Saturday, January 16, 2016

Exciting New Thing #1: Manna 4 Lempira Child Sponsorship Program

Today I am ridiculously excited to be officially announcing a program which has been running for several months now, mostly under-the-radar. With the amazing volunteer help of the hard-working team of Jonathan and Kim Hall, we have begun a sponsorship program for individual children in our feeding center ministry!

BUT - before I go into any more details - my crazy husband wants me to give you this information in a blurb, right up front: You can feed up to 61 children for only $15 per month!!!!! (If it was possible to add flashing lights, I'm sure he'd have had me put those in, too. We now return to your regularly scheduled blog post.)

As the program started up, we offered sponsorships for children in only one of our feeding center locations, but because Kim and Jonathan have already recruited enough sponsors for almost all of the children in the Mercedes village center, we are in the process of starting the program in a second location, as well!

The name of the sponsorship program is Manna 4 Lempira, and you can visit the Manna 4 Lempira Facebook page, for more information, and to see the photos, names and details of children available for sponsorship!


These are the specific details:
  • Each sponsored child receives two nutrition-packed meals each week. 
  • The children will receive de-worming medicine twice each year.
  • Once each year, just before the start of the Honduran school year, each sponsored child receives a pair of shoes and a school uniform, so that they can attend the public school.
  • At that same time, each child also receives a school backpack, filled with the school supplies required by the public schools. 
  • The children and the sponsors will have the opportunity, with the help of translators, to correspond with one another, and the sponsors will occasionally have the opportunity to send special gifts to their sponsored children. 
  • Their participation in the program will bring these children into relationships with the pastor and members of the congregation of a local church. They will receive regular Bible lessons, and a tie-in with caring Christians in their community. This kind of local support can be vital for families living in poverty!

Here is where the numbers get really interesting, though: The cost for all of these benefits is only $15 per month. We can do all of this so inexpensively because everyone involved is a volunteer, serving these children for the sake of Christ. There are no salaries, and minimal overhead costs.

As they say on TV . . . "But wait! There's more!"

Because of our volunteer staff and extremely low overhead, we are able to stretch that $15 donation sooooo far, that in addition to paying for all of these benefits for your sponsored child, your monthly donation will also pay to feed as many as 60* other children in our feeding centers which do not currently have sponsorship programs.

Is it time for you to sponsor a needy child? If you feel the importance of making every dollar count, the way we do, then perhaps Manna 4 Lempira is the child sponsorship program for you! To get started, visit the Information Page of the Manna 4 Lempira blog! In no time, you could be helping a child in Honduras with their nutritional, educational, and spiritual needs!

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*Note: Be advised that the exact number of additional children fed will fluctuate, as our costs for food and shipping change over time.

Addendum: If you're interested in how this project came into existence, Kim Hall wrote a great post on that subject, here.

Finally, if you've read all the way to the bottom of this blog post . . . my crazy husband also told me to put this here at the end: He has promised me that, if I get ten comments on this blog post (here on the blog, not on FB), he will wash the dishes for a week AND take me out to dinner! Please help make this happen . . . please?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Ministry Overview

It's time for new things, and new ways of doing things! Allen and I have been running this ministry since 2001, but new, younger workers have ideas, too, and things are NOT stagnant here! 

The following series of posts will fill you in on some exciting new aspects of our ministry - which are also opportunities for people to get involved, if they wish to do so.

Before I start in on the new things, however, I'm going to post an updated version of the ministry overview, which can also be found in a tab at the top of this page, right under the header, where you can easily find it if you wish to see it again, or share it. 



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Allen and Trish Sowers have been working in Honduras since 2001. They now work in partnership with their son, Russell, and his wife Iris. Together, they have successfully established ministry relationships with over a thousand indigenous pastors and their churches. In a typical year, these Honduran pastors see over 15,000 professions of faith and plant 60 plus new churches! Through dynamic partnerships with churches, organizations, and individuals, this ministry enables the Honduran pastors to minister to their congregations in a wide range of areas. Funds, food, vitamins, motorcycles, school supplies, clothing, computers, construction materials, etc. - when someone has a resource that they are willing to donate or sell at a greatly reduced price, we provide the transportation, logistics and oversight to put it into the hands of those who will utilize it in the service of God and their community.

Overview of our ministries:
Feeding and Nutrition Programs: In partnership with “Kids Against Hunger” and others, we distribute food, vitamins and worm medicine through 120 church-run feeding centers, orphanages, victims of natural disasters, and other programs, providing about 1.2 million meals per year. With matching funds, this all happens for about a penny a meal!

Pastor Training School: We’ve conducted 50 pastor training programs involving hundreds of pastors and support several training programs in local churches. 

Bible Book Store: These materials are purchased wholesale and sold at cost. Even at cost, a simple study Bible can equate to an entire week’s wages for a pastor. To date, we have supplied approximately 40,000 Bibles and study materials, including about 8000 study Bibles.

Church Construction: We partner with rural mountain churches in their church construction by supplying the materials to install the roof (congregation supplies the land, labor, and other construction materials). In this way, over 120 churches have been built. A typical roof for a church of 250 members costs approximately $1,000.

Gifts for Gracias: Christmas gifts, school supplies, and gently used clothing are distributed to pastors and their families, to orphans and special needs families.

Sustainable Ministry: We have started a coffee farm in order to help fund our ministries. We are praying that in a few years 50% of our ministry cost will be funded by the profits. An acre of coffee (2000 plants) costs $2500 to plant and take to production. It is expected to produce $45,500 dollars of income over the next 30 years.

Teams: We organize and host servant- focused teams from the U.S. and Canada with the desire to share the love of Jesus Christ, these include medical, dental, construction, and evangelism groups.

Motorcycles for Supervisors and Pastors: Many of our pastors walk 40 to 60 miles a week to visit multiple churches. In partnership with the Christian Motorcyclists Association and others, 166 motorcycles have been distributed to indigenous missionaries and pastors.

Mules and Horses for Pastors: Some pastors cannot afford to maintain a motorcycle or live in areas where the “roads” are impassible even for motorcycles! We have helped over 70 pastors purchase a horse or a mule.

Bridge Projects: In Honduras, tens of thousands of people lose the ability to travel outside of their immediate area (to hospitals, markets, etc.), because of seasonal flooding. In cooperation with businesses in the U.S., we import re-purposed cable for the construction of bridges in rural areas. We partner with local governments and humanitarian groups to build safe bridges which connect otherwise unreachable areas to needed services. To date, we have 15 completed bridges, and half a dozen are in the planning stage, including 2 “bridge in a week projects”, (a group has offered to fly Russell and Allen to Haiti to show them how to build a cable bridge).

Other projects include: Missionary kids camp, schools, houses, clean water, and other municipal projects.


Please consider partnering with the Sowers ministry in making an eternal difference:
  • $1.25: To plant a coffee tree (sustainable ministry)
  • $2.00: Feeds a child a nutritious supplemental meal 2x per week for a year
  • $4.00: De-worm 100 children for a year
  • $7.00: Supplies a Sunday school teacher with materials for two years
  • $16.00: Sponsors a church based feeding center with 80 children for 1 month
  • $20.00: Provides a pastor with a study Bible
  • $125.00: Plants & maintains 100 coffee plants, providing work for the local people plus generating $2275 in profit (funds for the ministry) over the next 30 years
  • $180.00: Buys food, vitamins, worm medicine & study materials for a feeding center for 1 year
  • $250.00: Purchases a horse for a remote indigenous missionary
  • $300.00: Provides an indigenous missionary 50% of his annual support
  • $1000.00: Puts a roof on a new church
  • $1000.00 Provides a motorcycle to a pastor
  • $1200.00: Helps build a home for a poor family
We invite you to learn more by visiting us at Sowers4Pastors.com or Sowers4Pastors.blogspot.com
Or on Facebook at Sowers4Pastors
Our email address is allen@sower4pastors.com

Donations can be made online using this link, or by mailing a check payable to:
The Foundation for Missions
PO Box 560233
Orlando, FL 32856-0233



 Be sure to write "preferenced for Sowers Ministry" on an enclosed paper, or on the donation website

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Truck Number One - it's here and we're using it!

I have great news - we have purchased the first of the new-to-us trucks which we've needed! We thank God for the faithful supporters He has given us, and we thank YOU for helping us continue to do the work we are called to do here in Honduras!

As you know, we still badly need one more vehicle, and I will be continuing to bring that need before you all, but right now, it's time to CELEBRATE!

Of course, you need to see some pictures of the truck! Now, if I were taking the photos, I would position the truck so that there was a magnificent view of the mountains in the distance, with the truck in the foreground . . . but, I actually asked my son, Ben (who just turned 14, by the way) to take the truck photos for me. Apparently, teenage boys aren't overly interested in the scenery, when the real topic is a TRUCK! LOL

So, here is a boy's-eye-view of our new-to-us pickup!












Monday, January 4, 2016

Planting Coffee for the Sustainable Ministry Project - this is how we do the first step



As missionaries living and working in a foreign country, in a place where the people are very poor and have little education, many times there are things that we can teach them . . . but, frequently they are teaching us, especially about how to get things done in this specific place, using manpower, freely available materials, and very little money!

Last month, we planted the seeds, to start the plants which will be transplanted to our coffee fields late this year. Most of our work crew grew up in a farming community, and this work is very familiar to them . . . and they are people who know how to work hard and how to manage to get things done without purchasing much. Here's a photo-journal of the process:

This is sandy dirt we had hauled in - the very young coffee seedlings prefer to
grow in this medium. The seeds and young seedlings are watered frequently,
 and here in the tropics the drainage properties of sand help prevent mold and
fungus from developing.
The workers bagged up the sand up by the driveway, and then carried the
sacks down to the coffee growing area, to set up the raised bed for the seeds.
The spot chosen for the bed was cleared of weeds and grass.



Logs from trees on our property were hauled in to make the edges of the bed.
The logs will keep the sand from spreading out.




The workers smoothed out the sand to prepare for planting.

Stakes, again created from trees on our property, hold the logs in place. 
Small trenches were created for the seeds . . . 
 . . . and then the seeds (coffee beans) were placed into the trenches - a
surprisingly large quantity of seeds per inch!






With the seeds in place, the workers gently smoothed sand over them.


With a layer of straw on top to hold in moisture, the planted bed is complete.



The next step in the process, once the seeds have germinated and popped through the sand to the surface, is removing the straw, and creating a low "roof" out of sticks covered with straw, to continue to shade the young plants while still giving them room to grow and access to limited sunlight. That should happen about 1 - 2 months after planting, so expect photos of that, when the time comes.

Thanks, Russell, for these photos, as well as for all of your hard work on this project - which we are doing with the goal of adding a sustainability aspect to the ministry here.


Friday, January 1, 2016