreciate that he is so supportive of the kids that he helped out the entire time!

"The war that wouldn't end!"  The tug-a-war competitions went on and on!!  

We introduced a new “game” shooting off paper rockets using a bicycle air pump and a launcher made from PVC.  

We went out to INFOP the day before and helped each student make their own rocket.

The rocket competitions included best looking rocket, furthest flying rocket, and even a contest for accuracy.  

I asked several students what they enjoyed the most and it was always the rockets!

What a great way to finish a hot day of games but with a water game!!  They played it until there wasn't enough water left in the barrels to have a race, and then they dumped that water out on each other!!

Why waste our time on games?  Because it's fun and God made us to enjoy this life that He has given us.  So, we spend ourselves even in helping others simply enjoy God's goodness!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; 
I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, 
and have it to the full. 
 John 10:10

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Lifting Up the Floors

Well, maybe we didn't really lift up a floor but what we did was put in a support beam on top of a wall instead.

Pastor Gustavo came to me and was very tentative in asking the question could they use the funding for a floor to help a man in the church who was in the process of building a house.  I thought it was wonderful that the church would want to come alongside this brother and bless him as he works to provide a home for his wife and baby!

Here Pastor Gustavo and Alex, the homeowner, are mixing cement.

You can see in the background Alex's adobe house that he has been building with the help of friends and family, with adobe bricks he has made by hand.

Here's a little close up of the wall with Ellen, Mari (Alex's wife) and their baby, Alex.

You can see that in the photo that the wall is topped with terra-cotta roof tiles to protect it from the rain.  The cement beam will provide that protection and greater strength by tying all the walls together.

Ellen is checking out the progress.

And it looks good!

This is hard physical labor (especially in 90+ degree temps) and what a wonderful labor of love for the church to come alongside this brother to help out with!!

Thank you for your gifts and prayers that make this work possible!!

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the guards stand watch in vain.
Psalm 127

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Larva get Special Visitors

I think we were first told about their upcoming visit seven or eight months ago!  It was cancelled and rescheduled, only to be cancelled again, and then there was no news for a long time.

Then out of the blue this past Tuesday we received a call that a team from Zamorano University who work in a department for the development of sustainable agriculture practices wanted to come see out Black Soldier Fly project.  It was not the best of timing but they were already on their way and would call when they were at our door.  Our special visitors were finally on their way!!

When they arrived that afternoon, I showed them the current larva set up, the future “Fly Hotel,” and the new ferrocement tank for the aquaponic system.  They were super excited about black soldier fly larva, talked about making a set up at the university, starting a program to teach small producers, making a video of me at the house!!  That's amazing!!  God is good all the time!!

I was once again so impressed at how talking to someone with a university level agriculture background (with the one guy working on his PhD thesis), they just get it and get it quick.  Their questions were all excellent and showed such a high level of understanding and desire to apply with small farmers.

That’s where the real work will begin in communicating and setting up systems with small farmers.  This has been an area that I have been crying out to the Lord for direction and help, and the Lord has answered!!

I already have a lesson written up on raising the larva but can you imagine how much better it will be with this team re-writing it!!  It’s one thing for me to try to explain to someone what an incredible blessing the larva can be for their farm, but can you imagine the difference of having the endorsement, the voice, of agriculture experts from the prestigious Panamerican Agricultural International University of Zamorano!!

God goes before us preparing the good works for us to do for His glory and His kingdom!!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
 not by works, so that no one can boast. 
For we are God’s handiwork, 
created in Christ Jesus to do good works, 
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:8-10

Friday, February 5, 2016

Not Our Plans

I (Matt) read a book by Elizabeth Elliot Gren entitled, "These Strange Ashes." The first time through I just thought it was such a weird book of mishaps and non-endings, and the second time it hit me that it's just real life and not everything turns out the way we plan... like today.

Our puppet team has put a lot of work into being prepared for the next set of performances.  One was for today up in the mountains of Tutule at the public primary school.

We were excited to be part of the start of the new school year and have the opportunity to perform for about 300 children.  We even practiced a new short puppet skit that we added to the start of the show as it was about staying in school and that school is fun!

Yesterday afternoon a cold front came in and was much worse up in the mountains.  This morning we received a message that it was raining badly in the mountains.  So, we sent out some quick prayer requests to cover our travels and prepare the way ahead of us.  The picture above is the mountain road and while it shows the fog that came in, you can also see on the right the tops of the banana trees just off the road growing up the side of the mountain.  This is NOT a good road to be on in impaired visibility!!

The visibility continued to get worse and worse the further up the mountain we went!!  To top it off, we received a call that the storm had knocked out the electricity in the city we were going to.  No electricity, means no speaker, and since we use recorded material that means no show.  We prayed and continued going up in hopes that the electricity would be restored.

We made it to Tutule and reached the school to find not only was there no power, but there were also only about 4 or 5 kids running about, instead of the 300+ kids that attend the school.  The teachers were all together in one classroom. They told us that it is coffee harvest time and that many kids do not come to school for the first few weeks as they are working harvesting coffee. They also said that there may have been more kids coming today but they probably walked back home because of the heavy rain.  I think they may have been actually using the puppet show to entice kids to come!

It was amazing to see the reaction of the team as they said that it was ok and all in God's timing.  If there was anyone fairly bummed it was me, but I got over it pretty quickly in hearing their God-focused response.  We visited some friends in town and had lunch at the local "comedor".  It was fried chicken and some of the best I've ever eaten! (And I've eaten a LOT!)

Our trip back down into the valley was again through thick fog and I was quite happy to be out of the mountains!

This was a neat experience in that in the end it was not about doing a great show but more about having a great attitude and keeping our eyes on God!

There is a time for everything, 
and a season for every activity under the heavens.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 

Thursday, January 7, 2016


To celebrate all the hard work by the puppet team, we headed to the Pulhapanzak waterfalls.  It should have been about a two hour trip to get there but ended up taking over three hours due to construction traffic.

 The team was pretty excited to stretch their legs once we arrived at the park.

Then we quickly dug into the lunches we brought!

Next was a dip into the river before heading to the see the waterfalls.

The swimming area is made by a little water dam.

The water was amazingly clear!!!

Silliness was everywhere!!

Great fun for all!!

The swimming area was a super beautiful site!!

Then the walk down to see the waterfalls.

The waterfalls are super gorgeous!!

 Just enjoying the view!

I want to point out that there was no sign that said we couldn't climb over the fence for a better picture!

I'm not sure they thought climbing over the fence was such a bright idea!

Next we had to climb back up to be able to continue the trail to the base of the falls.

Great group photo!

It was quite wet at the base due to the continual mist from the waterfall.

Of course the perpetual mist given off by the waterfall makes for great little rainbows!

Another fun group shot!

On the way back we stopped off at Lake Yajoa.

 Super beautiful at the lake!

The pier we walked out on turned into a little wood walkway, but we all walk out on it until it disappeared under the water.

This area of green grass is under water during the rainy season.

Ellen decided to sit out the walk and wait at what was about a halfway point.

Looking back and you can see it was just a beautiful day!

Truly a fun day!!  What made it extra fun is that in spending the entire day together, (which turned out to be almost 12 hours due to another back up on the return trip) the group shared sweet Christian fellowship. Actually, we spent some of the car time going over the next puppet script and also in reading Scripture and prayer!!  God is goood!!

Such a blessing to be treated to a fun day experiencing more of Honduras with such sweet friends!!

I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  
John 10:10

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Harvest at the Ag School... Graduation!

Another year has passed for the ag school with the new fruit that has ripened and is ready to be shipped out across the country... the kids are graduating and going home!

It was a big event with dignitaries at the head table, banners up, flag unfurled and pine needles on the floor!

I was invited to come and attend, along with Greg Brewster who is also with Equip, for our service at the school this year.  We were given a special introduction and warm thanks for caring for the kids and their spiritual growth.

The director of the ag school and my good friend, Mario, gave an excellent graduation speech.  In one part he said that he was reading a book and ran across a formula for success in life.  He said that he thought probably all the people there had the same book in their home too.  That it often has a black cover and of course the book was the Bible.

He said he found the formula in Joshua 1:8

  • This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

So his encouragement to the graduating class was that to truly be successful they needed to know and follow God!  Awesome!

Lot's of pictures taken after everyone received their certificates.

Couple different media guys there who interviewed Mario after the ceremony!

All in all, great time and very God honoring!  We are so thankful that Mario is the director there and has given us an open door to come in and work with the kids!!