While in Somotillo this trip I ask my assistant Evert to help us find a community that needed support but was willing to put in the work. He took us to one community and we met with them but the entire time I spoke to them I just did not feel led to work there. We let them know we would be praying about helping them but had other communities we were visiting and if God permitted we would be back, if not we knew that God had other plans for their community.
After leaving Evert went on a scouting trip. He visited four different communities and found Sa Bieta. It's about 20 minutes from Somotillo and right in the middle of two very popular communities. For several years both of those communities have had teams coming to them but they just pass by them. One lady told me she often wondered if there was something wrong with them and that's why no one wanted to help them. Needless to say they were very blessed to know that we had come and was in fact willing to help them.
The leader of the community is very open minded. Some leaders are set in their ways and feel they know everything and it's their way or else but not him. He was so grateful for our support. In the Somotillo area when a leader of a community gets people to help he is looked at as a power individual and it helps him to be more respected. This is to our advantage because then he is more willing to allow us to direct him.
He worked hard that day to get all the community together on a last minute notice to talk to Evert and get commitments from them. Instead of just showing up and giving out tools with no strings attached I am working with Evert who works with a national company that has taught him skills in getting communities to work together as a team. This program requires them to come to a bible study and hear about Jesus in order to receive additional help.
It sounds a little controlling but trust me it's working great in Coffradia. Now almost every household there has accepted Christ just through the weekly bible studies.
Sa Bieta is a very poor community like Coffradia and most of the men are out working each day and again the woman are responsible for the gardens. I think they actually like it because they are contributing in a different way and they can see how their contributions are affecting the household with each visit to the garden they make.
We purchased 10 hoes, 10 matics, 27 irrigation systems, seeds for each family (tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers) fertilizers for all 27 families. They were excited to see the help. They only have a garden once a year because they have no way to irrigate them and the soil is just to bad for the crops to grow without water on a consistent basis.
During our distribution of the tools we also gave each family a set of clothes for their kids, a toy for each child, bracelets for each teenage girl and necklaces for the boys. After that distribution one of the team members Alisha, noticed we had enough gospel bracelets and recommended that we give them out. I had not considered talking to them specifically about salvation but felt if God was prompting Alisha maybe I should.
I took the bracelet and walked them through the gospel explaining that their decision needed to be based on their desire to live for eternity and not because they wanted my help. I would help them no matter what. I ask them to pray and to stand and show they made that commitment and over 50 people stood before each other confessing they had prayed to accept Christ. Way to Go Alisha for listening to the Holy Spirit..
Evert has been visiting each week and helping them get started with their gardens. I can't wait to get the first photos of this new communities gardens.
Check out the families of Sa Bieta in the photo gallery. Pray for their success.
Thanks again to all that has help with the garden projects.
A huge thank you goes out to Mechanicsville Baptist Church VBS kids. Their children raised $700 to help with this community. It's great to see children working to help other children have a better life.
Stay tuned for more about Sa Bieta.
ps. Oscar and mom are still doing well. Keep praying over their immune systems.