Monday, May 7, 2018

Nothing Major Does Not Equal Nothing

Whenever Russell says there’s “nothing major” to report, I know I’m about to be on the receiving end of enough information to more than fill a blog post. FYI, “nothing major” does not equal, “nothing”!

Moments before our phone call, Russell was up to his eyeballs organizing receipts from the first quarter with Kelsea-the-intern. Ask any Sowers and he or she will tell you that paperwork is a necessary evil of life on the mission field!

It has been a couple of weeks since Kelsea returned to Honduras. She brought two of her closest friends back with her, and they stayed on for a week. Together, with Russell, they went out and served as a “mini team”. One of the mini team members is a nurse, so they went to visit a medical clinic on what Russell referred to as “the frontier”. This friend will soon be moving to Guatemala, where she will participate in a medical Spanish immersion. She wants to go into full-time ministry and needs to be able to speak medical Spanish. Kelsea’s other friend will be getting married soon and the three young women enjoyed this time of serving together before they go down different life paths.

The mini team also spent time packing up extra shoes, since the school shoes have been handed out for the year. Russell pointed out that it’s necessary to invest in extra shoes in order to have the correct sizes for the children who receive them. Each extra pair of shoes has been cleaned, dried, and packed in individual Ziplock bags to be stored until next year.

With Allen and Trish talking about backpacks and sponsorship centers in the U.S., they have needed a lot of updates from programs, in recent days. As we mentioned in a previous post, three churches in Seattle were interested in the Sister Church Program. The three churches didn’t feel they could each set up a Sister Church themselves, but they have decided to join forces! One big program makes more sense than three small ones.

Kelsea, Melvin, and Russell will be heading out to find just the right location for this new sponsorship center. They are looking for a place with a great need that can also provide enough teachers to sustain the program. And, keeping it all in the family, Kelsea’s sister will be heading up the program from the Seattle side!

The coffee farm work is going strong. Fortunately, Russell’s crew knows what to do and it isn’t necessary for him to be on site all the time. If you recall, the seeds were first planted into a sand bank. When they sprouted, they were moved into small black nursery bags, and kept in a heavily shaded area. Now it's time for those young plants to be moved to the farm. More than 20,000 plants will be individually planted! The crew is also working with the more established coffee plants which were planted in previous years - the leaves are getting a good spraying with vitamins and minerals.

Allen and Trish will be flying home in under two weeks. They aren’t returning empty handed! A visiting team will return with them. When that team leaves after a week, a different team will arrive. Russell has a lot to do to prepare for the back-to-back teams.

In other news, Allen and Trish are famous! Well, that may be a stretch, but they did enjoy being on a radio program in Georgia on the morning of May 2! It’s a good thing they’ll be returning home soon. It would be a shame if they got caught up in “show biz”!

 - posted by Christi

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