Last year it was the radishes that saved us, this year we are hoping for a bigger harvest. A group of women at the Maranatha Baptist Church in La Ceyba, Chiapas, had asked for help in learning to grow their own vegetables. By the time we had everything in place last April, the ideal time for planting had passed and many of the seeds never germinated properly. When I visited in June, the one thriving crop was radishes. I was feeling badly but the women were excited and enjoying the red harvest so I just had to say Praise God for radishes.
Ramona and I just returned from La Ceyba and this year we are right on time. The group of women involved has grown from 15 to 27 and we were able to respond to their request for help to improve their culinary skills and learn new recipes using the foods they hope to harvest in the summer. A delightful ex-nun, Yolanda, who runs a small restaurant in San Cristobal de Las Casas, gave the women her day off and set up her kitchen outside Pastor Pedro’s house in La Ceyba. It was a grand time of peeling and cutting and chopping and steaming and frying. Yoli had all the women working and laughing and eating things they had never before tried. Beet and carrot salad, a savory lima bean dish, soy enriched drinks, cactus dishes, sauces and stuffed chayotes. There were dogs and kids and chickens and old men, all eager to test the treats or the peelings that fell to the ground.
The benefits of a project like this are numerous. Women are empowered as they set a goal, plan, learn, work together and experience success, even if it's radishes. We help in the beginning with information and skill development, some chicken wire and seeds. They carry on; gaining self confidence, becoming experts, improving their family’s nutrition and earning a little money selling the excess produce. This is a big step towards experiencing the abundant life in Christ. Next year they will send a team to teach women in another community, giving back and completing the cycle. The organizational and leadership skills will enable them to address other issues in their lives with new confidence in themselves, each other, and increased faith in God.
And by the way, good things are happening in Mexico because of your prayers and generosity. Thank you so very much.
-- Ramona & Chuck
Please Pray for:
Daniel deeply troubled 13 year old and his mom Dora.