Thursday, December 20, 2018

Come Rain or Come Shine

Don't expect to see THIS in Honduras!
This is the time of year when everyone at Sowers4Pastors starts spending a lot of time and energy keeping an eye on the weather. And it isn’t because they’re dreaming of a white Christmas!

This is the dry season in Honduras, however there are frequent cold and cloudy days at this time of year - which is a big, he-honkin’ deal when your home runs on solar power! A sunny day means you can do something really special--like laundry! Not only does it mean you can run the washing machine, it also means you’ll be able to hang the clothes out to dry. But laundry isn’t the only reason the Sowerses are paying super close attention to the 10-day weather forecast.

As you know, it’s time for the coffee harvest. At the end of each day of harvest, Russell and members of the regular crew work at the depulping station to remove the fruit. Then they wash the coffee beans. The next essential step is to get the beans completely dry in a timely fashion. They lay it out in the sun on giant tarps. When there’s no sun, there is a big dilemma! It takes days to thoroughly dry the coffee and they are racing against the clock because the drying process must be completed before the beans start to grow mold.

Here's our VERY newly constructed de-pulping station!
Larger coffee farms have huge concrete pads to spread the beans on while drying. Each hour, a “coffee raker” turns the beans to allow complete drying. The Sowers’ coffee farm is at the stage of the game where they have a coffee pulping station set up. They even employ an expert coffee raker! But they don’t yet have the concrete pads. The goal is to have concrete poured for next year’s harvest. This year’s final picking is almost complete.

Coffee beans, on tarps, being raked to dry evenly

This season has been relatively cold and overcast. As Trish said, “If it’s not sunny, we’d rather it rain because it’s good for the coffee plants!” Plus, it takes a lot of water to wash coffee! While Allen, Trish, and Russell are pleased that an extra water tank was built this year, they are definitely using more water than ever before! They are hoping to build up their water supply in their tanks before the rivers dry up.

As an interesting side note: Coffee farms at higher elevations, which experience colder weather, have not finished harvesting. Certain schools at higher elevations delay the start of their school year because they aren’t finished picking until the end of February. That means Sowers4Pastors has a little extra time to get the backpacks out to the children in those areas.

In addition to harvesting and drying, it’s the time of year when pastors plan to build churches. The making of adobe bricks and rain don’t mix! As soon as the walls are up, churches need a roof by the middle of May. That means it’s a time when Sowers4Pastors receives a lot of requests for new church roofs!

The dry season is also the time for bridge building because the lower rivers allow for easier crossing. Currently, there are two bridges in the planning stages. Teams will be coming to Honduras in March and April to build them. Missionary life is busy, come rain or come shine.

 - posted by Christi

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