In the past year, we’ve made incredible strides in producing our own food and working towards self-sustainability. This is an important value of Give Hope 2 Kids, for we try to stretch every donated dollar as far as possible.
Producing our own food also gives meaningful work to our Honduran staff and is something for them to teach our kids. We want to raise up good workers and not people who have their hand out, expecting life to given to them.
We have a new agricultural expert on our Honduran team, so we’re planting more of our own food. We recently moved the cows and sheep across the river, away since they kept eating everything we were trying to grow.
The animals are doing really well though, even though we relocated some. We’re able to raise a good percentage of our meat now. We have great laying hens that produce three dozen eggs every day. Our cows produce all our milk and most of our cheese and yogurt. We’ll be putting in more pasture for cows though, so we can keep up with our dairy demand.
Our best product to grow and sell for self-sufficiency is coffee. So, we’re planting more acres in coffee and learning better growing techniques. We've recently perfected our roast and we’re getting rave reviews on it.
In the upcoming months, we hope to raise the funds to add some solar panels to our buildings. We have a solar plan that should easily cover half of our electricity usage. Since we pay more per watt than anywhere in the US, this will be a big savings for us.
Please click here if you'd like to donate towards our solar panels.
We want to update everyone on our Friday Youth Nights. One year ago we started this youth service for the teenagers and kids in our area. We hoped to have a strong spiritual influence both in the lives of the children we care for, and for the young people in our community.
Here are some photos of the precious kids we work with. In the short time they've been with us, we've seen so many positive changes in their lives. They've progressed in so many areas, from Junior's increased mobility, to Javier learning to do his homework before he plays. We're proud of the direction these kids are headed. We have big hopes for their futures, because we trust that God is looking out for these little ones.
We wanted to give everyone a little update on our current construction projects.
Also, we've run into storage issues with all the chairs, instruments, and sound equipment we use for the Youth Nights. So far we've got the walls up and the floors poured. Once the roof and door are installed it will be ready to use. We are excited to get our Library Program organized and all our new books in circulation for the local kids.
We just wanted to share a quick photo and show you how great things are going with our Kids/Youth Ministry. We're up and running on Friday nights now and the community is loving it. The attendance and participation has blown us away. Our goal is not to be just another village church, but to teach people about God's love and be a unifying force for people, instead of a dividing one. We're so encouraged with how well this going.
It's been a really fun season right now as we're beginning to enjoy the literal fruits of our labor. We're eating as many delicious mangosteens, rambutan, and oranges as we can right now, with their bumper crops. With the container we recently brought down we now have the equipment to process a lot more of the food, thus we've been grinding cocoa beans for chocolate, dehydrating bananas, frying up yucca, and making sausage. We're trying to find the most cost-effective ways to feed our little band of workers, volunteers, and kids, which means a lot of eating from the land.
Note: We can't neglect to give David and the crew credit for maintaining the farming projects while Jason wears his other hats, like Jason the General Contractor, and more importantly, Jason the Dad to Abandoned Kids.
Destination Church also donated items and helped load the container on shipping day. And we can't forget David Martinez (our right hand man down here) made 8 trips in our white work truck to bring all of the items up the mountain. Thank you everyone!
It was a lot of work, and we’re still sorting it all out, but now we have so many more of the tools that we need to grow in our ministry.
Last October we began working towards more self-sufficiency with our food and we started raising sheep. We started with 14 sheep last fall and as of this October, we have nearly 30 sheep, including 17 pregnant ewes.
Since the main motive for this project was to produce food, we butchered our first two sheep this past week and experimented with different ways to prepare the meat. Our first efforts included roasting, barbecuing, and making sausage, and all the results were tasty. Here’s a picture of us making sausage with David and Wilfredo (one of the houseparents).
This year look for us to make major strides in our food production ability -- in meat (beef, lamb, chicken, and fish), dairy, eggs, and fruits and vegetables. It’s not going to happen all at once, but we are growing in our ability to produce our own food.