April 2013 - Harvest Initiative

Christian Unity through Community Development

...that all of them may be one. John 17:21

Palmera Water Project

Clean water is dirty work

The community of Palmera lies along the road to Alamikamba, RAAN. It is a Miskitu community of about 800 people. Since July we have been working with the preacher of the church there to bring a water project to the village. The only water source is a nearby spring which has good water, but not in the supply needed for the growing population. In recent years, the dry season has caused the spring to stop flowing, therefore a new source was needed. The community sits on a shale rock formation that makes digging a hand-dug well difficult or impossible according to some old timers there. Over the past months, the preacher of the church has organized the community to provide the gasoline, sand, river stone, unskilled labor, and meals for the drill team.

Our approach is always to work with a community to help them use their assets and capabilities in the project. In this way, it is truly a partnership between Harvest Initiative and the local church contributing to the success of the project. It can be difficult and time consuming to nurture this kind of involvement. The tribal areas are difficult places to evangelize. The people are suspicious of one another; there is also a great deal of spiritual oppression that is aggravated by the lack of education and isolation. We offer this water project as a visible testimony to this community that Christians can work together to overcome obstacles and meet people’s needs.

The Base Site

“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” Psalm 24:1

The base site hosted 21 students from the 4th grade at nearby Little Benjamin Christian School. They observed the sustainable agriculture and renewable energy projects in progress at the site, which is also a working farm. In the picture, Kirly Lopez teaches from Genesis, showing how the Earth is God's Creation and must be cared for.

Going forward, Ami is returning to the US and will serve as a Resource Coordinator for the project, searching out teaching tools, raising prayer support and in general communicating what is going on in the barrios. In the coming year we hope to implement the residential program on a trial basis, but we are shifting tack slightly to see if we can deal with some compliance issues.

We plan to have monthly visits in rotation to allow all 400+ students from Little Benjamin to visit the school for Bible teaching regarding stewardship as well as hands on demonstrations of the appropriate technology that we have installed at the base site. We have wind energy, biogas and soon solar installed on the property. We want the base to be a resource for the school programs that we operate nearby, and these field days are the first steps. The site is in fact a working farm with a dairy herd and seasonal plantings of corn and other traditional crops. As the base site develops we want it to be as self-sufficient as possible in terms of energy efficiency and other fixed costs, especially security.

Construction Group Visit

The “Journeymen” led by Kent Avery work at the Harvest Community School

The first week of March we were visited by the group of men from Southern California who come each year to take on construction projects. Each year they bring electricians, mechanics, and welders for an intense week working on projects here. They always help us get caught up on our work with the special trade skills they bring. It is always good to see these men who return year after year, developing a long term relationship with the work and people here. We don’t host many short term mission trips. We only have time and resources to host groups like the Journeymen who are forging a long term relationship with the team here.

The Dawn Treader Project

We are beginning to “ visioneer” a next step for the work in the Tribal areas of the Atlantic Coast. So far we have worked with water projects, radio broadcasts and evangelism with the Jesus Film in the local language. Last year we constructed a large cargo boat to support these projects and the transportation needs of the communities in general. We are in the planning and design stage of constructing a larger boat that will serve as a floating base for the work, extending our reach in the communnites. The Miskitu are semi nomadic and taking a cue from their lifestyle should open more doors for evangelism among them.

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