Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What the day produced

Today was...rather busy.
We left Teguc at 8:00 after a few smaller errands in the morning (one of which...luckily I had a few pens to resupply the clinic, all of whose pens had seemingly run dry on the same day) on our way to Talanga. We had a scheduled meeting with Pastor Celeo to hear more about how things are going with Channel 15, the Church, the upcoming construction and fill the property get the idea, it was a full meeting.    Here we are in the set/reception area of the TV station (currently a rented house.) 
 The "production studio" is behind the blue curtain in a very small area.  We have a long ways to go to get up to the production quality we want to set...but God is already using the channel in some amazing ways.  Celeo told of us of one man calling in to confess a sinful lifestyle, (he was more specific) and how through the Channel he had been touched to change...he had been considering suicide..he was disgusted with himself, and they were able to minister to him.  Another young man...a 15 year old called in to share he was an alcoholic, seeking forgiveness, and they are reaching out to him to come to the Church meetings for further talks.  One more and I will stop...a young girl in a similar situation called in, wanted to know what to do to receive the Lord...they got her contact information and where she lives Celeo knows another pastor and they were able to put the two of them together. 

(here is an outside view of the house...complete with sign to let people know.  A pulperia down the street has been sending small offerings...not because they want ad space, or they are even believers, just because they want to help)

The channel is still not producing enough economically to be self sustaining, nor to pay salaries (for Celeo as administrator and pastor, and his son who is currently doing all the programming and daily work on getting everything ready for airing.)

So we are praying along with Celeo that the ad revenue would improve, along with our efforts to try to get him the equipment they need to keep moving forward.  We need things like battery back ups (power fluctuations...which are hard on equipment, are very common) cameras, audio/sound boards, other misc. equipment and programming for creating ads, program bumps, etc.  One other big move we are considering is trying to find a local container to set on the Church property and convert into the office/set space/production facilities.  It would be safe, have enough space, and minimal work to get it "installed."  That would save on rent, safety concerns, etc.  We shall see what God has in store. 
You'll notice a theme throughout our day.  Upon leaving the house, Oscar pointed out an Almond tree...something we had been talking about on the way there was what trees to plant around the clinic for shade and production.  He is not sure how you harvest almonds...and get them in one piece for roasting however. 

Below...we went to at least see a very cheap piece of property that would be in a residential neighborhood (in the this time it was interesting enough to require 4x4 and an interesting sloshy/sliding drive at that) but that we would be looking at to produce crops to provide some employment and generate some support for Celeo and the Church.  Price is right...and very close to town, but not sure what will happen here.

 We talked about the successes, the struggles, and opportunities the Church is facing.  Life is tough, no surprise there, and life in communion as a body is no different.  But the overall snapshot is positive...of course!  The fill on the property for construction this fall should be done by the end of the month.  Having that new building will make a huge difference in the life and activities that the Church will be able to do.  For that big step...October can not come soon enough for them. 
We went back to Teguc a different route to be able to stop in Cantarnas to see how the tomato harvest is going.  Slow but sure, and Jonathan is putting quite a bit of work into it.  We negotiated with Wal-Mart here locally (they came out to see what we were doing, inspect the goods, talk turkey on pricing, etc.) and in addition to smaller sales elsewhere it appears they will make some purchases as well (at a higher price than we get elsewhere.   

The small house for the person watching over the crops is done, and with the added electricity...he can actually see what he is protecting, lest some grow legs and walk away in the middle of the night.  What you can't see is that Oscar and Jonathan, on their own, have started experimenting in a very small way to see if cabbage will work as the next crop (it is appearing to do well) and the Avocado trees they invested almost $150 of their own money to try to get back to life.  They are big trees, and look to be producing, but there was concern they were going to die.  So...when we sell avocados, your orders will help pay them back first, and then generate even more for the mission. 

You don't see a picture here, but Oscar and I also took just a few quick minutes to harvest a big bag of mangos from the property...everyone else has had their fill for the time being, and the trees were still full.  We took all we could, and left the bounty left to ripen. 

What you will see is another experiment of Oscar's.  Reynaldo sold him some green pepper plants, again, to see if we could use them for the next crop.  They are green...they are peppers, but this was not exactly what Oscar had in mind.  Sufficit to say...I am the only person they know that is interested in picking them.  I was happy to oblige. 

As you can see...they grow well there, some of them were pretty big.  Too bad the market here for spicy Jalapenos is fairly small.

Then we made another brief stop for Oscar to pick up plantains to sell from his and Jonathan's farm near San Juancito.  They mostly sell them to friends who have small stores or who want to sell them from their at 3lps per plantain, sell at 5-7 depending on the size.  They still have quite a ways to go to recoup their investment, but are hoping in the long term it will produce some economic help for them both.  It is already producing some employment for Santos (in the background) the co-pastor in San Juancito and a few others...all of whom are very grateful for the work they know is more than just a simple farming exercise. 

All this food around us and somehow all day we did not find time to eat lunch we were so behind on our schedule to get back to Teguc at a decent hour (something about picking our kids up from school by 3:00) 

Almonds, what looked like it should be a rice farm, a tomato or two, mangos, cabbage, jalapenos, and plantains...that is a lot of produce to see in one day....glory to God!