February was a crazy month. There's been so much going on that I wanted to take a little bit more time and space to unpack it than allowed in a newsletter or a note attached to a social media post.
We arrived back in country on February 1st. It was long travel, but honestly it was the smoothest transition back we've ever had. Within 12-hours of landing we had our bills paid, cellphone reactivated, internet turned back on and a broken A/C fixed. There were also no fires that needed putting out on the farm and I didn't have to worry about fixing anything. I completely attribute this to our teammates. Having a team is such a blessing, and I couldn't imagine trying to carry this load on our own. The Filipino family that is part of our work here along with our two local families did a great job while we were stateside. The goal is that they'll continue to take on larger leadership roles in the future.
It wasn't just the physical things that our team handled well, it was also the spiritual. The day after we arrived back in country, I was told we needed to attend church in the village that Sunday because 3 people were getting baptized. The baptism of 3 people might not sound like a lot, but when you work with Unreached Peoples and the church usually has an attendance of 18... 3 is a big number. The story goes that during a Sunday morning service in January a family wanted to participate in communion. The pastor (our farm manager) explained that they needed to be Christians in order to participate. He shared the gospel with them, they believed and then a couple weeks later were baptized.
All of this happened while we were gone. It is a continual reminder that we are merely walking in obedience to this journey that God has us on. It isn't like He couldn't do it without us.
One of our core goals is to raise up local leadership. My job is working myself out of a job. And I was able to see some of the fruit from that this last month. We've spent a lot of time going over goals for the year and planning things out with our team during February. We did the same thing last year, but neither of our local guys had ever had a planning meeting before that. It is amazing how a whiteboard, a little organization and some discussion can really open peoples eyes and get them excited about the year. Since that initial meeting, our local guys have taken those tasks and run with them.
Some of those small tasks have been things like finishing our processing mill, digging a water well, running electrical to our processing land and doing some land work there as well. In a place where nothing gets done quickly, we're actually ahead of schedule (for the moment anyway). Once again, I give our local guys a lot of the credit. They know who to call to get things done and have started to understand the system of running a business here. All they need is a little vision (and cash) to make it happen. Just this last weekend we finished digging a 100ft water well. It took 3 days and it was 100ft of solid rock, but it now pumps clean water.
Next month might be a different story from this month. I guess that statement could be true for all of us. During March, we'll have a few visitors come out, my wife will head home for a week to attend a funeral, and we're hopefully going to start building an office/coffee training center in the village. There will be a lot of hurdles, but God has given us a great reminder in February of how He can handle everything.