I thought I'd just post our recent newsletter here, so that you will know all about it:
November 2012Dear Friends and Family:
Hello from Honduras! Our family is doing well, and we hope and pray that the same is true for yours! This newsletter contains some news that is new. It’s important too, so please make sure you read it thoroughly!
After 10 years with Missionary Ventures International, it has become clear to us that the type of ministry work we are doing is no longer as much of a match with the vision of the mission as it had been when we joined MVI, and so we prayerfully determined to make a change. As we searched for a new organization, we wanted to be sure that the new mission would be as careful with your donations as we try to be.
The result of that search is that we are now announcing our affiliation with The Foundation, headquartered in Orlando Florida. This organization, headed up by Steve Beam (former president of Missionary Ventures) is committed to sending 100% of the funds donated for our ministry and personal use to us on the field (most mission organizations keep some percentage for stateside overhead expenses). Coupled with our ongoing attempt to live on the field as tentmakers as much as possible, this means that we will continue to be able to stretch every donated dollar to the limit. Just one example of this is our feeding program (run in cooperation with “Kids Against Hunger”), in which children are fed a hot, nutrition-packed meal for one penny – currently 1.2 million meals annually.
We’re excited about our new affiliation with The Foundation, and we encourage you to check out their website and see what they’re all about. In previous letters, we’ve asked specifically for prayers for wisdom, regarding how we might reconfigure the ministry to deal with the current times of financial tightening. We believe those prayers are being answered, at least in part, in the changeover to The Foundation, and we’re excited to see how God chooses to work things out in the future, as we continue to strive to follow His will. For new donation information and web links, please see the details at the bottom of this letter. (Just FYI, Russell and Iris are remaining with Missionary Ventures.)
If you’re into Facebook, our ministry now also has a Facebook page – in fact, we have two: Sowers4Pastors (main ministry page) and Gifts for Gracias.
Now for those who can’t access the internet, here are a few updates. Since December of last year, the majority of our day-to-day manpower has gone into a gigantic bridge construction project in Las Flores. Working six days a week, for months, the guys were able to build the support walls on both sides of the river, and completed one and almost completed the second of the two supports located in the riverbed. They also made 9 of the 12 huge beams which are required for supporting the roadway. Now the river is swollen, and work on the bridge will have to stop until the rains decrease and the rivers come back down later in the year.
In other thrilling news, when the bridge project had to stop for a bit we began the gradual process of constructing an actual home for our family up here on our property. Currently we live in the bodega/warehouse; the large open space has been configured into multiple rooms through the use of many carefully placed bookcases. We aren’t planning to go into debt to build our house, so the construction process will take a good long while, but after two years of living in the bodega, well, just getting started on the actual house is pretty exhilarating.
Other ministries have continued to greater or lesser extents. The feeding program is growing like crazy. Ministries supplying motorcycles and horses to pastors continue apace. Pastor training school attendance has decreased a bit, as the extreme need for trained pastors to work in the newly reached areas of the mountains around Gracias has been decreased as several classes of students have graduated and moved on to pastor new churches. Sales of Bibles and Christian books have continued, as Iris (Russell’s wife) handles this aspect of the ministry out of their home.
I've updated the info on our website, www.sowers4pastors.com, and also the blog page which tells how to donate (found just below the photo at the top of this page). Thanks for being a part of this ministry with us!Throughout the years, and as our work here has grown and changed to meet the needs of the areas where we’ve worked, your support of our ministry has meant so much to us, and we have attempted to use the funds given into our hands as God would want us to do, to help as many people as we can, with both their physical and spiritual needs. Thank you so much for being a part of this!
Blessings,Allen and Trish Sowers, Rachel, Christopher, Bethany, and Ben