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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2008-05-05 23:25:40
Subject: Blessed Life

  Six years ago I went on my first mission trip ever. My friend Trent Detamore was the leader and coach of that trip. He is with Christian Outreach International; a sports ministry with an evangelistic outreach. We played football and I returned home alive.   That trip coincided with some soul searching on my part because my career had fallen apart what with all the outsourcing and much of the computer work I did heading to India where programmers are paid $5/hr versus the $40+ we were paid back then. I believed the Lord was calling me (and I do mean me, not all programmers) to do something a little more fundamental for the human race. As in, something a little more basic than writing software for computers that may never be used. He was leading me to work in food, a pursuit near and dear to my heart and stomach.    At first I had my own ideas about what I should be doing. For awhile I tried vending machines. I also got over my head with a slush franchise (and the Lord graciously gave me another computer job so I could pay the loan). But the desire to help feed the world never died. In due time, the franchise debt was paid, we got out from under our larger than necessary home payments and prepared ourselves for the Lord's next chapter in our lives (not knowing exactly what that would be). Then came Honduras.    This weekend I was reading about food shortages around the world. It's not that we don't have enough food for everyone. The problem is that sometimes the abundance of food in one country causes farmers to go out of business because prices are too low. In one case, the government was destroying swine in Canada because there were too many making the prices too low. Meanwhile in poor nations, people are eating cakes made of mud and shortening. To make matters worse, the rise in oil prices has made ethanol and bio-fuel a viable alternative. That is great for farmers, but it also puts price pressures on food meaning we might be able to fill up our cars but at the cost of making grain too expensive for impoverished people around the world.     I am blessed. The Lord has entrusted us with a farm, very small by American standards, but we are going to do our best this year to produce as much food as we can. Today we practiced "food recycling". We picked up over 1000 lbs. old fruits and veggies from the produce market; stuff that even the poor would not eat...but our pigs love it. We did the same at a bread factory where they gather up the overcooked loaves of bread and normally throw them away. The rainy season has begun, so we are going to begin planting beans. Last year we harvested beans several times. Oddly enough, beans give people gas but I have not seen anyone turn them into ethanol. We never have to buy beans here and sell them locally. We also sell pork, blackberries, beef, eggs and chicken. I hope that this year we will make a huge impact on hunger locally.     Sometimes other missionaries ask how we raise our funding. I tell them thankfully we have not had to outright ask for monthly support. The reply is that we will have to if we ever want to grow. That is not my vision and I don't think it is God's vision for us. I REALLY APPRECIATE the help we receive right now, but I do not want to have to count on it forever. In fact, I hope that someday we can use donations to help others without needing it for this home. I have always believed that we were to train the people here to be responsible. I believe part of that training (discipling) is to lead by example. Someday I want this farm to completely support the home and school we run here; and I believe it is can be done. For now, the donations we receive are used to cover expenses and as seed money. By seed money, I mean we are increasing our pig herd, buying more livestock and making the farm more productive (ultimately profitable).     I am really exciting about what the Lord is doing here and I believe someday this ministry will be a blessing to people beyond Honduras. I cannot tell you how menacing the future of the world looks. I especially worry about my great home country the USA. I believe this farm could and will be a refuge for many. So today we plant, we farm, we teach, we build and we pray. Thank you for your support!
Replies to this message
re: Blessed Life  by Rusty Bentley on Tuesday May 25, 2010
     re: Blessed Life  by Mark Colbath on Tuesday May 25, 2010

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