We've been back in South East Asia for right at a month now and I wanted to give everyone a current update on many of our projects that we shared about while stateside.
While we were gone the team here did a fantastic job of keeping things moving. It was great to be able to leave for two months and have the team here not skip a beat. While we were gone, thousands of coffee trees were planted on our farm and the new seedling share program was implemented. Ten families received a total of over 10,000 seedlings.
But here are some of the current happenings:
-Training Center Progress: If we saw you while stateside, I'm sure you heard the story about our contractor here and the headaches that he's caused. In April we tried to fire him (it didn't work), so I knew the conversation with him would not be easy when we returned. We had also been told that he hadn't paid any of his workers during the project.
When we arrived back in South East Asia no additional work had been done to the training center, so we called the contractor and told him we needed him to come talk to us. He refused to come out and said that he would no longer work on the project because he is losing money. He claimed the workers stole money meant for materials (the workers hadn't been paid, but minor detail...), and he doesn't want to lose more money on the project. So after several months, one five minute phone call solved our contractor problem.
Over the last few weeks we've interviewed several contractors and decided to have the village leader in the next village complete the walls, flooring and ceiling on the second floor. His crew had already done a nice job with the one wall they finished before they realized they weren't getting paid. Please continue to pray for good progress and hopefully this will lead to having a good relationship with some village leadership.
-Team Truck: We bought a truck! After several months of waiting, KIA finally found the only new four-door cargo truck in the entire country (literally). We quickly put down a deposit and paid it in full last week. We've been enjoying much more spacious rides to the village and the ice cold air-conditioning.
-Seedling Followup: This last week our farm manager (and village pastor) started following up with the ten families that received seedlings. He understands the goal for these seedlings is not only checking on coffee but seeking ministry opportunities. Just last week he was able to visit the first two families, with the goal to visit all of the families each month. Please pray for open doors though as he follows up.
-Village Leader Health: Not everyone knows about our village leader, but I have shared his story with many of you. For over three years now, we have gotten to know him and he has been a big help to us. He is not a Christian (yet) but has always been kind and generous to us and the local church. He has help us establish our business and allowed us to have open access to the village, which can be a rare thing here. He has also always come to Christmas parties and other events when the church has invited him.
Back in January the village leader had a massive stroke. For months he was only able to lay on a mat on his floor and not move or talk. I honestly thought he was going to die. During our weekly meetings we made sure to pray for him. In March, our village pastor visited him and was encouraged that he was able to sit up and eat solid food for the first time in months.
Last week we were driving out to the farm (in our new truck) and passed by his house. I was surprised to see him sitting in a chair on his porch. I waved, he waved back, and so we stopped and talked with him for a few minutes. He still has almost no use of his right arm, his right leg is shaky, and his speech is slurred, but he has made amazing progress since I last saw him. Please continue to pray for him and that we might find some ways to get him access to physical therapy.
Thanks again for all the prayers. We're excited to see continued progress in all these areas in the coming months!