The past few months here have been busy. Among many other things, we've added a new Filipino team member, hired on an additional local guy (we now have two working with us), have cleared out another 2.5 acres of farm land, and are preparing for coffee planting in the next two months by buying fertilizer and finalizing our game plan. We've also purchased some land along the main road so that we can start to build our new office and coffee processing/wet-milling station. Needless to say, there hasn't been a lot of down-time.
Despite the busyness, one of the things that we've started as a team is having a meeting every Monday morning in the village. The Filipinos, one of our local partners and I all get in the car and drive up to the village and meet with our local farm manager there. We talk about plans for the week, the vision for what we're doing, and think about what needs to happen throughout the month so that we can accomplish those goals. I even bought a whiteboard with a calendar and everything! For most of the guys that I'm working with, this is all brand new. They've never worked at a place where they are part of the planning process. They've never been asked "What do you think?" and actually had the business plans based off of their answer. I've noticed that in the few months we've been doing this, our guys have taken more ownership and responsibility of the coffee company and what we have going on.
Also, before we get into the planning part of the meeting, the five of us sit down together for a quick devotional. All of us have been missionaries or pastors in some capacity over the years, and it is good to sit down together and discuss the application of scripture to our context and what is going on here in our little corner of South East Asia. Usually I'll talk about a passage for a couple minutes and then open it up to what the other guys think. There is normally another ten minutes or so of discussion from the other guys with insights from their own walk and past ministry experience. After that we talk about prayer requests and spend time praying for one another. The custom here is for everyone to pray out loud at the same time, so we do. We have three different languages going, all praying for the same things. After our meeting we usually share a meal together and then get to work on things out on the farm.
Back in America, I used to have Meeting Monday and it was the worst day of the week. Now it is my favorite.