Monday, November 26, 2012

We had a team from MARYLAND!

Last past week we hosted a medical team from Maryland - which happens to be my US home. It makes me happy to have conversations with people who live in places I know and love! This group worked hard to run medical and dental clinics in remote locations in the mountains of Lempira.

Boo, our regular photographer, is also an accomplished dental assistant and she was busy as could be all week, assisting the dentists (she even extracted a tooth!), so she didn't bring home many pictures. I've received a few photos from the team, and I expect to get more soon . . . but meanwhile, I'll share the ones I've got!

More to come . . .

Monday, November 19, 2012

We've made a change!

I wanted to take a moment to announce, officially, that Allen and I have changed to a different mission organization. We are now with "The Foundation". You can find The Foundation website at We're excited about this change, as we expect it to improve our ability to do more with the money we receive - something we're ALL trying to achieve these days!

I thought I'd just post our recent newsletter here, so that you will know all about it:

                                                                                                                                                     November 2012

Dear 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.
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!

Allen and Trish Sowers, Rachel, Christopher, Bethany, and Ben

I've updated the info on our website,, 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!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

There's a strange, glowing object in the sky!

Is it? . . . Could it be? . . .  It's the sun!

Last night we had crazy strong winds, and the winds seem to have swept away our persistent patch of cloudy weather. And just in time, too . . . I really need to get some of this laundry done!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cloudy days and days and days

We've had quite a string of days with heavily overcast skies - about 5 in a row now. It's a bit like living inside a cloud. With this kind of weather we bring very little power in through our solar panels, and so we live a limited existence. In the evenings we can't run any electronic items for entertainment, but that isn't the worst of it. We can't bake anything. We end up reducing the number of hours a day we run the freezer, and after several days of low power we've even had to unplug the refrigerator a few times. Ben isn't able to do the part of his schoolwork that requires him to use the computer (he's heartbroken about that, I'm sure), and I'm using the laptop computer for my work, instead of the desktop, to save on power that way.

Last night, I really wanted to follow the election results as they came in, but the amount of power stored in the batteries at the end of the day (I should say: at the end of what passes for daylight hours right now) was unusually low - in fact, it was about the amount we would normally have in the batteries in the morning before the sun rises, after using power out of the batteries all night. So, we unplugged everything in the house except the laptop computer and the internet modem, and sat around in the dark watching the results roll in.

According to the sketchy weather predictions we get here, we should expect this cloudy weather to continue through the beginning of next week. We'll certainly be glad to see the sun again, when the clouds finally decide to give us a peek of it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Another day of pouring concrete . . .

. . . which also means another day I prepare lunch for a crowd! Today the meal will involve about a dozen people. I'm planning to make fried egg sandwiches. Pray for me! (Maybe pray for those who will be eating, as well.) LOL

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sadness involving me and cooking

Here's a fact about me. I have no sense of smell at all. As a result, I can only taste those tastes which can be detected by the taste-buds on my tongue - sweet, salty, bitter, and sour.

Strawberry - sour, occasionally slightly sweet
Banana - usually slightly sweet
Apple - sweet or sour, depending on the variety
Chocolate - bitter and sweet
Chips, pretzels, etc - salty
Cheese - salty
Rice, potatoes, pasta, milk - nothing
Unseasoned meats - nothing
All vegetables - nothing

You get the idea.

I'm upset today, because I'm tired of having the responsibility of doing a job - cooking - in which I can never feel confident that I will have an adequate outcome. I had to make lunch today for a crew of guys who work on our house construction. I went for safe and easy - I made boxed macaroni and cheese. Did you even know that it's possible to screw up boxed macaroni and cheese?

I don't know if perhaps the milk was off, or the margarine, or even the packets of cheese powder, but everyone agreed the meal was strange and nasty, and almost all of the food I prepared went to the dogs (who, by the way, were delighted with it).

For a moment I'd like you to pretend that you're me.

  • First of all, you have the responsibility for making sure that your family and occasionally those outside of your family are fed. You'd like the eating to be a pleasant experience.
  • Second - you can only work with foods you've never tasted before. This will be hard for most of you to even imagine, since you are used to tasting foods. Perhaps you can pretend that you're cooking in some foreign country where they use ingredients you're completely unfamiliar with.
  • Third - you can't taste anything at all before, during or after the preparation of the food, including the "adjust seasonings" part of the venture. To most fully experience what it means to be Trish, you should really find a way to avoid smelling any of the foods you work with, as well.
  • Fourth - you can use a recipe! But, assume that two or more of the ingredients are unavailable where you live, so you have to make substitutions with items which aren't quite the same and are likely inferior to those listed in the recipe (canned peas or spinach in place of frozen, for instance).
  • Fifth - as a wild card, assume that at any moment one or more of the foods you have to work with may be tainted or just taste bad. Good news for you - you can see if the food is moldy. Other than that, you'll probably not know that you've served your family nasty rotten food until they mention it. They will mention it. 

Now, do this faithfully, several times each day, over the course of years. Work hard to improve your skills. Try to think of ways to fail-safe against the potential pitfalls. Deal with the fact that everyone else you know is trying to incorporate healthier foods into their family's diets, while you're increasing the processed foods, as a way to avoid inedible results. Try not to notice as your family picks at their food, or how excited and happy they are when someone else does the cooking. Keep going even when they politely say: "Oh it's fine, Mom" when you cook . . . but say: "WOW this is really great!!!" when someone else cooks.

Teach your daughter to cook. Find that your family enjoys eating again. Cook less and less yourself, thereby forgetting some of the lessons you've learned along the way. Have daughter grow up and move out.

Get frustrated and unhappy all over again.

Sigh. This is me being sad. I'll get over it and be all salamanders and puppies and basement-happiness tomorrow. Today I'm wallowing. Don't show up for dinner - you've been warned!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Come see my basement

I have basement walls! Here's what they looked like, with some of the panels/forms still in place:

Yesterday the crew poured the basement walls; today, they stripped off the panels used to create the shape for the pour. Closest to you in the photo is the gap in the walls where the stairway will be located.

Here are some pictures of the work in progress:

To me, this feels huge - there's a room I could stand inside of, if I were willing to climb down in there (no stairs yet, LOL). My new house is happening!