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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2007-04-26 11:00:27
Subject: Jose

    Two months ago I was introduced to a man in our church by the name of Jose. Jose has helped some of our missionary friends build homes. He works very well, takes initiative, is humble and is a great influence on the boys. When he does not know something, he knows somebody that does and will ask for help. So far he has been able to bring veterinarians, an engineer and other help here...without charge. He is helping us trade out animals and found us a good source for livestock. He is working on reducing our electric bill. He is finishing up a chicken coup for us at the moment. At $10.50/day (200 Lemps), he is the most expensive worker we have, but we really invited him to help on some short term construction projects, starting with a water tank for the livestock. After two months, we have learned a lot about Jose and hope that we can continue to keep him working here.     Like most Hondurans, Jose grew up poor. He has seven siblings and his father was never in the picture. At the age of seven, he lost consciousness from starvation. At age ten, he began working the fields with a machete. He never was able to go to school for financial reasons. Also, when he was a child, doctors found that he had polio. By the grace of God, he was healed of polio, but he still has one leg shorter than another. Jose is a very soft spoken, humble servant of Jesus Christ.     In other words, he is exactly the kind person we've been looking for to help in our ministry. He was born with little chance to succeed in this world...and he, with Christ, overcame a lot of odds. Many men in his position have given up. He wants a better life for his two daughters than he had. He wants to work with children. He wants to eventually open a trade school to teach boys construction, welding and electrical work.     Jose is looking for a permanent job to bring more stability to his home. His wife works as a secretary/accountant at our church. She could also help us with paperwork. I would very much like to secure Jose as a permanent employee, brother and partner in this ministry. In order to do that, we need to earn more money on the farm. Jose and know how to do that, we just lack some startup capital.     Right now Roque is transplanting some of our banana trees into a field that we used to use for corn. The long term plan there is to grow coffee in between the banana trees (coffee needs to grow under shade). We are contemplating an investment in a peach orchard. The engineer suggested that if we planted a manzana (1.7 acres) of peach trees (about 180 trees), we could sell them wholesale at the market for 300,000 Lempiras $15,800 every year, starting in the second year. The startup cost would involve digging a one cubic meter hole for each tree, the tree itself and possibly some dirt/mulch to fill that whole. We are talking a lot of labor here. I estimate 36 man weeks of labor ($1200) for the peach patch, probably $200 for the young trees and $150 for an irrigation system.     The project that is a quicker turnaround is pork/pig production. We could buy 20 lb. pigs for about $21 each, fatten them up and begin selling them for about $50 each after roughly a month...or continue to slaughter weight (four more months) and butcher them ourselves. We would probably do a combination of the two. Anyway, we need to build more housing so that our profit potential will be greater and our production cost per pig will be reduced. The housing will cost about $1000 in materials plus labor.     I cannot stress how much we are looking for investments in the Kingdom of God and in the people/children of Honduras. We do not always want to be dependent on monthly donations for the welfare of the children. This is a chance to help Hondurans help themselves.

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